A Party member on an 18-year volunteering journey

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Zhou Xinwang

 Zhou Xinwang

In his workplace, forty-something Zhou Xinwang is widely known as a stingy guy. The paint on his eyeglass frames has been peeling off for a long time, but he has no intention of changing them.

But to the surprise of his colleagues, in the Guangzhou Entry-Exit Inspection Bureau, Zhou is very generous in voluntary and charitable activities. Over the past 18 years, he has spared no efforts in helping those less fortunate than himself.

Zhou, born in 1972 in central China’s Hubei Province, is a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC). He attributes his enthusiasm for voluntary and charitable affairs to his parents, who sponsored a poor college student while Zhou was also pursuing college education. Their deed deeply impressed Zhou. He decided that he would do the same after he began to earn his own money.

In 1998, a couple of years after Zhou started working, he began to sponsor three kids via the China Youth Development Foundation. After that, he joined a charity website aimed at helping students in poverty-stricken areas and became its executive secretary. With the website’s help, hundreds of poor students have received financial aid from society. Of them, eight were sponsored by Zhou himself.

Zhou has donated a lot of money in sponsoring these students, so he has to watch every penny to make ends meet. In 2007, he got a free T-shirt during a hiking activity and has continued to wear it for years.

In addition to helping poor students, Zhou has taken an active part in blood donation. Over the past 17 years, he has donated blood at least once a year and sometimes twice a year. Every time, he chose to donate the maximum amount of blood he could tolerate. As an adult weighing 75 kg, Zhou has approximately 6,200 ml of blood in his body. Since 1998, he has donated a total of 6,400 ml of blood. Moreover, he has registered to be a bone marrow donor and a cornea donor.

In 2010, Zhou became a volunteer for the Guangzhou Asia Games, offering his services in various communities. When the Games were over, he continued to work at the volunteer station despite the withdrawal of funds. To raise money, he makes handicrafts with other volunteers, selling them at charity bazaars. Every week, he goes to the station once or twice. To ensure he has sufficient time and energy to complete his volunteer work, he has to refuse family and friends’ invitations during weekends and holidays.

To promote volunteer activities, Zhou joined the volunteer team in the Guangzhou Entry-Exit Inspection Bureau and became its vice head and chief consultant. Under Zhou’s leadership, the team has recruited over 430 volunteers, more than half of the bureau’s entire staff. Over the past three years, the team has provided 3,122 hours of volunteer services to 6,860 people.

“I think what sustains his enthusiasm is his belief that giving makes people happy. I respect his pursuit,” said Zhou’s wife.

Zhou’s dedicated efforts in charity and volunteer work have earned him many accolades, including the Most Outstanding Volunteer in China award. “Life is transient. Only those who give can make it impressive,” he said.

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