Eighty-year-old Chang Hsiung Hsiu-sun works 15 hours a day at three jobs to support herself, but that has not stopped her from giving to those who are less fortunate.
Dubbed “the market grandma” for her well-known presence at the Sanfeng market in Greater Taichung, Chang Hsiung was honored by the city on Sunday as a model citizen for donating NT$1,000 a month to charity for the past decade, even though her monthly income is less than the minimum wage of NT$19,047.
“I just do my best. Doing something good makes me happy and makes my life better,” she said.
Her three jobs at the Fengyuan District (豐原) market keep her busy, with a typical work day that starts at 5am and ends at 8pm.
She works at a noodle shop before heading to a bakery at noon to work as a clerk and then moves over to a fried chicken stall at 2pm.
Chang Hsiung lives with her son, a fruit vendor, but said she continues to work because she does not want to be a burden on him.
Her humanitarianism started when she met people in need at a charity event held at the market 10 years ago.
She started making monthly donations to the Wu Tien Men charity and extra ones whenever she could. She also volunteers with Wu Tien Men.
Wu Tien Men president Chang Ming-kai (張銘凱) said at the ceremony on Sunday that the group had tried to turn down Chang Hsiung’s donations because it was worried about her own situation, but her insistence touched everyone in the organization.
Her generosity also touched Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who presented the octogenarian with her award at the ceremony.