Volunteer in DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation Shares Her Life Story of Contribution
Twenty years ago, Cuei-E Li, during an all-time low in her life, took a walk along the alleys. She accidentally stumbled upon the gate of DDM’s Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture – as if Guanyin Bodhisattva had led her there. Coincidentally, she arrived on the day the Guanyin Dharma Assembly was being held. She took the opportunity to enter the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Culture and prostrated to the Buddha. She then asked the staff there regarding her aspirations of volunteering at the institute. From there, the world of Buddhism was opened up to her, and subsequently she pulled herself through her adversities and was able to make a difference to the lives of others.
During her time as a volunteer, two half-brothers left the deepest impression on her. These half-brothers became socially isolated after significant losses and traumatic events, including the deaths of their mother and grandmother and their grandfather suffering a stroke. The younger brother found solace in the support offered by his school teacher, who often took him to basketball games, offering a place to release his grief. Moreover, the staff of DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation continually cared for him, until a later stage, when he was able to return to live with his father.
The elder brother, however, had more difficulty in dealing with his loss. Social welfare organizations assisted him in finding work and accommodation, however, the following Mother’s Day, he left where he lived, and never returned to the place where he worked. Since then, there has been no news from him. Li, who had always tried to help the two brothers, was saddened by this, and hoped that more people would contribute their time and effort to assist those who are in need.
Li said that being a volunteer involves contributing her time, physical strength, and wisdom. Through the process, she feels she is actually the one who has gained the most. After so many years of volunteering, her entire family is in support of her role as a volunteer. At her home, there are often quilts ready to be delivered to those who are in need. Her husband, Sheng-Hsiung Wu, also does his best to help Li’s career as a volunteer by making himself available to escort Li to do all her volunteer work, regardless of the location or time of day.
Li feels that working as a volunteer is just like practicing the six paramitas of “giving, keeping the precepts, patience, diligence, concentration and wisdom.” She truly appreciates all the experiences she has gained from those who have received her care. Because of them, she has had the opportunity to learn how to contribute and to practice the paramitas. Li also appreciates that DDM gave her such a huge field of blessings to cultivate and the opportunity to devote herself to society.
(Translated by Tom Hsieh/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)