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January 8, 2012

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Home » Metro » Society

Kindness shows in fund-raising drive

TENS of thousands of people yesterday donated money or property to those less fortunate during the "True Love Under the Blue Sky" annual charity event in Shanghai.

One family truly got into the giving spirit, donating an apartment valued at more than 3 million yuan (US$475,527).

Gu Weiyuan, 70, donated the apartment to Shanghai Charity Foundation, the event's organizer, on behalf of his late uncle Li Qingquan. Gu said Li died in September 2010, at the age of 96. His last wish was to donate his apartment to help needy students in southwestern China.

"Both my uncle and aunt were teachers," said Gu. "They had always been concerned about education in the country when they were alive. In fact, he had written the donation into his will in 2006. They had no children, so we must fulfill his last wish."

The apartment is about 100 square meters and on Guangyuan Road, near Xujiahui, said Gu.

Gu and his family are not the only ones in Shanghai to donate an apartment to charity. After the massive earthquake in Sichuan Province in 2008, a retired Shanghai teacher named Shen Cuiying donated one of her apartments valued at 4.5 million yuan to quake victims.

For yesterday's event, more than 20,000 volunteers went onto the streets to collect donations.

TV talkshow host Bai Wanqing was one of the volunteers. "No matter whether people donate 1 yuan or 100 yuan, we will happily accept the money as it represents their love," she said.

Mu Changjun, an official with the Shanghai Hemopoietic Stem Cell Volunteers Club, said the club participated in the event every year. He said while collecting donations, he also took advantage of the opportunity to promote hemopoietic stem cell donation, trying to draw more people to the club.

The Shanghai Charity Foundation said donations collected on the street will go to local needy families before the Spring Festival.

The foundation will today announce its annual report for 2011, officials said.


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