Dear fellow PEACH members,
This summer miracles abound.
When I led a group to visit our recipients in China this April, I told the PEACH high school graduates to concentrate on the college entrance examinations, instead of worrying about tuition. If they were to be accepted, PEACH Foundation, I asserted, could finance them; if they were to be turned down, what good was a paid tuition to them. At that moment, I was only trying to encourage the children; the truth was that PEACH Foundation did not have funds designated for college student loans. I have promised them a ¡°blank check.¡±
On July 1, an anonymous donor gave us $20,000 USD that was to be earmarked for college student loans.
In September Anli Chao, Chair of our Taiwan Chapter, accompanied us to survey our prospective recipients. In our enthusiastic attempts to aid more kids, we exceeded our financial limits by promising aid to 80 more kids. On our trip back home, we were agonized by the lack of sources for funding. One week later after we have returned to the States, another anonymous donor appeared and promised to sponsor 50 children.
Anli teased, ¡°You are such an incorrigible dreamer, thinking that your wishes will always be answered, don¡¯t you?¡±
It has been two years since the PEACH Foundation was established, and miracles--large and small--liked these have been numerous.
Our September survey trip was very successful; all the children who PEACH promised to aid have received their scholarships. The new applicants¡¯ households were inspected and applications subsequently approved. PEACH Foundation thanks the He Sisters and the Lai Sisters for their participation.
On August 10th we held a successful barbecue outing for our volunteers. More than 70 people, who share the same convictions of helping poor kids, gathered to view the children¡¯s photos and their share experiences of being volunteers. Anli Chao, our Taiwan chair, flew from Taiwan to the States just for this event.
This year the graduation rate of our PEACH middle and senior high school students is spectacular: 90% of our junior high students past the entrance examinations, 17 graduated from senior high schools, and 16 were accepted by different universities. These include major institutions like Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Electronic Science and Technology, etc. As for those who failed in their first attempts, we encourage and will finance their second try.
Ing¡¯s Educational Foundation has long been one of our most steadfast sponsors; besides sponsoring 50 PEACH middle and senior high school students, the foundation will fully support our Teachers Training program, which will send teachers to Shanghai and Kunming for short training sessions.
Lastly, on behalf of our staff and children, we extend our gratitude to the following people:
Mr. Hsu, who sponsored 50 senior high school student.
Linda, who has volunteered her time in our main office twice a week¡ª rain nor shine.
Thirteen teachers, who choose the most qualified and impoverished children in a fair and impartial method.
PEACH Foundation has been growing tremendously in the past two years. Today, there are 372 recipients and 174 micro libraries, all of which are the fruits of our diligent volunteers and the compassionate donors.
As a final note, I wish to direct your attention to an autobiography written by a senior high school girl whose impoverished background is not particularly unique among the rest; after all, she would not have been accepted otherwise. (This autobiography is written in Chinese.) What so special about this girl is her fantastic writing. Although she is very young, her talents are overwhelming. She thoroughly imbued us with her portrait of how poverty robs human dignity. And what makes me admire her even more is her iron-like steadfastness, her resolve to learn. Her autobiography is a representation of all PEACH recipients¡¯ desire to learn. Our purpose of publishing this autobiography is not to sensationalize, but to inform our donors how their donations have uplifted these children, empower them, and fulfill their destiny.
A word of caution: this autobiography is a ¡®four-handkerchiefs¡¯ tragedy.
Written by Ruth Jeng, Chairperson of Board of PEACH Foundation