Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Donations get 70-year-old a new shipping container

HOME:Contributors on Facebook and a helpful borough warden are making it possible for Liu Chun-hsiu to move into a shipping container home with a bathroom next week

By Tsai Meng-shang and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Liu Chun-hsiu on Wedneday stands outside the shipping container home where he used to live in Kehu Borough in Hsinchu County’s Jhudong Township.

Photo provided by Lu Chien-hung, Taipei Times

With the help of the local borough warden, a 70-year-old man is preparing to move into his new shipping container home in Hsinchu County’s Jhudong Township (竹東) next week thanks to donations from 66 strangers on Facebook.

Liu Chun-hsiu (劉春秀) is a borough native, Kehu Borough (柯湖) Warden Lu Chien-hung (呂建宏) said on Friday.

When Liu was 60 years old, he was forced to move out of his home, Lu said.

Since his parents had already passed away and all of his relatives lived in other towns, Liu, accustomed to living in Kehu Borough, began living in an abandoned shipping container on the side of a mountain road, Lu said.

He lived there for the next 10 years without running water or electricity, Lu said, adding that Liu had to bathe in a nearby creek and use a flashlight at night if he wanted to look for something.

Liu became used to living alone in the mountains, but the window frame and wooden floor of the container rotted out, he said.

On top of that, there were many cracks in the steel walls, allowing cold air to rush into the container during the winter, he said.

Although Liu, as a low-income household, receives a monthly subsidy, he also collects recyclable materials from garbage to make a living, Lu said.

As Liu was unable to purchase a new shipping container to live in, Lu decided to see if any charity organizations on Facebook would be willing to help, he said.

Surprisingly, many donations poured in and within three days, they had reached their fundraising goal, Lu said.

They received a total of NT$201,000 in donations, he added.

When the business selling the shipping container found out that the container was to be used by Liu, it gave Liu a reduced price of NT$160,000 and paid him NT$5,000 for the old container, Lu said.

The remaining NT$46,000 has been deposited into Liu’s bank account, Lu added.

Liu’s new shipping container home has a steel door, an aluminum window and a bathroom, Lu said, adding that Liu is to move into his new home next week.

Liu said he is grateful to everyone who has helped him to live the rest of his life in a familiar place.

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