Even freezing weather or financial difficulties could not stop people from showing their love and goodwill to neighbors in need.
More than 101.2 billion won has been donated to the 2005 Hope for Neighbors campaign in just 38 days since we started it on December 1 last year, announced Community Chest Korea (CCK) on Sunday, which is led by Chairman Kim Yong-joon,
There were times when contributions reached over 100 billion won, for example, in the wake of typhoons Lusa and Maemi. It is, however, the first time a goodwill campaign for needy people, unrelated to natural disasters, has collected more than 100 billion won in less than two months. The Hope for Neighbors campaign is run every year for two months from December through January.
The campaign raised 65 billion won during the same period last year. This year saw a more than a 50 percent increase in contributions, already surpassing its target of 98.1 billion won. The graduations on a tower called the Love Thermometer, which has been set up in front of the Seoul City Hall, now point to 103.2 degrees Celsius, indicating a 3.2 percent surplus over the original donation target.
This achievement shows that Korean society has matured in sharing and giving, said a spokesperson of the CCK.
He also added, It seems that people are more willing to help others in times of economic difficulties, and that they actually practice their goodwill, so we were able to collect more money this winter.
The CCK expects total contributions to pass 120 billion won when the campaign ends at the end of January.
This year saw an increase in donations from businesses, which account for 67 percent of donations compared to last years 59 percent.
The proportion of individual donors slightly decreased from 19 percent to 16 percent. The amount of contributions, however, actually increased from 12.3 billion won to 16.2 billion won, helped by anonymous donors who made big contributions.
By region, Seoul topped the list with 8.7 billion won, followed by Gyeonggi with 4.5 billion won, Chungnam with four billion won, and Gyeongbuk with 3.7 billion won.
The CCK will spend 10 billion won on a new poverty class to whom government support does not reach. The money will be spent for medical, heating, living and eating expenses, and on daily necessities for people from this class.
The CCK will contribute one million dollars to the region recently hit by tsunamis in the name of the Korean people. The CCK already sent 300,000 million dollars to the region last month.