Wed, Sep 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Philanthropist fruit vendor returns to ‘normal’ in Taitung

Staff writer, with CNA

Taitung County vegetable vendor and philanthropist Chen Shu-chu (陳

樹菊) reopened her business early yesterday after a week-long visit

to the Philippines, where she was awarded a Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Chen began work at her stall in the traditional market shortly

after 3am. She declined requests for interviews, saying she wanted

to return to her normal life as a vegetable vendor.

However, what Chen has done over the years is anything but normal.

She leads a frugal life in Taitung and gives away nearly everything

she earns from selling vegetables. She has previously donated about

NT$10 million (US$334,400) to help local children receive education

and improve their lives.

On Monday, she donated another US$50,000, the prize money she

received with her Ramon Magsaysay Award, also called the “Nobel

Prize of Asia,” on Aug. 31 in Manila. The money was given to

Mackay Memorial Hospital’s Taitung branch to build an intensive

care unit.

Chen said that before her trip to the Philippines, she had taken

only three “vacations” from her business since she started

selling vegetables at the age of 13.

The first two times were when she was sick and admitted to

hospitals in Taipei and Hualien. The third time was when she

visited New York to attend a dinner after being named by Time

magazine one of the 100 most influential people in the world in

2010 because of her philanthropy.

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