Using the money he earned from peddling rickshaw, Mr. Bái Fāng lǐ contributed what is estimated to be 350,000 yuan ($57,000. usd) to financing more than 300 students’ school tuition and living expenses, helping them to advance by way of their studies. Mr. Bai’s daughter recalls, “He suffered and curtailed his own needs throughout his life, cutting down on food, stitching his torn pants over and over. When I would throw his worn out pants away and buy new ones, it would irritate him and he would not want to wear them.”
The old man rickshaw peddler resembled in his appearance someone who was indigent. “I have never bought any clothing,” Li had said. “The clothes that I wear are all picked from what people have thrown away. Look at my shoes, even the socks inside are unmatching! I collected them from a junkpile. The same for my hat.” His family who disparaged such habits would advise him, but never to any avail. In response to such admonishment, Mr. Li once picked up some bread and simply said to his children, “What is so hard about this? This bread is the product of the farmers’ hard work. People throw it away; I pick it up and eat it. Isn’t this a way to reduce wastefulness? In 2001, at nearly 90 years old, Mr. Bai Fang Li determined he was no longer able to peddle rickshaw any longer. At that time he donated his last substantial sum of money. From then onward he tended peoples’ cars at a gas station and saved his final sum of 500 yuan ($82.00 usd), which he saved and donated, but stated that he could no longer work and would no longer be able to contribute to others.” This was the first time his daughter, Bai Jin Feng, said that she had ever heard her father say anything like that.
Mr. Bai passed away on September 23, 2005, in a hospital. Hundreds attended his funeral to honor him.