Taiwanese teen helped raise $17K from her community

MeiJade Hsu, 13, an eighth grader from Maryland Embassy Photo by Majalya Fernando

MeiJade Hsu, 13, an eighth grader from Maryland Embassy Photo by Majalya Fernando

“I was so shocked most when I saw that many of the children (were) without homes or food.”

The images that Typhoon Haiyan’s unimaginable havoc left in the Philippines made a heartbreaking imprint in the mind of 13-year-old MeiJade Hsu, an eighth grader from Maryland.

On November 16, MeiJade made an emotional appeal for donations during the annual Thanksgiving banquet of the Taiwanese Association of America-Greater Washington Chapter in Rockville, Maryland. She came prepared with empty envelopes.

This week, MeiJade turned over to Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. a check for $17,430 representing the amount she helped raise from her community.

“Taiwan is a neighbor of the Philippines and as good neighbors we should help each other,” said MeiJade.

In her readings about the Philippines, she learned about the ancient links between Taiwan’s Ami and Kavalan tribes and indigenous people from the northern part of the Philippines.

“My mom is of Taiwanese aboriginal ancestry and so I feel even more connected to the Philippines,” she said.

Cuisia expressed his appreciation for MeiJade’s efforts. “I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing to help our suffering countrymen in the Philippines. The enormity of the devastation is unimaginable. The biggest challenge would be to reconstruct and rebuild, and not just houses, but also lives because many farmers and fishermen had lost everything.”

MeiJade was accompanied in her visit to the embassy by leaders of the Taiwanese-American Community led by Mark Kao, President of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, which helped raise the funds along with the Taiwanese Association of America and the North American Taiwanese Women’s Association.

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