Five 7-Eleven convenience stores in Greater Kaohsiung have made it onto President Chain Store Co’s list of top-grossing donation boxes last year.
Hsing An Pang Store in Kao-hsiung’s Sanmin District (三民) topped the list for the third consecutive year.
Store manager Hung Mei-feng (洪美鳳) said most donors dropping change in the charity box are blue-collar workers and street vendors, including a soup vendor at Liouhe Night Market.
“The stall owner usually donates NT$1,000 at the end of his working day. If I don’t find any NT$1,000 bills in the donation box, it means he was off that day,” she said.
Two 7-Eleven stores in Greater Tainan also ranked among the top 10 in terms of total amount collected through the boxes last year.
The list also included one 7-Eleven convenience store in Greater Taichung and two in Taipei.
With seven top fund-raising stores located in southern Taiwan, some have said the phenomenon fits the perception that people in the south are more generous and compassionate.
However, National Taiwan University professor Joyce Feng (馮燕) said the trend should not be attributed to one factor.
“I don’t think that Taiwanese in the north are more detached or apathetic. I believe that fewer 7-Eleven stores made the top 10 list partly because there are more ways to make donations in central and northern Taiwan than there are in the south,” Feng said.
According to President Chain Store Corp data, the top-ranking Hsing An Pang store raises an average of NT$6,000 to NT$7,000 in donations per week.
The highest weekly record was slightly more than NT$11,000.
Over the course of last year, the store’s donation box collected nearly NT$320,000.
The second-highest-ranked fund-raising store was Hsin Chuang Store in Greater Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營), which collected about NT$260,000 last year.
A local resident surnamed Chen (陳) said she was not surprised by the store’s high ranking.
“I think many customers were moved by the store’s kind atmosphere. The clerks are polite and they tend to bow to each donor for their contribution. Their attitude has helped encourage shoppers to make small donations,” she said.
7-Eleven public relations mamanager Lillian Lin (林立莉) said stores in major cities in the south tend to outpace their northern counterparts in fund-raising.
“Perhaps southern Taiwanese are more compassionate toward disadvantaged people,” she said.
Donations at the nearly 5,000 7-Eleven stores nationwide are not eligible for tax deductions, but the boxes allow people to help the disadvantaged in their daily lives, Lin added.
The fourth-ranked store is located on Taipei’s Linsen N Road.
Storekeepers said most donors there are customers of the various bars and night clubs in the area.