On March 22, 2017, an American delegation, which included Shanghai-based U.S. Consul-General Hanscom Smith, and Consul Mary Sue Fields visited the Amity Bakery in Nanjing. Qiu Zhonghui, general secretary of the Amity Foundation, received the delegation.
The first domestic bakery-run-by-mentally-challenged-people started in 2007 as a subordinate program of Amity Home of Blessings (AHB). AHB was founded in 2002 to provide services to mentally challenged young people aged from 16 to 40 and their families in the city.
A co-worker of the bakery introduced the products to Hanscom Smith, who was also told the details on the operating model, sales and cost of the bakery's products and operation. The consul-general showed his concern for the life and employment of the underprivileged group.
He learned to make cookies with Qiu, sharing that it was uneasy to spritz cookies. Meanwhile, Qiu explained the other projects of the Amity Foundation, including its internalization, cultivating social organizations and disaster relief. Smith was amazed at the decades' efforts and achievements of the Foundation at home and abroad, holding that only by keeping with the trend of the times can an organization gain sustainable development.
He received a version of the Bible commemorating Amity's 30th anniversary as a gift from Qiu and sent cookbooks in return to the bakery staff.
Translated by Karen Luo