Monthly Archives: September 2008

29080927 – Parkway Meadows Senior Resident Caring Project

Prepared by Huey Shann Sue and Szu Ling Yeap

What: 居家关怀 Senior Residents Caring Project

Why: Help senior residents in Parkway Meadows to clean their apartments and also to interact more with them.

Where/When: Sept 27th, 2008 (Saturday) 9.30-11.30am
Parkway Meadows Apartments
2575 Sandalwood Cir, Ann Arbor, MI

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Short Description/Outcome:

Number of people attended: 13
Hui Ying Chin,  Sabrina/ I-Hsuan, Kah Loong Chong, Qi Pang, Mei Chen Chua, Huey Shann Sue, Szu Ling Yeap, Kai Liang Nyoi, Jesse Tsaur, Cun Yong Goh, Beth Chen, Edward Jan, Jackson Cheng, Andrew

This was our first time to start “居家关怀/Caring Project” at Parkway Meadows. We were helping Food Gatherers to pack and distribute food every month before we started this project, but we stopped taking part because they already found enough volunteers to help them with that.

We had the first meeting with Janet (程老师), 张妈妈 and 许老师 (three residents in Parkway Meadows). Janet (程老师) briefly told us the situations of the senior residents in Parkway Meadows. Then we were split into four groups to serve four families in the apartments whereas Szu Ling and Hui Ying had a meeting with Janet (程老师) and 许老师 about the English class which will start next week.

Some of us helped the senior residents to clean up their apartments, like vacuuming or washing the bathrooms, because some of them weren’t able to reach up or bend down. Some of us spent time to interact and chat with the seniors. Most of them seldom have visitors and they were so happy to see us that they even served snacks and drinks to us. We were happy to serve the four families and those grandpas and grandmas were happy to see us as well.

by 俊勇

今天一大清早就去了老人公寓。此次是我在慈青第二次的活动。8点就得起床了啊。好想再多睡一会儿哦。但想起上次慈青的活动让我感触到感恩的重要,我就好期待。到了那儿,我们和老人公寓的代表(程老师,许老师与张妈妈)开了个小小的会议。程老师告诉我们这些老人们的年龄都高于60岁。 他们大多数都是受过教育的。只是年纪大了,他们不能继续工作,才住在这儿。除了与老人们谈天与帮他们清洗和打扫公寓外,我们还为他们准备了英文班。之后,我们就三人一组到老婆婆与老爷爷的公寓去。听说他们都很用心得学习!听到此,我想我是否应该检讨自己好玩与不认真的态度。开会后,我们就三人一组的开始我们的活动。在同一组的Beth,Ken和我帮了一位奶奶做些清洗工作。看到奶奶那么开心,我们都很欣慰。奶奶告诉我们她希望能有人每天陪她聊天。我觉得他们需要的是我们的关怀和陪伴。年纪大了若没人照顾真的好可怜。

我觉得也许这次时间紧促,我们并没有帮上什么忙。希望下一次 我们可以做得更好。


by 凯量

这次是我第二次参加慈青的活动,感觉很好,也让我有不一样的体验。这所老人公寓跟我想象得很不一样。老人公寓附近的环境很好,很适合退休后的生活。公寓内也很安静,很悠闲,没有一点吵杂声。老人公寓的代表,Janet 老师、许伯伯和张妈妈,各个都好亲切,也博学多才。Janet老师告诉我们,在这里居住的老人,大部分是华人,都是退休人士,有工程师、教授等等。他们大多数都是因为子女们在美国而搬过来的,还有的是因为要替子女带小孩。有些行动不便的老人特别需要人帮助。经过了一轮分配,Edward、美珍和我前往我们被安排的公寓。我们被安排去的公寓,住着一对老夫妻。一见到我们,赵伯伯和赵奶奶就很热情的跟我们交流。赵伯伯和赵奶奶是广州人,在抗战时期搬到了台湾,也在那儿定居下来。他们有四个孩子,而且都在美国。这也是他们十年前搬到美国的原因。我在跟赵奶奶交谈时,能很明确的察觉到她离乡背井来到美国的辛苦。她跟我说她很想回台湾生活,可是因为子女们多在美国所以就没办法。赵奶奶和赵伯伯都非常客气,只让我们帮他们吸地板,因为赵奶奶手受过伤,不方便使用吸尘机。清理完后,赵奶奶还拿了许都食物,要我们带回去。临走前,赵伯伯和赵奶奶的一句:“你们都是我们的孙子”,深深地打动了我的心,让离乡背井的我感觉到家的温暖。这次的活动意义深重,我很期待下一期的探访。慈青,加油!


20080920 Ypsilanti Nursing Home Visit

Ypsilanti Nursing Home Visit
Reported by You Ning Lee
Edited by Huey Shann Sue and Szu Ling Yeap

It was the third Saturday of the month again, which meant that we will visit a nursing home. This was the first visit to Nursing Home for the Fall 2008 semester. We were happy to see so many new members showed up in this event. There were a total of 17 members who joined us this time and most of them have never been to a nursing home before.

