“I do not wish to contribute money only. I want to serve humanity personally.” These were the thoughts imprinted on Chan Choon Bim’s mind upon encountering Tzu Chi in 1995 when he was still an undergraduate. When he crossed path again with the Foundation in 2011, he happily immersed himself in various activities and even assumed the leadership role within the recycling mission.
There is an old saying that “men seldom live to 70”, but for volunteer Lee Kim Tong, his new chapter in life begins at 80. In October 2016, he returned to Tzu Chi’s spiritual home in Hualien to be certified as a Tzu Cheng Faith Corp by Master Cheng Yen. That ceremony marked the beginning of a lifelong commitment, as he can no longer muddle along through life.
“He used to be hot-tempered but is now easy-going.” “She used to be brand-conscious but prefers the Tzu Chi brand now.” Lee Siow Si of 27 and her elder brother, Lee Kia How of 33 were both teasing each other.
“We were both busy with our lives after graduation. But when we met again, I envied her radiant complexion,” Lim Mee Ling exclaimed. She was very keen to find out about her secondary schoolmate, Ngooi Pek Wah’s natural happiness.
Slightly hunched, Goh Cheng Lian stood in front of the washing basin cleaning a pile of cutlery. The granny has always performed her tasks silently.
While most would feel homesick, especially having to receive medical treatment far from one’s homeland, yet there was a sense of belonging – all due to the care from local volunteers. Upon returning home, Yeo Twee Tien and his parents reciprocated with their time and energy. Instead of staying at home looking after their grandchildren, the retired grandparents have devoted themselves to serving the humanity.
In Tzu Chi Melaka, two aged volunteers, Teo Soo and Khoo Kim Choo, used to be recycling truck attendants, who worked well with the driver, Benny Lee. However, from this year onwards, and due to her illness, Kim Choo has chosen to stay at the recycling centre to do sorting, while Teo Soo, despite her vertebral injury, continues with outdoor recycling activity. Both have found joy by serving in Tzu Chi.
Two weeks plus into the Lunar New Year, volunteer Yee Kok Yan departed peacefully, marking an end to his 37-year journey of life. Volunteers bade him a final farewell and wished him a quick rebirth to resume his much-loved role as a Tzu Chi volunteer.
To ease the burden at the recycling centre, Heng Bok Meng would set aside one day in every three weeks to transport a full load of recyclables to Port Klang, converting the recyclables into kindness that could help more unfortunates.
From donating blood, running a marathon on barefoot, navigating a boat for photo shooting in the sea, enrolling into philosophy and life education courses to scooping rubbish up from the sea, Chua Hock Boon has opened a door to an enriching life, unrestrained by his level of formal education, which stopped at Form 2.