Chinese Siblings Honored By Jefferson Awards

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For one San Francisco Bay Area family, fundraising for Half the Sky started with Richard Bowen’s book, Mei Mei, Little Sister: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanage. When Ava Chan showed the book to her 14-year-old son Peter and her 13-year-old daughter Vivian (pictured above with Half the Sky Operations Director, Ivy Yu) two years ago, they poured over the haunting portraits of girls living in Chinese orphanages. “We were so touched by the moving photos,” says Peter. The siblings asked Ava: “Mom how can we help? They kept going back to the Mei Mei book and asking, “What if they don’t get adopted?”

Ava told her children that the older the children living in Chinese orphanages are, the less chance they have of being adopted. For Peter and Vivian, her answer was a call to action. For Christmas, instead of asking for toys, Peter and Vivian asked their relatives and friends for cash so they could add those funds to their allowance money to sponsor a child.

It is for their selfless work, that Peter and Vivian were recently honored by the Jefferson Awards. Their story will be aired on KCBS radio on June 24 at 9:50am. CBS 5 will also air a segment on the siblings during their Eyewitness Newscast at 6 o’clock.

For more information about Vivian and Peter Li visit For more on the Jefferson Awards visit


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