Concert for a Cause

LUYA kids donate favorite toys to orphans; WenShan Residence ‘delivers with care’ these toys to Harmony Home

For today’s Toy Drive,  I brought a fave toy to share; not just any toy. I didn’t want to give it away, but my friend encouraged me to give it, so I just did it”, one LUYA kid commented at the end of the Concert for a Cause recently organized by LUYA Academy. Still another remarked, “I was hesitant to drop my toy into the box, but in the end, I just did it” (saying it with a big smile on her face).

The course on Life Education offered at LUYA leads and guides its students to learn virtues that allow them to practice and develop healthy habits of learning and behaving in family, at school, and among their friends.  The October 13th session creatively designed a session  for LUYA students to experience the Magical Virtues of Songs, Kindness and Giving in a Concert for a Cause which featured Joelle, a trained performer and voice artist from the Philippines who dressed as Princess Anna and performed Disney songs.  It also encouraged LUYA students to bring their toys and share them with orphans, which eventually collected a total of six carton boxes, big and small. While filling out a Quick Feedback on the concert which asked “What did you enjoy most at the Concert for a Cause?”, one student wrote, “I like seeing many toys!”, thanks to the kindness of LUYA’s parents and students. 

And another wrote, “I like to share [my] toys”, unmistakably revealing the child’s  generosity. Still, many answered, “I like to sing and dance. I like singing with the Princess!” Disney songs continuously fascinate people, both young and old, but they enchant the hearts to do good when they match the core virtues that LUYA seeks to inspire and instill in the minds and hearts of the kids.  Rapunzel’s When will my life begin in Tangled matches the virtue of self-discipline; Mirabel’s Waiting on a Miracle in Encanto, empathy and respect; Elsa’s Let it go in Frozen, integrity, etc.  Yet undoubtedly, the sparkling voice of Joelle mixed with the energetic voices of LUYA students filled the whole auditorium with magic which prolonged until after several weeks.

On Oct 29th , in collaboration with LUYA, WenShan Residence gathered a group of eight students and friends to visit and bring with them LUYA kids’ favorite toys to Harmony Home, a Taiwanese organization providing care services –24-hour care, medical assistance, and more educational opportunities– to children of migrant workers to ensure their right to a better life. As caring volunteers, they spent  a couple of hours with the kids –playing with them, feeding them (It was the kids’ lunch time  at 11:30 in the morning.), and cleaning their playroom. It was the first time for many, coming from Taiwan and other parts of the globe like Guatemala, Canada, and the Philippines, to visit the place and accompany the children. One of them, Caloy, who is enrolled in  the Master’s Program of Agricultural Economics at National Taiwan University, disclosed that he was fearful he’d fail, because he didn’t know Mandarin. Yet, after a couple of hours of staying with them, he was reluctant to leave.   He related: “We had to say goodbye to the kids. One of them called me and said, ‘This is for you.’ (給你!). He was offering me a yellow bead. He was very protective of this toy earlier today, but he gave one to me.”  Then, he continued: I couldn’t help but think, what would it take them to start living a life of being loved? If a moment of just being there can make them feel heard, and valid, then maybe a little goes a long way.

Sze Wan, the director of WenShan shares the same sentiment: “I am glad to provide a little of attention and affection to these children who lack them, although only for a brief period of time.” She also added, “I admire their mother for not choosing abortion and pray that they will have a good future when they grow up.”

Meanwhile, Kaye, a student at National ChengChi University, also shared her insights: “I am grateful for the chance to give back to Taiwan, the country that has provided me with learning opportunities; and for the endless hugs from the kids that encouraged me to strive to become a better person.  Although it was a short visit, I hope I left the kids with a happy memory (of playing with a big sister with some new toys) and that they grow up happy and healthy.”  And her new friend, Natalia expressed her feelings of solidarity with the needy: “I enjoyed playing with the kids. It fills my heart with joy that I could spend some time with them. I especially liked carrying one of the babies; this was a very special moment.”

Still, another commented on how the visit left her with  heartwarming thoughts about Christian life: “While I was wiping the mouth of a three-year old child who had just finished some spoonful of porridge mixed with broccoli, carrot and pork, I recalled a Biblical passage, ‘What you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me’, and in my heart, like in a dialogue with Jesus, I understood, ‘What an honor it is to do a little act of kindness to a needful Jesus,  perfect man and  perfect God’.”

The unique experience with the indigent children of Harmony Home moved the student-volunteers of WenShan to want to visit the place again. At the bus stop, while saying goodbye to each other, one suggested, “Perhaps, we could see them again during the Christmas season!” And almost everyone agreed.  Perhaps, it is their way of looking forward to having another magical moment with the kids!