Retired mailman delivers meals, and smiles, to elderly

By Chen Wen-chan and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Nov 07, 2012 - Page 3

A retired mailman in Greater Kaohsiung has won widespread praise for his decade-long voluntary work delivering daily meals to senior citizens.

Tsai Nan-chang (蔡南昌), 71, who is affectionately known as Brother A-chang (阿昌哥) by locals at Sanmin District’s (三民) Wanai Borough (灣愛), has been serving the borough’s elderly for the past 11 years.

Although of advanced years himself, Tsai is in good health. As part of his daily volunteer work, Tsai goes around the neighborhoods to deliver free meals to those in need.

Tsai said he regards the daily chores as a good way to maintain his health.

Tsai said his charitable work started when the borough warden Lee Yung-kuei (李永貴) implemented a charity program providing free meals to seniors 10 years ago. Prepared by a group of mothers who volunteered their time, the program offers free meals — composed of several dishes and a bowl of soup — to elderly people living in need.

Prior to his retirement at age 60, Tsai worked as a mailman for the post office, delivering letters and packages.

He said that instead of delivering mail he now delivers free meals from his motorcycle.

Nothing seems to have stopped him from carrying out his daily rounds which he does everyday — come rain or shine.

One 90-year old man, surnamed Chang (張), was blinded due to illness and every day he waits at his front door at the fixed time with a cardboard box. Upon arrival, Tsai has a quick chat with Chang, bringing warmth and happiness to the nonagenarian.

Local residents said they are amazed by Tsai’s energetic endeavors, as his days are filled from morning to night with community volunteer activities.

In the morning, he heads to the local school as a volunteer to help students at cross the road, after that he rides his motorcycle and delivers the meals. He also teaches free qigong lessons at the local park in the afternoon and is a member of the neighborhood safety watch unit, which undertakes night-time patrols.

When asked why he does so much volunteering to help others, Tsai says mockingly that his monthly postal service pension of NT$27,000 feels like getting a monthly wage “and so I must give something back to society, by doing something meaningful.”

“To live is to be active and move around. That’s the way to stay healthy. I would like to see more people join me in my volunteer work, so we can help others and take care of the needy in our society,” he added.