November 20, 2004
Dear class of 1972: The three-day cruise has been such a rejuvenating experience. We came home feeling younger, refreshed, and simply happier. Many of us have faced or will be facing the empty nest crisis; we feel lost when all of a sudden there is so much free time in hand and there is no clear goal in front of us. Maybe we can do something together - something meaningful to us and useful to other people; something that can extend our renewed friendship into a lifetime bonding; something we, as a class, can make an impact with our joined force.
We came up with a team project proposal called ?Adopt-A-Class? after some brainstorming sessions. We all have heard that many of Chinese Americans are helping poor kids in China to continue their education by providing scholarship, restoring school houses or donating books and computers. We also found out that some of our own classmates have been doing it for years. We feel that this is a mission with a good cause. By saving the money from a couple of restaurant visits, we can help a poor child to finish one year of school and light up the hope for a better future for his/her family.
After having carefully evaluated a handful of similar charity organizations, we decided to work with the Peach Foundation based in Northern California . The founder of this organization, Ruth Jeng ( 鄭天琴 ) , is a lady of our age from Taiwan . She started this foundation in 2001 to help middle school and high school kids in Yunan ( 雲南 ) and Shuzwan ( 四川 ). In the poor mountainous areas of Western China , currently it only costs $100 to support a middle school student and $200 for a high school student each year. The Peach Foundation is now supporting 600 students; many of them have graduated from high school and are now attending colleges. The foundation also provides scholarships or student loans to those who cannot afford their college tuitions.