Family | Family Gives Back to Society Through Warm, Honest Deeds

ByYe Shan May 16, 2024

Family Gives Back to Society Through Warm, Honest Deeds


"Honest and warmhearted, and always be ready to help those in need." If you ask people living in Mozhikou for their impression of Qiu Zhijiao's family, you are likely to get the above answer. Mozhikou is a community in Penglai, a district of Yantai, a city in east China's Shandong Province.

Qiu is a member of the 17th executive committee of the women's federation of Penglai District. She is both team head and president of the women's federation of Jiu Jiu volunteers' team in Penglai. Qiu often leads her family in participating in volunteer activities. She and her husband, Zhao Yujun, believe a warm and caring family atmosphere lays a solid foundation for children's healthy growth. The couple sets a good example for their daughter and her child, by urging each member of the family to have a loving heart, to be generous when he/she helps others, and to shoulder his/her social responsibilities.

Companions for Life

Zhao was badly injured in a car accident more than two decades ago. He lost feeling in his right arm and has had difficulty walking smoothly since the accident. Qiu takes good care of her husband. The couple runs a family inn in Mozhikou.

By managing their business with honesty and hospitality, Qiu and Zhao have won a good reputation among their customers. Their neighbors often praise Qiu and Zhao, who have gone through hardships with optimism, and who have persisted in supporting each other.

For Qiu, "being a family" means the "husband and wife are in deep love, and are determined to accompany each other throughout life, and they create a harmonious and happy family." She adds: "Members of a family shoulder their responsibilities, and they need to make contributions to their family's happiness." 

Both Qiu and Zhao hope their offspring will inherit the family's virtues of "showing respect to others, staying enthusiastic about life, being diligent and ready to learn new things, and lending a helping hand to people in need."

Family Gives Back to Society Through Warm, Honest Deeds

Protecting Environment 

The Jiu Jiu volunteers' team was established in Penglai in 2016. As head of the team, Qiu has witnessed the increase in the team's members — from 18, initially, to more than 100 members. During the summer of 2023, the Jiu Jiu volunteers' team founded its women's federation. Qiu was elected the federation's president.

Qiu has encouraged her husband, daughter and many relatives and friends to become volunteers, who participate in various public-welfare events. She says members of her team share the spirit of "dedication, friendliness, mutual help and progress together." The members believe they will enjoy happiness, at the bottom of their hearts, if they promote moral virtues and help others.

The Jiu Jiu volunteers' team visits a local nursing home, on a regular basis, to make dumplings for the residents. Almost every weekend, the team helps maintain traffic order in the community. They also cut the hair of elderly residents in the community — for free.

Zhao is very supportive of his wife's volunteer work. He often accompanies her when she visits the nursing home, and he helps her cook dumplings for the elderly. "Sometimes, my husband 'complains' I am so busy with various activities that I don't even have time to eat at home." But, Qiu continues, she is grateful that both her husband and daughter are willing to "back her up" when she provides services to people in need.

During the winter of 2021, Qiu's daughter, Zhao Ya'nan, took part in an environmental-protection activity with her mother. Wearing volunteers' red vests, Qiu and Zhao Ya'nan picked up garbage along the seashore of their hometown. Last year, Zhao Ya'nan also helped cut elderly residents' hair. She said she enjoyed working with her mother, as they made contributions to society, by helping others. She also said she wanted to teach her child the warmheartedness shared and passed on by volunteers. 

Family Gives Back to Society Through Warm, Honest Deeds

Positive Influence 

When asked about the positive influence her family has received, from their participation in volunteer activities, Qiu told Women of China, "We have gained a deeper understanding of our happy and stable life today. Our hearts are filled with a strong sense of fulfilment when we lend others a helping hand. We have raised our awareness of shouldering our social responsibilities, and we have paid more attention to the construction of our community." 

The volunteers' team is normally busier during holidays and weekends. Qiu and her family have spent many holidays with elderly people in the local nursing home. The family has also donated clothes and books to children in mountainous areas. "We collected and packed up the clothes and books, which were to be delivered to children living in the mountains. As we learned the children were very happy to receive our donations, and especially as we saw pictures of the children's smiling faces, my family was proud of the kind deeds," Qiu recalls.

In May 2023, Qiu's family was selected a National Most Beautiful Family. The family considers the honor "a precious treasure." Qiu says her family ought to work harder to spread the volunteers' spirit and family virtues throughout society. 


Photos from Interviewees and Penglai District's Women's Federation

(Women of China English Monthly April 2024)


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