Kids, News Articles, Volunteer

Club USA Need Your Help

昨天在臉書上看到世界日報的一篇文章, 有關一位自己是第三代華裔, 由康乃爾大學畢業, 連續30多年幫母校面試申請學生的Andrew Young, 因為看到許多華裔孩子因為來自家庭和課業的壓力, 最後選擇自殘或自殺, 他為了防範華裔孩子自殺,幾年前成立社團「CLUB USA」, 關懷曾自殺或是自殺高危險群孩子。今年暑假, Andrew又在中半島租了一戶兩層樓的公寓, 作為孩子們的聚會中心以及緊急的庇護所, 讓那些一時對生命失去熱情的華裔學生, 能有個地方讓他們可以短暫休息後再出發。

我看到這篇文章後, 馬上寫信給Andrew Young, 問他有什麼我可以幫忙的.  我們今天在電話上聊了一個多小時, 聽完了我很心痛, 尤其當中有一個孩子自殺被救回後在病床上跟Andrew說, 因為他知道用自殺是唯一一種可以讓母親很傷心的方法, 讓我不禁納悶, 父母有多不願意聽孩子說他心裡的話, 孩子才必須選擇用這麼激烈的方式來傳達他的想法啊. 雖然我自己沒小孩, 但是我很清楚在美國的這些小孩從小到大的壓力, 也是因為他們都是很聽話的孩子 (我自己是個大人眼中屬叛逆的孩子).

以前科技不發達, 學歷也許是出頭天的唯一方式, 但現今網路發達, 想學什麼有網路就可以學, 就看你想不想學而已, 那學歷還真的是唯一的一條路嗎? 你可以逼孩子唸書, 但這一逼, 到底失去多少珍貴的東西? 遠見這篇 雇人不再看學歷, 希望可以讓大人們好好思考一下.

就像嚴長壽先生在演講上(Youtube 從1:46開始看)直接點出未來教育的趨勢,希望灣區華人社會家長打破用學歷評斷孩子未來的迷思。他說未來世界變化快速,人工智慧發展已是不可逆的現實,未來只有有溫度的服務業,才有可能在未來找到立足的機會。(註 : 這個廣義的服務業, 包括醫生到速食店的服務員都屬服務業。)

嚴先生認為過去的社會讓孩子學習過於專注於「做事」,但是「學習做人」、「懂得生活」同等重要,學做人指的是自己的涵養與面對事情的態度,在自由民主時代更要具備思辨能力,不被龐雜的資訊牽引;嚴董事長同時引用胡適的話,有三個指標可以辨別一個社會是否成熟,包括看他們怎麼「對待女人」、怎麼「教育孩子」、怎麼「規劃下班後的時間」,如果下班後能夠欣賞音樂、舞蹈、戲劇、美術,才叫做懂得生活。

嚴董事長期許年輕人了解未來世界的四個趨勢 :

1. 不要做Me, too 的產品,要找到自己的特色,成為「唯一」、成為「獨一」。也因此年輕人不可以再用現有的方式學習,現有的方式思考。

2. 學好中文與英文很重要,因爲中國與美國是未來兩個重要的經濟體。英文尤其重要,因為很多重要的文獻都是用英文發表,年輕人不要讓語言成為學習的障礙。

3. 除了「學術」能力外,還需要具備「藝術」與「技術」兩項能力,缺一不可,同時具備也可避免思考單一。

4. 培養自己4C能力 (Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking),因為真實的社會沒有一件事是依靠個人之力即可完成,因此要懂得與人合作、懂得溝通並表達自己、懂得思考與辯證不被他人駕馭、並多多透過親身參以豐富自己的體驗並激發創意。

最後,嚴先生分享成功秘訣,他認為投入工作時要有「Vision」、「Mission」 與 「Passion」。視野是要靠很多成功與失敗經驗的累積而養成,在找到自己的方向後,就要以無比救藥的熱忱、鍥而不捨的決心向前邁進,最終定能走向成功 。

– – – – –

Andrew Young說他需要錢, 他打算透過幾個方式, 試圖從政府那裡得來一些經費, 才有辦法多成立幾個Club USA, 因為美國其他州也有幾個城市是華裔移民集中的區, 也有許多華裔學生有相同的問題; 我則建議不要低估民間私人的捐款, 平常我就常見朋友間各式各樣的募款活動, 每個人有能力多少捐一些, 積少成多也不無幫助, 所以我提議幫他做一個影片.

