Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 02nd
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Home Global Activities Taiwan The Life and Legacy of a Volunteer Environmentalist

The Life and Legacy of a Volunteer Environmentalist

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Whenever students visited an environmental protection station in Tainan in south Taiwan, Tzu Chi volunteer Li Qing-quan (李清泉) would explain to them recycling and sorting principles. After joining Tzu Chi, Li devoted himself to environmental protection and continued until his last breath. 

When Li was young, his hometown of Liujia in Tainan had no fixed recycling station. In 2006, Li's wife, Hong Qiu-ju (洪秋菊), and her sister Hong Chun-mei (洪春梅) jointly donated a piece of land of about 2,314 square meters they owned to Tzu Chi to build the Liujia Recycling Education Station and a Tzu Chi office.

Li was instrumental in establishing this recycling education station from scratch. Tzu Chi volunteer Hu Yong-qing (胡永清) thanked him for his efforts.

Li was known for his kindness and willingness to help others, and he always responded to requests. Tzu Chi volunteer Shen You-li (沈祐麗) praised Li for his dedication to the recycling station, and his meticulous attention to environmental hygiene. Li personally took care of the recycling station. After completing the sorting of recyclables, he would thoroughly disinfect the station’s environment.

Before joining Tzu Chi, Li worked as a firefighter and village chief. He had many friends and enjoyed socializing. But his wife was concerned about his alcohol consumption while he did recycling. On the advice of senior Tzu Chi volunteers, he stopped drinking and became fully committed to environmental protection.

In 2016, Li was diagnosed with lung adenocarcinoma. Despite his illness, he continued to work until his last breath; he persisted in his mission for seven years. In February this year, Li Qing-quan passed away, but his spirit of diligence and persistence will always be remembered.


Li's life and legacy remind us of a Jing Si Aphorism, “We do not have a claim on our life, but only the right to use it.” He fully utilized his life to benefit sentient beings and protect the earth. Let us follow in his footsteps and realize the meaning of our lives by joining Tzu Chi in its mission of environmental protection and service to others.

Join Tzu Chi. Let us do it.



Story by documentary volunteers: Hu Yong-qing, Shen You-li, and Chen He-sheng from Tainan

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