Huiling Zhu had been looking for something to fill her time during her retired years and heard about the ABCD Americorps Seniors Foster Grandparents program through a friend. A Foster Grandparent since 2017, Huiling is assigned to the Josiah Quincy School where she works with students who need extra support and helps them with reading and comprehension, worksheet assignments, arts and crafts and with language skills in Chinese learning class.
Helping others is in Huiling’s DNA. She also volunteers at the Park Street Church cooking and distributing food to the homeless, and with the Homeless Food Truck which provides food and clothes to homeless people every Monday in the Boston Common.
Being a Foster Grandparent brings a great deal of fulfillment to Huiling’s life now that she is retired – which might otherwise be isolating – which is why she encourages others to volunteer. “I feel needed by students and teachers and my health has improved,“ she said.
Huiling describes being nominated as a Community Hero as a “huge surprise and gift for me. I think I am doing what I am meant to do. I am doing this from my heart,” she said.