From her modest beginnings selling soybeans Chang Yuzhen went on to become a successful businesswoman. She now puts the bulk of her wealth into helping others. Coming from a family of soldiers, she knows well their hardships and has set up a veterans’ home, a veterans’ welfare settlement, a soldiers’ resort village and an orphans’ village in the old Liberated Areas. She also set up an exhibition hall for patriotism education, an ecological garden for the protection of the environment, and has donated money to disaster-affected areas.
From selling soybeans, wheat, seedcakes and soybean milk, Chang Yuzhen gradually developed her own store, and now she runs the Changji Shopping Mall with six sub-stores, covering 21,000 square meters and with 60 million yuan of fixed assets. It is difficult to imagine the problems she confronted. But when she became wealthy, she decided it was important to repay society, and devoted her life to welfare undertakings. After the severe earthquake in Tangshan, Chang invested 240,000 yuan in 1991 in the place to set up two wholesale markets in textile goods, and gave them to the local bureau for industry and commerce. In order to revive Pingju, a local opera of China, she invested 1.6 million yuan to construct an opera building. She endowed this free to the Tangshang Pingju troupe. To help the old veterans who had contributed to New China, from 1995 to 1996, she spent 7.6 million yuan to establish a veterans’ home, a veterans’ welfare settlement, a soldiers’ resort village and an orphans’ village in the old Liberated Areas. She particularly wanted veteran soldiers without children to enjoy their last days in a good environment. To promote an awareness of patriotism among the new generation, she spent over 400,000 yuan to set up a patriotism exhibition hall. She is also concerned about the ecological environment, and has put in 1.5 million yuan for an ecological garden and ecological exhibitions, which people can visit free of charge. She has also given donations to poor students and to disaster-inflicted areas. Virtually all her income goes to the common wealth undertaking, which has won her much praise from the public.
Changji Store in Tangshan