他跟我說, 那些高危險群的華裔孩子的父母不會願意讓他們上鏡頭, 因為這在華人文化裡是一個丟臉的事, 我說, 那就找同樣是華裔, 歷經過那種壓力, 但並沒有自殘或自殺的孩子, 一樣可以提供一些心路歷程, 可以讓影片更有說服力.

如果你, 或是你的孩子, 是正在Cupertino or Palo Alto 高中唸書或已經從Cupertino or Palo Alto 高中畢業的嗎? 我想看看灣區朋友們有沒有人願意談談他們的經驗, 也許他們可以站在他們的角度來幫助, 鼓勵正在經歷的人.  不想露臉沒關係, 我可以模糊你們的臉或者只拍你的下半身, 因為說話的聲音才是主角.

如果大家都選擇默不作聲, 只因為不想找麻煩, 或者認為這是丟臉的事, 難道要一直看自己的孩子, 或朋友的孩子 一直自殘和自殺嗎?  別忘了, 我沒有小孩, 這件事我可以不要參與, 我只是在乎, 每一條生命都應該被尊重和珍惜.

有沒有華人教會願意讓Andrew Young去做說明和募款? 我聽說教會朋友都很熱心??

請跟我聯絡!!!! 也請幫我 “轉貼/Share” 出去, 讓更多人知道這些華裔孩子需要幫助. 有錢的出錢, 有力的出力. 一起幫助我們的下一代.

如果你的孩子需要Andrew Young的幫助, 請直接聯絡他 415.258.2872.

在台灣的孩子的自殺率, 似乎也在增加中, 剛好看到這篇遠見的文章 “想自殺的孩子怎麼了?”  是由一位美國認證心理諮商師的台灣人所寫, 文章中說, 在美國與台灣,自殺都是青少年前三大死因之一。在美國,每一年約有三十多個12歲以下的孩子自殺,目前年紀最輕的個案,是在2009年,佛羅里達州一位6歲的小女孩,在房間裡上吊結束自己的生命。

 

Bonsai, Events, Photography, Volunteer

56th Annual Bonsai Show by Kusamura Bonsai Club

13131226_10154288987572223_8289228254360595112_o13087873_10154288987472223_2567353921275505358_n(Photo credit: Kusamura Bonsai Club)

4/30-5/1, 2016 是Kusamura Bonsai Club 56週年Bonsai Show at Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto.

IMG_7343Photoshoot-sm(Photo credit: Kusamura Bonsai Club)

今年我是攝影師義工, 拍攝今年所有展出的Bonsai (70+ plants).  我只需要帶相機和腳架, 他們提供LED Lighting and Black paper backdrop,  還有搬運植物的人手 (有的植物可是非常重的), 還有照片後製.  由於場地限制, 我就以我能力範圍內能做的盡量做了.  今年算是我的一個練習 (首次用LED lights拍照, 之前是用在Video上居多), 明年就知道有哪些可以改善, 讓照片水準再好一點.

我挑了幾張出來給大家欣賞, 其他的照片請上官網 (他們後製好後會上傳到官網上).

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Visit Us In May

If you bought a tree during our show and would like to know more about how to care for it, please attend our May 20th meeting. We’ll talk about how much to water and when and about the importance of fertilizer. We’ll demonstrate basic pruning to keep your tree looking good. This workshop is also for newer club members who want to bring in a tree and get some assistance. We’re asking more experienced members to bring in a pair of scissors and perhaps a concave cutter and be prepared to assist new members.  We ask that you bring only one tree so we have time to help everyone that attends.

 

相關閱讀: Golden State Bonsai Federation,

Volunteer

Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley

Taking care a home is no easy task, not only you need to have the skill sets but also you need to be physical fit in order to do the job plus it cost money.

