Home > News

Wuxi's red envelope runners

Updated : 2017-01-20
(chinadaily.com.cn)

In the chilly early hours on Jan 19, a dozen yellow-shirted runners try to keep warm outside a McDonald's in Wuxi's New District. Many can be found at this exact spot on Changjiang North Road several mornings a week, this run, however, is different. Throughout their 10 kilometer loop the runners will stop and gift hongbao, red envelopes traditionally offered during Spring Festival, to street sweepers they pass.

The run is the invention of a soft-spoken American named Don Kenny, who began his altruistic tradition five years ago as a way of giving back to a group in Chinese society he feels is too often overlooked. "I run every day and see the cleaners on the street. Every day I see many people throw their garbage on the street and I don't feel good about people taking advantage. Once a year I like to show my appreciation."

Runners pose for a photograph after finishing the hongbao run on Jan 19, an annual charity initiative that is led by Don Kenny to give back to local Wuxi street sweepers during the days leading to Spring Festival. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The route heads southeast over the railway tracks before turning onto Nanchang Street and continuing for six kilometers along one of the city's most iconic and storied thoroughfares.

The street sweepers exhibit the full range of reactions as this troop of largely foreign faces stop, reach into their pockets, and proceed to hand over red envelopes accompanied by the words xin nian kuai le – Happy New Year. Some street sweepers beam radiantly, some nod mildly, others seemed shocked, perhaps believing in an ulterior motive.

Don Kenny hands over a hongbao to an appreciative street sweeper on Jan 19. The initiative has grown greatly since Kenny first began five years ago. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Kenny, who initially handed out the envelopes alone when he spontaneously started the run five years ago, has seen this full range of reactions.

"The first one or two years there weren't as many street sweepers, but they were all very shy at first when I approached. Afterwards they were very happy."

8.03K
Videos
 
b1.jpg

Wuxi wetland park transforms into autumn wonderland

zcl(1).jpg

Asteroid named after Wuxi scientists

【物联网应用和产品展览展示】(胡潇 摄) 590.jpg

Wuxi IoT expo displays latest applications

z3.jpg

Ancient tea ceremonies brewed up at teapot exhibition

News
Sports
Videos
Photos
Business
Biz Updates
Industries
Development Zones
Companies
Travel
Attractions
Dining
Accommodation
Shopping
Entertainment
Transportation
Maps
Culture
Culture News
Heritage
Museums
Events
Services
Visa
Marriage
Healthcare
Jobs
Education
Useful Info
Government
Mayor
Departments
Districts
Policies
About
Overview
Statistics
Sister Cities
E-books
Copyright © China Daily. All rights reserved.
The Information Office of Wuxi Municipal People's Government.
Presented by China Daily.
备案号:京ICP备13028878号-34