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About town: Sharing the Spirit of Christmas With Those in Need

From our archives, Compass Magazine, Dec. 2001:

By Rachel Chiou

When most of us think about Christmas, we remember that it is not only a time of receiving presents, but of giving them as well. In Central Taiwan, there is no shortage of charitable organizations which are working hard to provide for those with variety of needs. Before you celebrate this special season with friends and family, take the time to give a helping hand to those who are helping others.

921 Community Recuperation Office
10F-4, 97, Taichung Kang Rd., sec. 3
Tel: 04-2358-3013
Postal Account Number No.: 0002157-3
Account Name: The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (please specify 921 Community Recuperation Office) This office has taken on the formidable task of helping those affected by the devastating earthquake of September 21, 1999. According to Supervisor Tai Hui-ling, although two years have passed since the quake, there is still much to be done. According to reports from the office’s field workers, over two more years will be required to finish reconstruction work in the hardest-hit areas. There, people still need help to become self-reliant and to face difficulties caused by the earthquake, including broken homes and other family issues, economic hardship and environmental destruction. Public support and professional services are still very much needed in these areas.

Eden Social Welfare Foundation
339-2, Ta Lien Rd., sec. 1
Tel: 04-2296-2884
Postal Account No.: 18782829
Eden’s mission is to help adults and children with physical and mental disabilities to learn life and job skills. This foundation runs several small businesses, such as a bakery, hydroponics farm, and mailing service, where it provides training and work experience. One way to contribute to Eden’s efforts is to purchase Eden-produced baked goods and vegetables, to allow those with disabilities to learn how to become self-reliant.

98-1, Tzu You Rd., sec. 1
Tel: 04-2224-7128
Postal Account No.: 18413672
CWLF is dedicated to helping children. In cooperation with the government, it established the Missing Children’s Information Management Center to educate the public concerning children’s safety. After the September, 1999 earthquake, CWLF set up its Family Reconstruction Center to help children that lost one or both parents in the disaster. This includes helping orphaned children find a good home and providing counseling and guidance to single parents.

Taichung Family Helper Project
67, Gan Su Rd., sec. 1
Tel: 04-2313-1234
Postal Account No.: 0027133~5
The Taichung Family Helper Project was set up 37 years ago to provide aid to orphans and families facing difficulty. This charity provides financial and medical care subsidies, in addition to guidance and counseling. For the past two years, the Project has focused attention on helping children orphaned by the September 21, 1999 earthquake. Director Yang Chung-shin says that, with the downturn in the economy, charities require even more support from the public to help those with basic needs. For example, this organization hopes to receive enough donations to provide warm clothing, heaters and blankets to low-income families to help them get through the winter.

Tsi Kuang Orphanage
9, Jui Kuang St.
Tel: 04-2287-4890, 2287-9176
Postal Account No.: 00205558
All of the children in this orphanage receive good medical care, psychological counseling and lots of love. According to one of the managers, Jan Chian-po, the hope of this orphanage is that each child will become a happy well-rounded adult who will understand the importance of being a good parent and maintaining a good family life. Another manager, Li Hui-chu, mentioned that Tsi Kuang is in need of teachers of all subjects and grades with formal teaching experience, as well as donations of everyday use items.

While researching this article, I saw firsthand the devotion, determination and hard work of each of the above-mentioned charities. After the September 21, 1999 earthquake, there has been an increase in need for monetary support. But, due to economic hard times, donations are down about 40 percent. During one of my visits, I was struck by the innocence of a two-year-old orphaned girl. For her, and the many like her, the spirit of Christmas giving is so important. Along with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of each organization, postal account numbers have been provided. Monetary donations can be made directly to the charity at any post office using the postal account number.

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