The inspiring story of a woman who spent her life in service to others
Huilin Liang loves gathering a community together for a greater cause. She’s done it all her life, but over time she realized that her desire to be generous would become her lifelong career.
She was born in Guangdong province in 1942 and moved to Taiwan at the age of seven after China’s civil war. She eventually received education credentials and taught elementary school for several years before meeting her husband, a PhD candidate in material engineering, who received a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.
From 1968-1970, she got married, left for the US, and had a child. They did not have much money, so she began babysitting for other Chinese couples in school so she could take care of her daughter. She also began teaching Mandarin at Chinese schools and helped newly arrived Chinese families find work and housing, even lending them money and providing them room and board until they could take care of themselves.
By the 1980s, the first waves of Chinese immigration rolled into the United States. “I remember those first students who came in 1986. They arrived with $10 in their pockets, and little idea of what to do,” she says. She gathered her community association and Chinese friends for any and all donations.
Her ability to successfully gather Chinese communities prepared her for her job as an Asian sales manager for a grocery distributor. She built her share of the business from $50,000 to $210,000 in her first year. She continued launching community groups for youth and seniors.
Currently, Liang is president of Huana International Volunteer Service Group in China, with hundreds of students, young professionals, and business leaders to assist with her projects.