Charity groups yesterday urged the public to make donations before the New Year and Lunar New Year holiday to help make up for a drop in donations this year and ensure that disadvantaged peope also can share in the holiday spirit.
“Receiving red envelopes over the Lunar New Year is a blessing for most children, but many disadvantaged children do not have that experience very often,” said Abby Chen (陳雅惠), director of the Office of Resource Development at Child Welfare League Foundation.
She said her foundation is raising funds to distribute 2,500 red envelopes containing NT$500 each and 1,000 New Year’s meals to the underprivileged children and families that it supports.
She said the sluggish economy this year seemed to dampen people’s enthusiasm to donate money to charity.
In the past, companies or malls would donate Christmas gifts to the foundation, but this year only one company donated 250 gifts, so most of the children will not receive anything, Chen said.
“It has really been a cold winter for us this year,” said Yu Shu-chen (游淑貞), social resources division director at the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, referring to the group’s limited funds because of a 20 percent drop in donations during the first 11 months of the year.
Yu said her charity’s goal is to give each of the 23,000 families it supports “at least one new thing” before the Lunar New Year holiday.
Items needed range from desk lamps and blankets to kitchen utensils, she added.