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BEAN Minneapolis Blog

Why I Joined BEAN @ Shanghai
Guest blog by Katelyn Alldian, an intern at BEAN @ Shanghai.

As a freshman at Gettysburg College, I went out on a whim and decided to sign up for Chinese 101. Three years later, I found myself sitting on a plane to Beijing to spend the next six months living in China.

After spending the first month of my China experience in Beijing, I have continued onto Shanghai where I am now interning with BEAN and leading an 8-week series at the local Sunshine Disabled Home.

The Sunshine Disabled Home serves disabled adults throughout Shanghai by providing disabled people a place to learn and socialize. BEAN sponsors the Sunshine Disabled Home with monthly and weekly visits and outings. No experience is necessary – but each time you volunteer you will walk away with an unforgettable experience.

The weekly series at the Sunshine Disabled Home has been drawing the some of the same faces each week. It is great for both the volunteers and the disabled adults to see the same faces – it allows a special relationship to form. In my experience, I was not at the Sunshine Disabled Home one week because I was in Europe. The following week when I returned, the adults immediately began asking me about Europe.

Volunteers play an important role in the disabled adults weekly lives. At these events we have taken the disabled adults on outings to the local gym to take “spinning” class, played ping-pong, and done various arts and crafts.

Getting involved in BEAN is a great way to make new friends that share a common interest: having a great time while volunteering.


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