In the past, there were few popular ways to donate funding and show your support for charitable campaigns. The most notable were the Christmas Seal campaign which raised money to help tuberculosis patients, and the annual Salvation Army charity pot often seen in winter. Nowadays there are many more charities vying for your support and the methods for making donations are diversifying. People can readily chose how much they will spend, how often they will make contributions and whom they will support.
The Dankook Herald (DKH) has looked into 4 ways to donate and support various organizations or people. First, many people make single cash donations. However, if you want to donate regularly, the DKH recommends you to consider monthly donations to organizations such as UNICEF, Compassion, World Vision, Save the Children, and so on. These regular pre-determined donations are withdrawn once a month from your bank account. This method of donation is arguably very convenient and definitely beneficial. For example, a regular donation to the organization called Compassion goes to support poor kids on a 1:1 basis until they become adults. Patrons can communicate with their sponsored child continually through letters, and photos. However, in the case of 1:1 support for a child in the Third World, you need to think about your ability to sustain your continual donations because if you stop your payment support, the child receiving help from you will never qualify for funding from that organization again.
A second donation method to consider is buying products that with each purchase, results in a donation to a specific cause. For example, there are phone cases, eco bags, and clothes for sale that state proceeds go towards designated charitable organizations. Among these products, donation bracelets are the most popular item for sale in Korea.
Donation bracelets are good because they are usually affordable, often costing less than 10,000 won. There are many kinds of donation bracelets, such as the NewKit bracelet, where funds raised go towards the protection of endangered animals from extinction. Funds raised from the sale of the Beconnect bracelets provide support for children living in poverty, and sales of the Miso bracelet from Dankook University’s volunteer club ‘Miso’ supports abandoned dogs.
A third type of donation system is the Mirinae movement. Mirinae is a system in which participants pay in advance for some kind of good or service for someone who doesn’t have the money to get it themselves. The Mirinae movement started in Italy under the name of the Suspended Coffee Movement. Suspended Coffee helps homeless people get a free cup of coffee. However, the Mirinae movement shares much more than just coffee. People can prepay for food and services like haircuts etc. Nowadays over 150 of stores have registered with the Mirinae movement. Many places like Chinese restaurants, cafes, and rice soup restaurants are taking part in the Mirinae movement. It is easy to find Mirinae supporters near our homes and also around DKU.
The final method we will discuss for making donations is by supporting fair trade products. Fair trade is a social movement whose goal is to help promote products from developing countries achieve better trading conditions and also promote their market sustainability. Fair trade products can be anything from coffee, to cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, chocolate and even 3D printer filaments. There are a lot of cafes selling fair trade coffee beans and tea. At the Jukjeon Campus, ‘Beautiful Coffee’, which is located in the Business and Economics Hall, sells fair trade coffee beans. We can also buy a fair trade chocolate too.
The DKH interviewed Kwon Seong-young (CEO, Dolbing Cafe 1978’) to learn more about her role in the Mirinae movement. She told us that one local cafe started the Mirinae movement in Korea several years ago. The DKH asked what motivated her to get involved, and she said “I watched a TV show about Mirinae and decided I wanted to be the first Mirinae store in Yongin, but there already was one. I still wanted to contribute to the cause, so started my own Mirinae movement.” “This system works like this. Someone pays for coffee or desert and leaves a specific person a note. That person can eat that prepaid coffee or desert and next time they pay for another person,” she explained. The DKH asked whether it was difficult to operate Mirinae and to catch people’s attention. “Many regular customers pay for other people. However, the people who get the free coffee or eat something paid for by Mirinae often use this system for themselves and never pay for others, even if it is a relatively little amount of money,” she said.
The DKH also interviewed Chae Hee-woo (Sophomore, Dept. of Sino-Korean Education) who donates regularly to various charities. The DKH asked her about making donations and providing financial support for others. “I am donating regularly to the 1:1 support program of World Vision. I have also bought a Dear Family Box which is a DIY set where users get to make a ‘Cloud Bread’ character doll. The funds raised through the sale of these boxes support single mothers. I also have a Miso bracelet,” she answered. The DKH questioned the merits of donations from product purchases such as the Miso bracelet. “These products enable anyone to be a sponsor without any pressure of having to donate large sums of money. Also by buying products, you get a souvenir of your donation,” she said positively.
Donating funds and supporting the well-being of others is a good deed in our society. Businesses which provide products that help those in need instead of simply chasing profit are desirable. These methods of support make our society.
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