Rebecca and Stanley Tam (English Sharing)
Who Was I to Receive a Welcome Reserved for Heros and Celebrities
Toronto Chapter Committee Member
My husband and I knew very little about the work of CRRS prior to May 2009. We attended the October 2008 fundraising gala and we were deeply moved by what we saw and heard in some of the slide presentations.
We joined a self-funded CRRS Vision Trip in 2009 and visited a number of primary and secondary schools in China. Everywhere we went, we were warmly received and graciously treated. At a few schools, the entire student body lined the playground and welcome us as we entered the school ground. At one secondary school, students were dressed in their traditional ethnic clothes, applauding ,while some were dancing and beating drums to welcome us – a welcome fit for a hero. I remembered clearly that I was choked up with emotion with tears in my eyes.
“Who am I and why do I deserve such welcome from these kids? I am just an ordinary person. I haven`t done anything for these kids to deserve such a welcome! I am a Chinese and so are these kids. The only difference is that I am fortunate enough to live in Canada and maybe have the means to help support one or two students in their education… “ I asked myself these questions and was greatly humbled by this experience.
The most memorable moment was the bright smiles of those students who we had an opportunity to talk with and their enthusiasm to show us about their school and what they were learning. One teacher invited four of us to visit her students because she really wanted them to hear us speaking English. These students had their dinner but stayed in their classroom studying at 8pm and they looked genuinely glad to see us. Seeing their happy faces, the “teacher” in me sprang into action. I taught the kids a simple English song and played a game with them. I also left them some pencils from Canada. The kids were thrilled and looked excited simply because we were there to visit!
In life, how often do we have the opportunity to bring happiness to people with so little? Is it not more a blessing for us to be able to give? My husband and I have since become regular donors. I am grateful that I have this privilege to be involved with CRRS and can give and share a little with others. I would like to invite you to join us and participate in the next CRRS vision trip to see for yourself what CRRS does and how meaningful the work is in China.
We may be a drop in the ocean but together we can make a real difference in China’s next generation!
Toronto Chapter Committee Member
While I was driving to work one morning, I heard this story about 10-year old kid collecting pop cans and bottles for a refund so that he could buy sandwich fixings. With his mom’s help, he makes as many sandwiches as he can to hand out the homeless in Portland, Oregon.
This story prompted me to reflect on our work at CRRS which devotes its effort in helping the poor kids of rural Guangxi to get an education.
I had a chance to meet with these kids and to hug them a few years ago when I visited Guangxi. Although these kids were lonely due to being away from their families, their faces shone with appreciation when we entered the classroom. I remembered how well the kids behaved and how eager they were to learn. With my eyes closed, I wish they could be miraculously transported to a school at Richmond Hill… I could imagine they would be very successful in their studies and enjoying their school life to the fullest extent.
The unique approach of CRRS in combining financial aid with regular visits from donors allows many students feel that there is love in the world. A few of them repay the kindness they received by choosing professions that allow them to return to the mountainous areas to help people who are struggling, rather than going to big cities to pursue their materialistic dreams. To me, spreading of seeds of love that CRRS has sown in the hearts of these lovely children – has become the biggest achievement of CRRS. This is also the reason that I have become a regular donor since fall, 2008 after seeing a little ad in ‘Sing Tao Newspaper’ about the Fund-Raising Dinner and making a phone call to the office of CRRS.
While I found the Oregon kid remarkable for his understanding of ‘Charity’ – “If we all pitch in a little bit, we can all help feed the homeless people.” With the same token, I strongly believe that if we all pitch in a little bit to CRRS, we can support a lot of children from the rural areas of Guangxi to get an education.