Over the past 40 years, 76-year-old Chin Chang Lan (金張蘭) has worked to ensure the safety of children as they cross roads to and from school.
To honor her tireless dedication, she was recently listed among the 198 individuals and groups to receive the golden safety award from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).
Chin Chang said she first volunteered as a crossing guard in 1973, when her daughter was studying at Jiantsui Elementary School in what was then Taipei County’s Banciao (板橋).
Chin Chang said that she has since volunteered for Puchien, Shulin, Sanduo and Gueishan elementary schools, as well as Gueishan Junior High School.
She said she continued to volunteer because she wanted to accompany her daughter, and later, her grandsons, to school.
At her busiest, she work at five places in one day, she said.
“During that period, I had to wake up at 4am, make my way to my first volunteer job at 6am, my second at noon, my third at 3pm, my fourth at 4pm and my 5th at 9pm,” she said.
Her volunteer work had given her life purpose since her husband passed away 20 years ago, and as a result, she never minded the fatigue, she said.
Her dedication was evident when she returned to her post just one month and two days after undergoing surgery to repair injuries sustained in a car crash that doctors had said might have left her unable to walk.
During the operation, doctors attached 16 screws to her spine, she said.
Chin Chan said even though her eldest grandson is now in college and another is in high school, she treats all students from the schools where she volunteers as her own children.
“I have no regrets now that children I have watched over have grown up and traveled to all parts of the world,” she said.