Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Taiwanese Frugal Vegetable Seller- Chen Shu-Chu


streetsoftaipei Saw in the news yesterday that a frugal vegetable seller, Chen Shu-Chu (陳樹菊) has been honoured by Time Magazine for her generosity to education. She is named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

She lives on NT$100 each day while she found the time and resources to donate NT$10 mllion (S$437,000) over the years to a school and orphanage for the past 17 years!

She has helped contribute to a children’s fund, build a library, give financial support for three children at the orphanage etc. One reason for her focus on education and children was the fact that she was born to a family that was so poor that she did not complete elementary school (primary school for us Singaporeans).

The 61 years old vegetable seller in Taichung, Taiwan has been selling vegetable since she was 13 to support her family. She gets up at 2.30 am each morning to set up her stall and greet customers in the early morning market.

To get the award, she is taking the plane for the first time in her live and she doesn’t even have a passport. The news yesterday showed the effort that the Customs and Immigration department went through to speed up the process of her application for the passport so she can get there on time.

Of her donations, she states in the news article that:

“money serves its purpose only when it is used for those who need it.”

She is non-plussed by the attention that is lavished on her by officials, media and the public and questioning what the award was for as giving isn’t a contest.

Lessons for all of us?

  • It is possible to save a large sum of money enough for retirement
  • money given out benefits the society at large (so leave your accumulated fortune back to the society if you don’t spend it all during your retirement)

I am very inspired and humbled by this vegetable seller’s frugality, generosity and most of all her humanity .



1. Northward Ho: http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2010/04/chen-shu-ju-story-in-time-magazine-is.html

2. Taiwan Woman ‘embarrassed’ to enter Time influential list: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20100430-213439.html

3. Vendor flies to US to receive ‘Time’ award: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2010/05/03/2003472049

Related Posts

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment


The information contained in this blog is prepared from data believed to be correct and reliable at the time of publication of this report. The authors do not make any guarantee or representation as to the adequacy, accuracy, completeness, reliability of the information contained herein. Neither the authors or any affiliates or related persons shall be liable for any consequences (direct or indirect losses, loss of profits and damages) of any
reliance placed on information provided in the blog.

Shares and financial instruments illustrated in this blog can go down sharply or in certain instruments suffer total loss on the initial investments. Investors are advised to make their own judgment on the information provided and consult their own financial advisors or consultants as to the suitability of the products illustrated to their particular financial needs and objectives before acting on any information contained herein in this blog.