Firms give to charity as new year nears

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 - Page 5

While it is a tradition for most companies to spend large amounts of money on year-end banquets to thank their employees during the month before Lunar New Year, some firms are this year choosing to donate money to help those in need.

Among those private businesses is Jinray Construction Co in Greater Taichung, which cut its year-end banquet budget by NT$1 million (US$34,000) to help those in need.

With an additional NT$1 million from its employees, it donated NT$2 million to 12 disadvantaged groups, including mentally challenged people, widows and widowers and people with spinal injuries.

Jinray Construction chief executive officer Wang Pi-chun (王碧竣) donated a commuter vehicle to a local service center for the mentally challenged, in addition to supplying box lunches for children at two local orphanages.

In addition, the company’s managers, after learning that the Genesis Foundation had difficulty collecting sufficient funds to stage year-end parties for the homeless, also came to its aid by buying tickets for eight tables — so that about 80 homeless can enjoy a weiya (尾牙) year-end party.

In Chiayi County, President Chain Store Corp, which runs 7-Eleven convenience stores, assigned 10 shops to close for half an hour to let three low-income families choose whatever they needed from the stores to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday.

An eight-year-old boy, one of the beneficiaries, picked bread, milk and toys.

He said his father, who has cancer of the nose and mouth, can only have bread and milk as staple food.

The toys were for his younger brother, he said.

Another boy, aged 11, selected a bag of rice because “my grandma cooks good rice for me,” he said.

He lives with his grandmother, not his parents.

Tsai Ming-hung (蔡明宏), general manager of the chain stores in Chiayi, said this was the fourth year his company has given to low-income families or those that had experienced hardship.

“We understand the New Year holiday is tough for them. So we arranged a time for these families to select what they need most, hoping they will have a good time too, like the rest of us,” Tsai said.

Meanwhile, in Taipei on Thursday, a steakhouse started its own brand of charity work by handing out 50 percent discount coupons to people willing to donate 600ml of blood.

Huang Chia-ching (黃佳慶), manager of the steakhouse franchise, said his company was hoping to raise a donation of 6,000 liters of blood in 40 different locations across the country.