Briton doled out food to homeless people in China for 7 years
A British engineer sold out his three companies, estate and two race cars seven years ago and came to Xi’an, China, to provide food to the homeless people. Recently, his story has garnered much support and respect from many Chinese netizens, while some others sniff at it.
46-year-old Tony used to be an electrical engineer in the British Royal Navy. He ran three companies after leaving the army, and owned an estate and two race cars. He said that he suddenly grew bored of his hectic life on one day in 2002, and then decided to sell his companies, house and cars and left England for a trip around the world.
In 2005, Tony set up “Yellow River Charity Kitchen” in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Tony said, “Yellow River Charity Kitchen” has two goals: help those who wish to offer help, offer help to those who need help. Their handing out baozi (Chinese steamed buns) to the homeless went from one day per week to three days per week. “Some people said, ‘No, I can’t help them (the homeless). They may have a house and a car back in their hometown,’” Tony said, “We don’t make judgments as to who are real and who are fake. The reality is, after all, most homeless people are real. As long as we can help them, this thing becomes meaningful..” Tony even used the Chinese proverb, 瑕不掩瑜, (One flaw cannot obscure the splendor of the jade) to express his opinion that the defects cannot belittle the virtues.
Clothes donated by caring people take up an entire room, June 27, Xi’an. Tony says they hand out clothes on a regular basis. People often encourage the homeless to find a job, but Tony disagree with that idea. “People differ in their capabilities. Some people, such as the handicapped, the old and the intellectually challenged, have no choice. Some others just don’t feel like a change at the moment, so, just let them be. Our job is to provide services to them.”
Tony said that because the homeless do not have a sense of security, they would tell newly-arrived volunteers not to ask those homeless people why they choose to beg in the street instead of finding a job, “Their right to choose a life like this should be respected. People have the right to choose how they live their life.” So far, the freebies they offer have expanded to include hair-cut, shower, clothes and quilts.
Tony eats boxed lunch or steamed buns with veggie stuffing.
Tony contacts the owner of a baozi shop and tells him the quantity needed.
Tony shows the photo in his cellphone of the car and the country house he once owned.
A photo of Tony and a few foreign volunteers.
Tony and the baozi shop owner stay friends across the years.
A homeless person expresses his gratitude for Tony.
Every time after he finishes handing out baozi, Tony spends 15 minutes walking to a nearby bus stop and rides a bus home.