Street cleaner in China has donated 170,000 yuan over last 30 years to put 37 poor kids through school

A street cleaner from Shenyang, China has won the praise of netizens with his incredible generosity.

Zhao Yongjiu works two sanitation jobs and leaves home at 4:30am, only returning at 9pm daily.

The 56-year-old earns about 2,400 yuan (SGD$495) a month. Despite this, Zhao has still managed to make some lasting contributions.

Over the past 30 years, he has donated 170,000 yuan (SGD$35,000), helping 37 impoverished kids make it through school, Shanghaiist reports.

To ensure that most his wages go to the students, he sold his only property and started renting a small room in the city for 600 yuan (SGD$123) per month.

For Zhao, this is his way of giving back. After his father died in 1976, Zhao and his mother struggled to earn enough to survive.

But they made it through those tough years thanks to the generosity of their neighbors and friends.

Zhao vowed to never forget their kindness and devote his life to helping those in need.

His life story has left many Chinese web users in tears.

"If more people were like this old street sweeper, then the world would be a better place," one netizen wrote.