Through a vast network of volunteers, corporate sponsors, and sub-contractors, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley (RTSV) provides critical home repairs to over 300 clients per year.  The majority of the low-income homeowners we serve are elderly seniors and people who are physically and financially unable to maintain safe and warm living conditions for themselves and their families.

We are able to provide all of our services, at no cost to the recipient, by utilizing volunteer labor and donated and reduced cost supplies and materials. By leveraging these resources we are able to produce $8 of repairs for every $1 donated.  Since our establishment in 1991, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley has renovated nearly 2000 homes and community facilities at no cost to the service recipient.

要維護一個住所不是一件易事, 你不但需要有一些知識和技能, 你還得夠健康強壯, 外加有點預算, 才有辦法做些房子維修相關的事.

透過一個龐大的, 具有各項才藝的義工們, 大公司的贊助, 具有維修房子技能的工頭們, RTSV這個非營利組織, 每年幫助三百個低收入戶, 殘障人士和老人, 免費維修他們的住所, 確保他們的居住環境的安全.

義工捐獻他們的時間, 加上相關產業捐贈或提供折扣的材料, 每一塊捐贈的錢可以創造出價值八塊錢的維修成果. 自從1991年, RTSV已經免費維修將近二千個住所.

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(Above chart and list are from 2015 / 上圖是2015的數據)

Every 4th Saturday of April and October is RTSV’s Rebuilding Day.  I volunteer to be the photographer this year to documenting the repair process of three projects.  Arrived on the first project at 7:45am, took before photo and then go to the next one, and hoping between three different projects to capture different progress shots, group shots, and after shots. By the time I left the last project is 6:00pm and we were lucky to have a really nice weather – no rain, not hot.

每年四月和十月的第四個週六是RTSV的Rebuilding Day.  今年我自願做攝影師, 幫忙拍攝三個Projects的維修過程.  早上七點四十五分先到第一個房子, 拍了Before照片, 然後去下一個房子, 每個房子待個十五到二十分鐘, 拍攝不同階段的維修照片, 團體照片和After照片.  當我離開最後一個房子時, 已經是傍晚六點了, 而且今年運氣不錯, 因為天氣很配合, 沒下雨也沒有很熱.
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Before and After

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20160423_RTSV-120-1So glad to see some young adults volunteer their time to help out and learn some really useful skills.

很高興看到一些青少年來當義工, 學習一些實用的技能.

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(Preference is giving to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities who are unable to do the repairs and who have no able-bodied family members who might do the work)

If you know anyone who meet the requirement above that need help to repair their home, you can go to RTSV’s website to apply.

如果你身邊有人符合資格, 且需要幫助維修他們的住所, 請上官網申請.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.43.51 PMHere are ways you can help:

1. Donate your time, be a volunteer

2. Donate money Now and ask your company for matching OR put RTSV on your Trust as a beneficiary (Tax ID#77-0289381)

3. Donate your car, building materials or provide a discount for supplies

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.26.31 PM4. Shop at AmazonSmile by going to your account > Change your Charity > Search for Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley > Select Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley

5. Ask your company to Sponsor a project; Bring your group to volunteer on a Rebuilding Day as a team-building day.

Each Rebuilding Day project is supported by a financial sponsor. Sponsors have the opportunity to choose the homeowner they serve, as well as provide a group of volunteers on Rebuilding Day. The Rebuilding Day experience allows your office, congregation, group or team to work together to create a better living environment for a homeowner in need; surely an unforgettable experience for all involved.

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To see more photos from Spring Rebuilding Day, please check out Flickr!!

The next Rebuilding Day is 10/22, and I hope to see you there!!!

Flower Arrangement, Volunteer

Random Acts of Flowers – Silicon Valley

How would you feel if someone hand delivered a fresh and beautiful made bouquet to one of your family member who stay in a hospital or assisted living when you and your family were living too far away or too busy to visit as often as you wished?

當你的家人因病住進醫院或有老人家住在安養院, 而你和其他家屬因為住的太遠或是太忙, 無法如願常去探望, 這時若有義工替你送上一束美麗的鮮花給你的家人, 我想收到這束花的人, 應該會很開心吧??!!

