Volunteering & Giving
August 5, 2014

Spreading smiles, and support, among China’s elderly

To show their community support, Wells Fargo team member volunteers in Shanghai and Beijing spend time with seniors — providing entertainment and sharing meals.

Skilled singers, storytellers, dancers, and standup comedians aren’t typically what come to mind when you think of a gathering of nearly 100 bankers. Yet, team members based in China come together to share their talents and entertain and support seniors on weekends at a care facility outside of Shanghai.

The laughter and joy in the room was infectious, says Fujian Ma, president of the Mount Mogan senior center.

The center is in Zhejiang, a poorer province of China, and lacks many of the modern conveniences of Shanghai. Residents of the facility require around-the-clock care, and most don’t have family to support them, says Han Lin, Global Banking relationship manager.

Team members visit seniors at a care facility in China
Team members visit seniors at a care facility in China

Han says team members wanted to provide a few days of fun for the residents. So, team members in Shanghai enlisted their counterparts in Beijing to join them for two weekends filled with volunteer activities at the senior center.

In addition to performing, the volunteers take meals with them and spent time getting to know them.

“In China, the Western approach to community outreach is a new concept, but we wanted to give back and really embrace the caring spirit of Wells Fargo,” says Han. “It’s been wonderful to provide some companionship and get to know residents of the senior center. Many don’t have family to care for them, so it’s important that we support them.”

Team members noticed that restricted mobility was a problem for many residents, so they raised funds to donate 20 wheelchairs.

“This experience really opened our eyes to the impact we can have by volunteering and giving back,” Han says.