If a fortune cookie were written to express restaurant owner Don Wong's philosophy, it would read: "It is better to give than to receive."

Wong, owner of China House II in Edwardsville, has a charitable soul that is especially noticeable at Christmas.

The restuaurant, located at 138 N. Main St., will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. All buffet meal proceeds will be deposited into a Salvation Army Red Kettle.

"I believe in giving, Chinese people believe in giving," Wong said. "The Salvation Army is the best at helping the poor and those that need help at Christmas. They have a better idea how to distribute to people."

When Wong contacted the Salvation Army last year about the Red Kettle program, Southwest Madison County Capt. Amos Shiels had no idea how substantial his gift would be.

During the six hours China House was open last Christmas Eve, it collected $1,200 for the Salvation Army.

"He called last December and proposed the idea," Shiels said. "I told him we would love to participate.

"He just made a really great gift."

Shiels said the restaurant is already getting advanced pledges for people who cannot be at the restaurant on Christmas Eve.

"You come to the restaurant and you do something that is being good to you. You have to eat" Wong said. "You also do something to help poor people."

China House also donates proceeds of sales on Halloween to the Edwardsville Fire Department's charity fund.

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