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) did just that!!!  They recycle flowers and vases donated from local flower shops, retail stores, weddings and parties, and volunteers will then deconstructed and rearranged them to create beautiful bouquets, and hand deliver each of them to individuals in healthcare facilities.

Random Acts of Flowers (RAF) 的宗旨很簡單, 就是讓不常有親友探望的病人或老人知道, 還是有人關心他們的. 這個非營利組織回收來自當地花店或超市, 婚禮或喪禮的花材和花器, 義工們會整理花材和花器, 然後發揮每個人的創意和美感, 將這些回收的花材, 變成美麗的花束, 然後送到醫院或安養院, 親手將每束花送到病人手上.

RAF currently has 4 locations in the country – Headquarter in Knoxville, TN; Chicago, IL; Pinellas, FL; and Silicon Valley, CA.

目前RAF在全美四州有設據點 – 田納西州, 伊利諾以州, 佛羅里達州, 北加州.

RAF Silicon Valley is located in Menlo Park and is celebrating its First Anniversary with 8000 bouquets delivered into 4 hospitals, 23 senior care facilities, and 3 community health organizations.  Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 10:00 to 12:00 is the Orientation.

RAF 矽谷據點位在Menlo Park, 四月份正在慶祝一週年, 一年來已經送出八千束鮮花到四家醫院, 二十三家銀髮中心和三個社區健康組織.  每個月的第一和第三個星期三的上午十點到十二點是義工訓練.

IMG_7309I invited my talented friend Roberto to attended the orientation today.  We had so much fun.  Sara, the program manager told us the history of the organization, where the flowers and vases came from and where they are going to, what they need volunteers for, and what they have done so far.

我邀請我在Filoli上插花課認識, 很有插花天份的朋友Roberto和我一起去今天的義工訓練, 能夠和志同道合的朋友一起做一件事, 真是美好.  莎拉 (活動經理) 告訴我們這個非營利組織的由來, 花材和花器從哪裡來, 插好的花束上哪去, 義工們可以幫忙哪些事項, 目前他們完成的階段.

Then we start by helping out deconstruction the flowers they have pickuped this morning.  We went through different type of flowers, clean them up, keep the good condition ones and separate them by color.

接著我們把其他義工今早送來的回收花材檢視挑選, 修剪, 只保留狀況不錯, 還可以存活五天的花材, 然後按顏色分類.

IMG_7320IMG_7321We have a florist come to show us how to choose a right size and shape vase, choose two to three different shades of colors with some greens, how to arrange them in hand, and then cut to the length of the vase, and drop it in.  Then write up the card with the name who donate the flowers and who arrange the flowers.

然後有位花藝設計師來教我們怎麼選擇花瓶, 選擇二到三種同色系但不同深度的花, 先握在手上, 剪成花瓶的高度後插入, 在略做調整, 最後將捐贈花材的廠商名字和插花者的名字寫在卡片上後, 就算完成.

IMG_7314Finally, it’s our turn.  We get to do the fun part, play with flowers!!!!!

最後就輪我們了. 有這麼多不同的花材讓我們挑選, 選擇太多也會讓人一時之間不知從哪下手呢!!!

IMG_7324IMG_7328IMG_7317IMG_7326I made two bouquets.  I don’t think I had the talent but they are not picky which is good!!!

我插了二束, 我覺得我還真的沒什麼插花天份, 好在他們的要求也不高就是了.

Volunteer weekly schedule:

Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral donation pickup.  From 12:30-3:30 is Deconstruction.

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-12:30 is Floral arranging.  From 1:00-2:30 is the Delivery to healthcare facility.

Fridays from 8:30-11:00 is SF Flower Market pickup.  From 12:00-3:00 is Deconstruction.

Saturdays & Sundays are closed.

Since RAF Silicon Valley is only one year old, they have only two staff members to run this location so the hours are limited but they are hoping to change that in the near future to allow people who want to help after work.

