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November 22, 2011

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Charity to publish 1st annual report

THE Shanghai Charity Foundation will publish an annual report for the first time on its annual "charity carnival" - "True Love Under the Blue Sky," which kicked off yesterday.

The foundation yesterday published details of how it used one of its funds, which goes toward programs helping families impoverished by serious diseases. The program, Aixin Yaji, which means "collecting the love," started in 2000. Up to the end of last month, the program had raised 5.12 million yuan (US$805,740), of which about 3 million yuan has been distributed to 236 families, officials said.

The annual report covering the whole year will be published on January 7, when the event reaches its climax, said the foundation. Officials say all the foundation's fund operations will be under the public eye, and they promise that people's donations are used properly and legally.

Earlier, the reputation of Chinese charities was challenged after 20-year-old Guo Meimei, who claimed to be the general manager of "Red Cross Commerce," showed off her wealth and extravagant lifestyle online. Even though Guo's claims were false, the China Red Cross was widely accused of malpractice and corruption and other charity groups were affected.

Later, some families of the Jiaozhou Road high-rise inferno victims charged that some of the donations designated for them went missing. The foundation then published a detailed list of donations, and a third-party auditing firm yesterday said it has found "no mishandling" in how the donations were spent. The audit result showed no cheating, abuse, concealment or any other wrongdoing.

But the accusations stung the foundation, and it decided to publish an annual report.

The event "True Love Under the Blue Sky" has been held in the city for 17 years. The event, which will last for about six weeks, features fund-raising, free surgeries for the disadvantaged, charity auctions and donation collection on the street.

The event's main purpose is to collect funds for local needy families in an effort to help them have a happier Chinese lunar New Year, which usually falls in late January or early February.

Apart from donations, the event calls on people to work as volunteers to take care of the elderly and disabled people in their communities during December and January, when most migrant domestic workers have gone home for family reunions.


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