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Volunteer sees age as no impediment to her work
Central News Agency
2008-12-11 06:04 PM
After having served as a volunteer swimming coach for 23 years, 70-year-old Chao Yueh-nu has now expanded her work to other social service areas, saying that "one is never too old, nor it ever too late to be a volunteer."

Chao, an expert swimmer who excels at the butterfly stroke, came under the spotlight Thursday at a press conference sponsored by the Taipei county government to mark 2008 International Volunteer Day.

Chao has frequently accompanied amateur swimmers taking part in the Swim Across the Sun Moon Lake activity, an annual ritual that is quite physically demanding.

Speaking at the news conference, Chao said that of all the people she has coached, her most rewarding experience was teaching an 11-year-old visually-impaired girl who at first screamed whenever she was in the water but later came to enjoy diving.

During the summer, Chao said, she spent much time at the Zhitan Dam in Xindian on the outskirts of Taipei City serving as a lifeguard.

"I have saved numerous lives," she said.

According to Hsu Ming-yu, chief of the Voluntary Service Center of the Taipei county government, Chao has expanded her volunteer work to other social service areas in recent years.

Chao has visited a nursing home in Taipei County's Bali township to feed ailing seniors and has also worked as a telephone counselor to talk to senior citizens who live alone and to find out about their needs and problems, Hsu said.

At the news conference, the Taipei county government displayed some of the results of the Voluntary Service Center's work over the past year in the educational, cultural, social and medical areas.

With the number of volunteers continuing to increase, the Voluntary Service Center expects to tap 100,000 recruits in the next year to further expand volunteer services in Taiwan's most populous county, Hsu said.

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