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  • STORYTELLERS: Tan Huangfang (first right), and her daughter Zhang Luqi (second right) guide visitors at the Lei Feng Memorial in Changsha. Tan worked as a guide for 25 years before passing the torch to her daughter (XINHUA)
  • IDOL IN FRONT: Students visit the Lei Feng Memorial in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province on February 18 (XINHUA)
  • DONATION STORES: Volunteers work at a "Lei Feng" store in Huxiang Community, Changsha. In 2003, the city established food pantries which now serve nine districts and 160 communities. In 2011, the program amassed over 2.4 million yuan ($381,100) in products, 3.15 million yuan ($500,200) in cash, and 28,000 registered volunteers (XINHUA)
  • DISCUSSION: Volunteer staff convene at a "Lei Feng" store at Huxiang Community in Changsha (XINHUA)
  • BOUNDLESS CARE: Foreign volunteer Jiang Siyong (left) attends an inaugural "follow Lei Feng" ceremony with his family on February 12 (XINHUA)
  • FOR LIFE: Firefighters from Hunan wait to donate blood on February 2 (XINHUA)

March 5 is not a national holiday, but Chinese people mark this day on their calendars to remember a special person. That person is Lei Feng, a household name in China for altruism and socialist ethical values. Since his untimely death in 1962 at the tender age of 22, stories of Lei's good deeds have inspired new generations.

Lei was an ordinary young man, orphaned at seven, and later joined the People's Liberation Army. During his short life, he constantly helped people in need with his own spare time and money.

On March 5, 1963, Chairman Mao Zedong called people to follow Lei's example and the day was named "Lei Feng's Day."

Especially in Lei's hometown of Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, locals are proud of him and follow his legacy as volunteers.

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