This young lady is CEO material--what a leader! Yet she is so humble and sweet. But when I look at the fruits of her work and the extensive attention to detail, I just marvel. I was also glad to be able to connect her with the large charitable foundation that my employer has--one of the most significant such organizations in China--and with another foundation that I encountered through my LDS-related networking in Shanghai. Both foundations are interested in her work and with luck there may be additional funding for her project (definitely in the works, in fact).
Her organization was one of many represented at a volunteer fair I attended recently at a campus of Nanjing University celebrating youth service on Global Youth Service Day, the largest service event in the world. I'm not quote sure why (because I was wearing a suit?), but the TV crew covering the story asked me to comment on the event and on why volunteerism is important. (If you saw a tall funny-looking foreigner on TV trying to speak Chinese, maybe that was me.) At this event I met one inspiring and selfless student after another with various service projects aimed at helping others in China. These are the leaders that will change the world for good.
There has been some bad press from unusual incidents in which people in China seemed to ignore victims of accidents. But in my experience, I see a healthy amount of compassion on the streets--people quietly helping beggars and doing other small acts that show they care. I'm not saying they are the majority, but there are many of them. When two or three or several hundred are gathered into volunteer organizations like those sprouting at many universities, and when they get a little mentoring on how to lead and serve, they are a potent force for good.
Here are some photos from the event. Included are some of our wonderful Young Single Adults from the Nanjing Branch, my wife, the woman who teaches leadership and other skills, and some of the future leaders of China.