As there were many new members, we gave a short briefing beforehand. Members were reminded about some facts of the elders in the Nursing Home. Many of the elders have hearing problems whereas some may get irritated easily. There are also elders who will give a cold shoulder even when we approach them with a friendly smile. It is best when we could put ourselves in the elders’ shoes. Then we can really understand how they feel and know how we should go about treating them. Those elders have been isolated for a very long time. Many of them have health problems and their families seldom visit them, so they are pessimistic about their lives. Therefore, we should treat them with love and patience; let them know that we care for them.

During the performance, each Tzu Ching was told to be at one elder’s side. They were encouraged to talk to them and to hold their hand if possible. As many of them had never been to nursing home before, they felt uneasy. During the sharing at the end of the visit, many did voice out that they felt really awkward and uncomfortable with the situation at the beginning.

Ypsilanti Nursing Home

Tzu Ching performed “Gu Zheng”. The elders loved it very much.

Shr Gu played piano

After that, we served cakes and drinks to the elders. I am very proud of all the new members because they had done a really good job although this was their first time visiting the Nursing Home. Each of them served the elders with patience, care and love. They had fun chatting with the elders too. One of our members said that the visit reminded him to treat his parents and grandparents better and to be a filial son. Some of the members were happy to be able to know the elders better through chatting.

Beautiful Smiles

Our nursing home visit ended with a sharing among the volunteers. I hope that all of us did gain something from the visit. Hopefully everyone will appreciate every moment in life and make full use of our time as all of us will get old one day. Also, I hope that the elders were happy to see us around. Special thanks to the new Tzu Ching members for joining us! Gan en! Let us pray and hope that the cycle of love will never end.

20080919 Members’ Meeting

UMTC Fall 2008 1st Member Meeting
Reported by You Ning Lee
Edited by Huey Shann Sue and Szu Ling Yeap

On September 19th, 2008, UMTC had its first member meeting for Fall 2008 at room 1804, School of Social Work. More than 20 members attended the meeting and most of them were new members. This was a more informal event, compared to the Tea Party, hoping that the planning team members can interact and know more with the new members.

We wanted to have this meeting because we wanted to introduce Tzu Ching, our activities, and the Planning Team. Also, we introduced Tzu Chi by watching a video entitled “Story from the East”. The meeting started off with 2 ice breaker games. All of us had a great time getting to know each other in a fun way.

First Ice Breaking Game

Second Ice Breaking Game, trying to guess who was on the other side.

All of us had a good laughing time

The meeting was then followed by presentation from Huey Shann, UMTC President and Szu Ling, UMTC Vice President. They introduced the activities we will be holding this semester including Morning Sharing Group, Parkway Meadows Care for the Elderly program, Nursing Home Visit etc. They also gave a review on what we have done so far such as attending various retreats and camps, United Nation Assembly, and also disaster relief. Other than that, each planning team role’s was also being explained to the members. Finally, they wrapped up their presentation by talking about the requirements to become an official Tzu Ching, ie. to get a Tzu Ching Uniform. Some of the requirements were to have a certain amount of volunteer hours, to participate in at least 3 different kinds of community service and to attend at least one Tzu Chi retreat/camp.

Huey Shann and Szu Ling’s presentation

Next, we displayed a video entitled “Story from the East” about Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi Foundation. The video was carefully chosen by Beth and Edward, our Tzu Ching Seniors. It was a very touching video and all of us watched intently and mindfully.

Video “Story from the East”

Around 7pm, our meeting ended when we served some refreshments and presented souvenirs to the new members.

Souvenirs were bookmarks made by reused materials courtesy of LA Tzu Chi HQ.

Refreshments were cookies prepared by Beth and Edward.

20080914 Mid Autumn Festival at Mimi SG’s House

Mid-Autumn Festival at Mimi Shr Gu’s House
Reported by You Ning Lee
Edited by Huey Shann Sue and Szu Ling Yeap

On Sept 14th, 2008, UM Tzu Ching Planning Team had been invited to Mimi Shr Gu’s house as an appreciation of hard work done for Tea Party and also for Mid-Autumn Festival celebration.

Once we reached Shr Gu’s house, we were amazed by the variety of food that had been sincerely prepared by Shr Gu(s) since the day before. Shr Gu organized a themed lunch this time. The theme was “Taiwan Market Street”.  We would like to express our heartiest gratitude here to all the Shr Gu(s) for the tantalizing and special lunch. Thank you and gan en, Shr Gu(s)! We are very grateful for the love and care you have given to us. I could feel the warmth and comfort of celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival at home. It was indeed a very heart-warming moment for all of us.

Thank you, Shr Gu(s)! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! (中秋节快乐!)

20080913 Food Gathers

Food Gatherers
Reported by You Ning Lee
Edited by Huey Shann Sue and Szu Ling Yeap

This was probably the last time we volunteered for Food Gatherers at Parkway Meadows, a low-income housing for senior citizens aged 65 and above.  As for this time, the task we did was pretty unique. We did not help out packing and distributing food as usual. Instead, we were requested to help conducting a survey about the accessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables at Washtenaw County.

