Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Chen's doll, Ma's shoes auctioned off to help children

CHARITYAn auction to raise funds for children from poor families offers personal items from 30 politicians and celebrities

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A cuddly A-bian doll signed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and running shoes sporting Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) signature are among the 71 items listed in an online auction to help children from poor families escape from the cycle of poverty.

To provide poor children with both financial and educational assistance, the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, a non-governmental child protection organization, and online auctioneer eBay Taiwan invited 30 political figures and celebrities from the business and entertainment fields to donate personal items for a 10-day online charity auction.

"Many participants in the event, including President Chen and Taipei Mayor Ma, have been our sponsors for needy children. We believe their donation of personal and valuable items will inspire more people to share their love," said Paul Shiao (蕭琮琦), head of the fund's social resources department.

The auction, which began yesterday and ends on March 6, is part of a series of fund-raising events under the banner "Igniting the Fire for Life." Items such as clothing, watches, golf clubs and bicycles donated by celebrities including Chen, Ma, business tycoon Ku Chung-Liang (辜仲諒) and singer Richie Jen (任賢齊) are up for grabs.

According to eBay Taiwan managing director Fang Yung-sheng (方勇升), online shopping has become a common and popular activity in Taiwan.

With the added celebrity factor, there should be no problem in reaching the goal of raising NT$10 million in the auction, Fang said.

The proceeds of the auction, along with NT$50 million that has already been raised at other events, will go to the fund's "Getting Rid of Poverty" program, which is aimed at offering educational and financial support to children from poor families.

"In addition to providing extracurricular education for kindergarten and elementary-school students, we will also use the funds to set up more service centers in remote districts," said Anne Wu (吳小萍) of the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families.

According to figures released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, the number of domestic low-income households exceeded 80,000 in the third quarter of last year. This amounts to roughly 200,000 people.

People who want to participate in the online auction can log on to the following Web site: http://cgi3.tw.ebay.com/ws2/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=et_fair

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