19 Feb Nonprofit Spotlight: Bright Side Projects Offers Mentoring, Support to People in Taiwan
We are constantly amazed at Good360 how many interesting links we make through our product donations. Recently, through a donation from one of our clothing manufacturers, Good360 was able to help a fantastic nonprofit in Taiwan fulfill the wish of a young girl in Canada by bringing a very special Christmas to a remote village, an orphanage, and other communities in Taiwan.
One of our member nonprofits, Bright Side Projects, is based in Taiwan and was founded by California-raised Daisy Lin. Lin provides a platform promoting community involvement with indigenous youths and socially marginalized individuals to provide them education, resources and empowerment.
She was contacted last year by the family of Jia-Xin, a young girl born in Taiwan and adopted by Canadian parents. Jia-Xin said that she had never celebrated Christmas when she was living in Taiwan and wanted to bring the holiday to her native country.
This past holiday season, with the help of Good360, “Santa Jia-Xin” delivered 60 warm weather jackets to children and youth all over Taiwan—including to an orphanage, a special needs home and several remote villages and tribes where many of the children are below the poverty line. “The actual number of people impacted and inspired, either directly or indirectly, is countless and cannot be measured by simple quantity,” says Lin.
When Lin founded Bright Side Projects in 2012, this was exactly the kind of difference she wanted to make. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley, Lin worked in high-profile global business development roles, but her heart was always with activism and social good. She wanted to work on projects that matched her life goals and commitment to volunteer work and planning activities promoting animal welfare, sustainable living and human rights.
“I don’t see any separation between this as a ‘job,’ volunteering, or my life,” says Lin. “Being able to become a part of the larger community and other people’s lives is an honor and the reward itself.”
One of the unique goals of Bright Side is to develop organic long-term relationships with the individuals they serve. Lin distributed the jackets to families that she had worked with the previous year, returning to not only distribute those gifts but also spend time with the families, host workshops and events and celebrate the holiday. “It is what is most important to me,” she says on her web site blog. “Having seen the kids grow from 2012 to 2013 in our monthly workshops has also made a difference in that I knew what items would be most needed and desired…The households were selected on the basis that they would benefit most and beyond the gifts. They were invited to a winter workshop with us since the holidays should be about spending time together, not just about ‘things.'”
Bright Side is an extension of the volunteer portal Handful of Sapphires, also created by Lin. The volunteer portal offers opportunities for Taiwanese-based individuals and nonprofits to engage with their communities in projects and activities. Many of the projects coordinated by both programs include on-site prepared vegetarian meals from volunteers to promote healthy living, connection to the earth, and environmentalism.
“The Good360 donation has connected Bright Side with an even wider range of people we’d like to work with in the future, and it also strengthened our bond with the community we are already a part of,” says Lin. “It’s always a treat to be able to cooperate with an organization like Good360 that takes their work as seriously and professionally as they do, especially when it’s for such an important cause that impacts so many.”