Millions pledged to help those in need during charity month

Donations, gathered from the public, will be distributed to those most in need such as seriously ill and disabled people and those living in poverty.

When you see volunteers on the streets seeking donations from pedestrians, you know that the annual charity season of Shanghai has begun.

This year’s “The Greatest Love Under the Sky”, the year-end charity month before the Chinese New Year, will officially start on December 23, gathering all major charity foundations and organizations in the city.

Shanghai Charity Foundation, which leads the effort, said on Friday that a total of 110 million yuan (US$17 million) will be put in the hands of 350,000 residents of Shanghai who are most in need of help.

The foundation has prepared over 82 million yuan and materials worth over 2.8 million yuan, all of which will benefit over 180,000 people from all age groups, it was announced.

Red Cross Shanghai said it will relay 5 million yuan in donations from the public to 10,000 households with disabled or seriously ill people and those living in poverty. About 380,000 households have already benefited from the program, which has distributed 220 million yuan since 1999.

The organization said it will also continue to donate goods for daily use to old people with dementia who are living in poverty, and said about 22 million yuan of materials such as paper diapers has been donated through this program to 970,000 people since 2007.

Shanghai Welfare Fund for the Disabled said it will support the most in need of the city’s over 480,000 registered disabled people with over 10 million yuan this year, with another 450,000 yuan available for those living in extremely difficult situations in suburban areas.

Apart from street donations, traditional events of the charity month include charity fairs held at large shopping malls and free medical consultations for residents at Shanghai Exhibition Center and residential communities.

It is estimated that about 1,300 non-governmental organizations and over 78,000 volunteers around the city will take part in charity events in all 16 districts of Shanghai during the charity month, which is to be officially concluded on January 28 next year.

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