San Marino’s Linda Sun received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition from United States Congresswoman Judy Chu at a ceremony held in San Gabriel on April 16. It is the seventh year Chu has presented the award in California’s 27th Congressional District.
Last year, Sun was a key part of two of the most important local election issues: Measure E, the proposed renewal of a parcel tax last March that is vital to the economic health of the San Marino Unified School District, and the Safety Tax that appeared on the ballot in November and helps fund San Marino’s police, fire and paramedic services. Both were approved by voters.
“It is a combination of many things,” Sun said when asked to explain her spirit of volunteerism. She then explained her Catholic upbringing and a Buddhist epiphany that cemented her desire to get involved in the community. Sun practices Tzu Chi, which– literally translated–means “compassion relief.”
“I always admired Mother Teresa,” said Sun. “She helped build a hospital in Taiwan and I was so impressed. Through my work in a charitable organization back in the late 80s, I realized that all humans are pursuing the same goal of peace and happiness. We may have a different skin color, but we are pursuing the same life goal.”
Sun said that when she started volunteering in the San Marino PTA, she would “preach” to new families, telling new residents “they weren’t in San Marino just to enjoy a good life.”
“I would tell my fellow parents, especially those who were new immigrants to the city, that they needed to volunteer and donate to follow up on the long history of giving in San Marino,” she explained. “I told them they had to volunteer, to help each other. This is an outstanding city.”
Sun said she met initial resistance from community members.
“Many of the newer immigrants didn’t understand that even though we have a public school district, we still needed to provide extra support to our schools through avenues such as the Schools Foundation,” she said. “I am trying to preach the message to tell the new immigrants what is going on in our city. They should work together in order to play a very important role. I hope this kind of spirit continues throughout this city. I have read the about the history of San Marino and, from the beginning, the founders wanted to create a different and special place.”
Linda and her husband, Hai-Sou Chen, have a daughter, Emmy, who will be a freshman at San Marino High School in the fall. Hai-Sou is the current president of the Chinese Club of San Marino.
Linda Sun has been active in the San Marino PTA, PTA Council and also served on the board of the San Marino Schools Foundation for six years. She is a past President of Partnership for Awareness.