A group of Richmond Taiwanese Canadians is still determined to find a way to say “happy birthday” to this nation.
By: Nono Shen
A group of Taiwanese Canadians is finding alternative ways to say "happy birthday" to this great nation. Photo via Getty Images
This year’s Canada Day celebrations will be slightly different as most events are going virtual and some cities in Canada are considering cancelling celebrations all together in light of the recent discovery of potentially remains of 215 children at a former residential school in Kamloops.
However, a group of Richmond Taiwanese Canadians is still determined to find a way to say “happy birthday” to this nation.
Richmondite Shelley Kuo and her team from the local Tzu Chi Foundation, a Buddhist humanitarian organization, will clean up Richmond neighourhoods, including Gilbert Beach and Richmond Minoru Park.
“It’s no secret that Canadians are very creative and caring about society and Mother Nature. Although no offline events are going on this year, we are still hoping to celebrate the beauty of the country that we live in and create some unique memories with our friends, families and community members,” said Kuo.
People of all ages are welcome to join Kuo to pick up cans, bottles, cigarette butts and garbage on the streets.
“Picking up garbage is a great way to bring people closer within a few minutes. Sometimes, we even have passersby stop to join us. After spending an hour hanging out together, we would end the event by sitting down to share some stories, jokes and snacks,” added Kuo.
“We might not know each other, we might speak different languages and come from different walks of life, but it doesn’t matter after all because our hearts have grown closer.”
This isn’t the first time Kuo and her friends have cleaned up Richmond’s neighourhoods. As an international charity founded in Taiwan in 1966, Tzu Chi Foundation, which has expanded to 372 offices in 47 countries worldwide, has been hosting clean-up events for many years before the pandemic.
“One of the most important Canadian values is seizing the moment of kind thoughts and helping others. We are so proud to celebrate those values on Canada Day,” said Kuo.