BEIJING - The constant smile on Xia Lin's face often leads people to forget that she has been confined to a wheelchair for 20 years.
The 24-year-old woman, who lives in the eastern Chinese city of Wuhu, has been confined to a wheelchair since 1992, two years after she was diagnosed with poliomyelitis. Her father died when she was seven, and she now lives with her mentally-disabled mother.
However, Xia found a silver lining in 2010 when the local Communist Party of China (CPC) branch in the subdistrict of Zheshan launched a volunteer program to help people in need.
Today, nearly 1,000 CPC members serve in more than 20 One Meter of Sunshine (OMS) volunteer teams in Zheshan, and they provide a range of services, including help with household duties, psychological consultation, medical care and legal advice.
Meanwhile, the CPC's Wuhu municipal committee has expanded the program throughout the city of 3.8 million people.
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