Tue, Jun 26, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Sponsors honored, reunited with kids at gala by Fund for Children and Families

By Tsai Shu-yuan and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Yang Chih-chien (楊志堅) and Lin Tsung-ming (林宗明), who sponsored a toddler named Yang until the age of 18, were on Saturday reunited in Taichung at a ceremony held by the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (TFCF) to thank contributors who sponsored children through the fund’s programs.

Yang’s father passed away when he was less than one year old; his mother remarried and he was brought up by his grandparents, who did not have much money.

Lin, 70, who has sponsored children through the fund for 40 years, began sponsoring Yang when he was three years old.

At the event, Yang surprised Lin on stage when he was accepting a certificate for his contributions.

Lin would often write letters of encouragement, Yang said after the ceremony.

Although they had not met in the 23 years since Yang turned 18, Lin’s letters have given him the strength to continue fighting, Yang said.

The fund also often arranged for Lin and Yang to go on trips together.

Yang, who put himself through college by working part-time, showed a photograph of the two of them taken on one of the trips and a toy car that Lin had given him when he was young.

Now 41 years old and with a family of his own, Yang had given the toy car to his daughter as a way of passing on Lin’s affection, he said, adding that like Lin, he wants to become a sponsor to help children in need.

Lin said he began sponsoring children after seeing the tough conditions that many children were living in at charity events.

He has sponsored nine children, each time taking care of only one child, he said.

Due to his age, he passed the task of meeting the children on to his son, Lin Tung-yu (林東瑜), 10 years ago, he added.

Li Tung-yu also attended the event and said that he would follow his father on visits to meet the children that his father sponsored from a young age.

He said he had always been touched by his father’s selflessness.

The fund honored nearly 10,000 sponsors at Saturday’s event.

Chen Hsiu-yan (陳秀燕), the sister of vegetable vendor and philanthropist Chen Shu-chu (陳樹菊), was also recognized for sponsoring children for 20 years.

She has sponsored nine children and is still sponsoring two children each year.

Chen Hsiu-yan has sponsored many children and would always be touched by the cards she received from the children, Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) said in a speech.

The government’s capacity is limited, but the public’s power is not, she said.

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