A Christmas Story 一個聖誕節的故事

There is much good in the world. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

世上仍有許多美好的事物。聖誕快樂!

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About a week ago, I saw a family receiving help from a charity. The volunteer gave them secondhand clothes and a pair of shoes for a little girl. Her father thanked the volunteer while the little girl looked so happy and stomped around in her new shoes. It deeply touched me. How fortunate I am to live in the comfort of my home without needing to worry about food or clothes on these cold winter days. It also reminded me of my childhood.

大概一個星期前,我看到某戶人家獲得慈善機構的協助。志工提供他們二手衣物,並將一雙鞋子送給了一位小女孩。小女孩的父親看見自己的女兒洋溢著幸福的笑容,連忙向志工道謝,一旁的小女孩則穿起鞋子手舞足蹈。這樣的畫面,深深觸動了我。現在的我無疑是幸運的,無須挨餓受凍,卻不禁使我想起自己的童年。

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When I was younger, my family was also disadvantaged, and I relied on government aid just to be able to eat lunch. I still remember wearing secondhand clothes that don’t fit and gluing my shoes together because the sole would detach whenever I ran too fast. Now, I have my own educational platform, live a comfortable life, and have a tiny bit of influence. I can and must do much more to help.

年幼時,我生長在相對弱勢的家庭,須仰賴政府補助,才能享用學校的營養午餐。我記得自己穿著完全不合身的二手衣褲,必須用強力膠把鞋子黏好,以防我跑動時鞋底又脫落。如今,我有了自己的教育平臺,生活無虞而有餘裕,也累積了些許影響力。我想,自己必須做的更多。

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I began researching possible ways to contribute to needy children, who honestly do not need English learning more than they need food in their bellies and a coat on their shoulders.

由於聖誕節將近,我開始找尋可能的途徑,來幫助那些有需要的孩子。他們需要的不是學習英語的資源,而是能夠裹腹的食物與得以禦寒的衣物。

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Taiwan has a comparatively low poverty rate, partly due to government efforts and its definition of poverty as being low-income. However, what of those not listed in the government tax records? What about those without a roof over their heads? Even when a family is making what is considered the poverty line—anywhere from 170 to 350 USD per month depending on the area—they still suffer from the lack of resources. Think of how much you are currently earning. Would a family of four or five be able to survive on that if they did not have housing?

臺灣的貧困比例相對較低,部分原因在於政府的努力,另一方面則因「貧困」的定義--低收入。但是,那些政府未登記在案亦未申報所得稅者,以及無住房供給的人,又該如何是好?即便一個家庭的所得在貧窮線以上(視地區而定,每月所得約介於170至350美元之間),仍缺乏足夠的資源。想想我們現有的所得,如果一家四口無住房供給,他們是否能夠以此為生?

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I came across a charity program and was inspired by the following (now defunct) charity fundraiser.

我偶然發現了一個慈善計劃,並受到這個慈善募款活動(現已結束)的啟發:http://bit.ly/2WByk8q

We are five international exchange students at NTU who feel welcomed to Taiwan with open arms. In the spirit of the generosity and warmth of the Taiwanese people, we would like to give back by partnering with Andrew Charity Association to provide children in the Taipei area with Christmas gifts in addition to their monthly food boxes delivered by Andrew Charity Association.

我們五位是到臺大交換的國際生。來臺交換期間,承蒙臺灣人熱情的招待,讓離鄉甚遠的我們備感溫暖。因此,我們想與臺灣本土的慈善團體「安得烈食物銀行」合作,於歲末時以「寒冬送暖」的方式,為臺北地區的弱勢兒童送上聖誕小禮、食物箱與新年祝福,讓這份溫暖傳遞給社會中更多的人。

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因此,我立刻搜尋了安得烈慈善協會:

The food boxes from Andrew Food Bank are what these children look forward to the most every month. With the Christmas holidays coming up very soon, we hope to give them another reason to smile in addition to their boxes of food…something small but enough to surprise them and let them know that someone out there cares about them.

安得烈的食物箱是孩子們每個月最期待收到的禮物,聖誕節即將到來,在這個溫馨的節日,我們希望能夠幫助這群孩子的食物箱需用費用之外,同時另外預備適合孩子的聖誕禮物,如文具、保溫瓶等,一份額外的小驚喜,讓他們感受到愛和關懷,也是為他們打氣加油,鼓勵他們在困境中不灰心,帶著希望和勇氣迎接2020年。

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I contacted Andrew Food Bank asked them the procedure for donation. I then researched the organization before thinking about what I could do to help.

我聯絡了安得烈食物銀行,詢問了捐贈的相關程序。我研究了並且認同機構的服務宗旨,並思考著如何提供協助。

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Of course, I could start crowdfunding like the original fundraiser, but with Christmas so close, that would take far too long. I needed funding immediately, and then a Christmas miracle happened.

當然,我可以仿效原先的慈善活動開始募資,但聖誕節將至,這會花太多時間。我需募得資金,以實現聖誕奇蹟。

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That night, out of nowhere, I saw a picture of a sponge scrubber exceeding my new book in sales, so I thought it would be humorous to post the picture with a link to the book. That very night, we sold about 600 books! Now I have the funding needed to purchase about 150 gifts! I only make a percentage of the total revenue, so I decided to donate double of all my proceeds from the sale to purchase gifts in addition to the food boxes for these disadvantaged children. It’s my small way of saying Merry Christmas to you and giving a little warmth to the needy.

當天晚上,我猛然看見一塊菜瓜布的銷量,在博客來網上超過我出版的新書,當下感到莫名的搞笑,就將之截圖下來,在粉絲專頁中發布貼文,並附上新書的連結。不知為何,當晚我們竟奇蹟般地售出近600本書!現在,我已募得足夠的資金,得以購買150份禮物。由於我只能獲得銷售總額的一小部分,因此我將盡綿薄之力,以我個人銷售所得的兩倍為捐款金額,用於購買這些弱勢孩童的禮物,為有需要的人傳遞些許溫暖,並以此向支持我的朋友們獻上聖誕節的祝福。

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The most basic principle of education is caring for those around you and letting them know you care, whether they are your family, friends, or total strangers.

教育最基本的準則是關懷身邊的人,並讓他們知道你在乎他們,無論他們是你的家人、朋友,抑或是素未謀面的人。

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I am not asking you to donate. Instead, let us just remember this principle of caring. Bring a little warmth into other people’s lives. There are many who need your help, and we’re all capable of giving so much love and care.

我並非在請求各位捐贈,而是我們都該記得這個有愛的冬天,以及這樣的生活原則。當我們行有餘力之時,不要忘了為身邊的人伸出援手,把愛傳出去。

There is much good in the world. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

世上仍有許多美好的事物。聖誕快樂!

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安得烈慈善協會: http://www.chaca.org.tw/

Eric’s English Lounge 宗旨與目標: https://bit.ly/2BaENzJ

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