The reason behind was that most of the residents are Chinese and they do not understand English well, whereas other Food Gatherers volunteers do not speak Mandarin. Tzu Chings’ help was needed as most of the Tzu Chings could converse well both in Mandarin and English. Our job was to translate and to explain the questions on the survey to them. The day before that, in order to ease our interviewing process, Huey Shann, UMTC President and Szu Ling, UMTC Vice President, had translated all the survey forms into Mandarin version and had printed out a few copies for each Tzu Chings volunteer. Tina Sang, a Food Gatherers’ intern, was amazed by our sincerity and our hard work to help out. She was in charge of giving us a briefing on how we should interview tactfully as some of the questions on the surveys might be sensitive to certain residents.

After several interviews with the senior citizens, I realized that most of them live a pretty sustainable lifestyle. They just purchase what they need for basic living. They walk, cycle or ride a bus to buy groceries. Some of them even grow their own fruits and vegetables. On average, most of them just have 100-200 dollar per months for living but they are content and grateful with their current lifestyle. However, some have to forgo eating more nutritious food due to the rising groceries price in the market.

After an hour and the half, more than 40 surveys had been completed. All the Tzu Chings had fun talking to the senior citizens and it was a pleasant experience getting to interact more with them. I hope that Food Gatherers will take action in order to provide better food accessibility to the residents.

The Food Gatherers Coordinator and Intern, Marti and Tina respectively, thanked us earnestly for the great job done. They said that they could never get that many surveys completed without our help due to language barrier. As a token of their gratitude to us, UMTC have been invited to their Food Gatherers Volunteers Appreciation Party in October. Great job, everyone! Thank you and gan en!

20080907 UMTC Welcome Tea Party

UMTC Tea Party
Reported by You Ning Lee
Edited by Huey Shann Sue

Vodpod videos no longer available.

20080907 UMTC Tea Party (English)
20080907 UMTC Tea Party (Chinese)

It is the beginning of another academic year. The UMTC planning team had been planning for Tea Party cum Mass Meeting for the past 4 months. As it was the Summer Break, we were all in different parts of the world. Some of us went home for vacation and some were doing internships. Therefore, we had our meetings online bi weekly either on Skype or MSN.

Before the Tea Party started, the Planning Team members were busy setting up the place, and also catching up with some last minute practice of sign language. Most of the Shr Gu and Shr Bo also arrived earlier with their tasty dishes. Yuan Shr Gu also brought the environmental utensils from Detroit Office so that we can avoid using disposable utensils.

The Tea Party officially began with an Ice Breaker game called “Picnic” and it was conducted by Hui Ying Chin, our webmaster. The game was a name-remembering game; adapted from the ice-breaker game we had during 2008 USA Tzu Ching 10th Anniversary and Spiritual Retreat at San Dimas, CA.

The Tea Party was then followed by a short presentation by Huey Shann and Szu Ling. They introduced Tzu Chi and Tzu Ching so that new members have an idea of what Tzu Ching does in University of Michigan.

Next was watching Life Wisdom session. We watched one of the Master’s Life Wisdom that was chosen by Edward. Shortly before that, we had Hui Ying and Karen who introduced Life Wisdom to all and explained the reason we watch it.

After that, we had Environmental Protection Presentation by Edward. Edward gave us a very convincing presentation on the Earth Crisis that we are facing now. Our hope was that the audience will love our earth and be a more responsible citizen. This was then followed by sharing from Beth about her experience on Flood Relief and also what other Tzu Chings did in Flood Relief last summer.

Next, we had the sign language performance presented by the Planning Team. The song that we presented was “Gratitude, Respect and Love”.

The following session was a short praying session hosted by me. (You Ning Lee) We prayed sincerely and faithfully, hoping that there will be less disasters and sufferings and that everyone can live peacefully, happily and healthily.

Towards the end, we presented an appreciation card to Wu Shr Gu, who had been our advisor for years. Thank you, Wu Shr Gu, for your guidance, advice, and company all these while! We will keep up our good work and we will miss you always.

We also presented small Jing Si Bookmarks to our audience as souvenirs.

It’s dinner time! Sincere and earnest gratitude to all Shr Gu’s and Shr Bo’s for preparing the delicious food. Thank you Shr Gu’s and Shr Bo’s for your love and support! Special thanks too to Sheau Wen, for preparing the drinks. All of us felt so homely with all sorts of home cooked dishes and handmade pastries.

Finally, thank you everyone for coming. Thank you very much to each and every one of us for making this Tea Party a success. Thank you for all the hard work, patience, cooperation and perseverance.  We are very happy to see so many new members signed up this year. We hope to see you again in future activities. Let’s learn from each other and work hand in hand, together we spread the seed of love around and make a difference to our world. Once again, Gan En to Shr Gu’s and Shr Bo’s, Beth and Edward and also to all the Planning Team members!

Special Thanks to Lai Shr Bo for sending me those really nice photos! Gan en, Shr Bo!