Taiwanese Church Embarks on Rural Clothing Drive

Dec 31, 1969 07:00 PM EST

Kaoshiung County, Taiwan- As winter begins to set in the mountainside of Taiwan, Ren-hsiung Presbyterian Church in Kaoshiung County has a plan that will help alleviate the compounded effects of a cold winter and diminished economy in aboriginal villages.

Members of the church here have been collecting and repairing recyclable clothes for two years, mending and distributing them to the poor on the Taiwanese east coast that may have been otherwise thrown away. The project has recently gained the support from a local Kiwanis International chapter.

The project began when an aboriginal pastor approached the Rev. Wang Kun-yi asking him for clothing for his people. As winter was approaching, Kun-yi explained, the cold “climate and economic” situation was taking its toll on the aboriginals. Kun-yi had been having economic difficulties as well, and decided to personally check out the situation in the aboriginal churches.

Rev. Kun-yi reports that although this winter has not been as cold as average, it has been a devastating one for agriculture in the region. Income from selling crops has plummeted, and the market has been devastated.

Last month, the Ren-hsiung church was holding a neighborhood “Marriage Day Festival” during which some Kiwanis members were introduced to the clothing drive. The Kiwanis offered to volunteer for and support the clothing drive, and in short time, their efforts culminated with the church gaining backing from the Nan-hsia Exchange Association and receiving a large shipment of clothing.

“Social concern work begins small and moves out,” explained the Rev. Wang. Although the church is small, with only about forty members, their efforts have resulted in the collection and reparation of many garments.

On December 16, the clothing from the clothing drive was sent out. The clothes will be distributed from Lepa Presbyterian Church, a Tayal Aborigine Congregation.

By Roy Li