The Taiwan Fund for Children and Families’ (TFCF) Changhua branch on Thursday held a ceremony to thank a farmer who donated a truckload of cabbages to help the group purchase protective armor for its kenjutsu team.
Lin Chin-te (林進得) donated a truckload of about 1,000 cabbages early this year after cabbage prices plummeted, it said.
About the same time, the group formed a kenjutsu — Japanese swordsmanship — team for students it was looking after.
Photo: Yen Hung-chun, Taipei Times
Branch supervisor Lin Hui-mei (林惠媚) said it did not have the money to purchase the armor, which costs NT$13,000 apiece, so she had an idea to sell the cabbages to raise funds.
She launched an online fundraiser titled “Raising funds for kenjutsu outfits for TFCF kids,” which sold the cabbages at NT$10 each.
Much to her surprise, all the cabbages were sold in just three days, she said.
The fundraiser attracted the attention of a local columbarium, Damao Biotech, a local bakery, Taipei-based Lei Ying Co and nurses at the Yuanlin Christian Hospital, who donated more items to the group.
TFCF made NT$444,000 from selling the donations, surpassing its goal of NT$400,000, Lin said.
Recounting how the team was founded, Lin said many of the children had behavioral issues and nothing she tried could control them.
She then thought of working with kenjutsu practitioner Chan Chih-yuan (詹智淵) to instruct the children in the martial art.
With Chan’s help, the group established contact with former national kenjutsu team coach Chuang Yi-yuan (莊益源), who agreed to coach them.
Kenjutsu made a significant change in the children, Lin said.
“For example, they used to ignore me when I asked them to mop the floors, but now they take the initiative to clean,” she said.
She said she is proud to see the children focused and competitive while practicing kenjutsu and show good manners outside of class.
“Acts of kindness will be rewarded by more kindness,” Lin said, thanking people for their support.
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