Here are ways you can help:

1. Donate your time, be a volunteer

2. Donate money Now or put RAF on your Trust as a beneficiary (Tax ID#26-3006360)

3. Donate vases or flowers (if you are having a wedding or funeral or you own a floral shop)

4. Shop at AmazonSmile by going to your account > Change your Charity > Search for Random Acts of Flowers > Select Random Acts of Flowers

5. Ask your company to Hold a vase drive; Sponsor an event or initiative; Bring your group on a team-building day; Speaking engagements.

6. RAF will receive a $1 contribution from FTD for every specially marked bouquet purchased between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 (remember to use EBATES to get 12% cash back).

If you want to do some volunteer work, you can check out Volunteer Match, create your own profile (location, skills, interests), and it will pop up current volunteer work that match your profile setting, then click on “I Want To Help”, someone from the organization will contact you.

1/23/2018 Update:

Dear Random Acts of Flowers Supporters,

Since opening two and a half years ago, you have helped bring the simple mission of Random Acts of Flowers to life in Silicon Valley. Because of your commitment of time and resources, RAF has been able to improve the health and well-being of over 29,000 people in hospitals, hospice and assisted living centers.

Undoubtedly, you have changed many, many lives in this community – transforming fear, anxiety, and loneliness into happiness, hope and the awareness that we are never alone.

Our mission has flourished here, yet this branch has struggled against financial challenges driven by increasing facility rent and other operational expenses. The local RAF board members have worked closely with the National RAF team to explore every opportunity to decrease costs, increase our funding base and/or other alternatives to continue our mission – but to no avail.

Unfortunately, we have come to the collective conclusion that the Silicon Valley Branch is not sustainable over the long term given the rising cost structure and the small, but generous donor base that has so passionately supported us. For this reason, the decision has been made to shut down our operations this spring. We will be making some changes immediately to maintain deliveries to those hospitals and nursing facilities that represent our core community in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Please accept my sincere appreciation for each and every one of you. I am so proud of all many smiles we’ve delivered and the lives we’ve positively changed. Although today’s announcement is a sad one, I’m convinced with your help we can hold our heads high and be proud of how we nudged this community with compassion and kindness.

Thank you again for your passionate support of Random Acts of Flowers.

Sincerely,

Larsen.

LARSEN JAY

FOUNDER / CEO

Random Acts of Flowers

“Recycling Flowers…

Delivering Hope and Encouragement”

Office: (865) 248-3045

Cell: (865) 384-2656

Larsen@RandomActsofFlowers.org

People, Volunteer

給人幸福,自己更幸福

(淚流不止中)  

在Facebook上看到朋友貼了這一個短片 – “沒有改編,沒有劇本,這是一次真實紀錄,紀錄了幫助一個雙眼失明的8歲小孩-呂岳駿成為鼓手,站上大舞台的圓夢計畫。透過楊力州導演、鼓手緯緯、四分衛樂團和1000名熱情喝采的觀眾,分別用不同方式為岳駿帶來幸福的過程,證明了只要願意為他人付出微小幫助,便能深刻體會,給人幸福,就是幸福。”

help-others-achieve-their-dreams-and-you-will-achieve-yours-quote-1幫助別人, 其實得到最多的是自己.

一個八歲的失明小男孩, 這一個經驗, 可能改變他的一生.  與其給他魚, 不如教他怎麼釣魚.  失明不是障礙, 因為他不知道看得見是什麼感覺.  因為阿公無法幫他一輩子, 他需要的是我們大人給他機會, 幫助他找出一個技能, 協助他獨立, 將來可以靠自己過著有尊嚴的日子.

no reason needed也許將來他鼓打得好, 可以到世界各地工作.

如果Ray Charles, Steve Wonder可以成為有名歌手;
如果Helen Keller可以成為有名作家;
如果David Paterson可以成為New York Governor ;
如果Art Tatum, George Shearing可以成為鋼琴家;
如果Jose Feliciano可以成為吉他手;
如果Trischa Zorn, Chis Holmes 可以成為游泳健將;
如果Marla Runyan可以成為奧運Runner選手;

我相信呂岳駿小朋友, 也可以有一個光明的未來.