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Celebrating Christmas with children in need of care

By Cao Yin (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-12-23 20:39
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When the famous song, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, reechoing around a rehabilitation center, which cures children with cerebral palsy, on Dec 19 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, all the kids rolled into the "Father Christmas".

The "Father Christmas", performed by a young man, dressing up red clothes, pasting white beard and carrying a bag of presents, walked toward the children slowly with a big smile on face.

"I felt I was the gift in those children' hearts," said Yu Shi, the performer of the Santa Claus. "Because when I shook hands with them, some, who rarely spoke, were talking to me, which made me a quiver of excitement."

Yu, a 23-year-old man from a remote county of Sichuan province, held his dream to stay in Chengdu and now enjoyed the life with music and charity after struggling a period of time.

"At the beginning that I decided to stay here after graduated from Wuhan, many difficulties approached me," he said. "I had nothing except a simple resume. I felt nothing except loneliness."

Chengdu, a prosperous city in the Southwest China, hustling and bustling, was like a fancy place where could create shining dreams, which attracted Yu while brought him huge pressure.

"I was shuttling job fairs again and again. I didn't want to rely on my parents anymore as a man, but the reality, such as the rent, made me crazy and hopeless," Yu recalled.

At that time, John Lennon, Yu's idol, became the backbone in his life. He was always addicted to Lennon’s books, music and movies. "Lennon's work are like bitter remedies to comfort my sorrow in reality."

As surfing on the Internet to deliver resumes, Yu started to find a place to express his thoughts of Lennon's works and daily life. He established a space online to unconsciously record his feelings.

Some netizens followed his articles and showed their willingness to communicate. "We shared ideas of music, thoughts of movies and understanding of life. Then, the magical trust was established among us and I tried to tell them my difficulties naturally," Yu said.

On July 19 this year, Yu joined his online pals to a recovery center for children with mental illness.

"It was the first time I met the online friends. They friends sang, danced and played with those children without hesitation, which made me recognize many people endured distress besides me and they even need more love and concern than me," Yu ssaid.

At the end of that activity, under the encouragement from Yu's pals, Yang sang a cartoon's song to all kids with his guitar.

"I saw the expectation from children's eyes and could feel they need me intensively," Yu said. "I must thank those online friends. They were shining stars in my despairing days, not only because they did me a favor, but also told me how to smile to the reality and love this society."

Yu said he has since decided to relay the love he has received.

From then on, Yu, carrying his guitar, has spent most of his spare time with children born with cerebral palsy and autism.

"I suddenly found my brilliant smiles come back after participating those activities. I hoped to continue handing on love and warm in the future," he said.

Yu said he always remembered one of Lennon's sayings "when we are on the run for life, life has left us", which made him believe life must be enjoyed and enjoyed in a unique way.

"My own way," he said.