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Talk of the Day -- Street vendors give most at 7-11 donation boxes
Central News Agency
2014-01-09 11:20 PM
Five 7-Eleven convenience stores in the southern port city of Kaohsiung made the President Chain Store Co.'s list of top contributions received in their donation boxes over 2013. Hsing An Pang Store in Kaohsiung's Sanmin District topped the list for the third consecutive year. Store manager Hung Mei-feng said most of the donors dropping change in the charity box are blue-collar workers and street vendors, including a sparerib soup vendor at Liouhe Night Market, Hung said. "He tends to donate NT$1,000 (US$33.25) at the end of his daily business. If I don't find any NT$1,000 bills in the donation box, it means the owner was off that day," she recalled. The following are excerpts from a special report in the Thursday edition of the United Daily News on the 7-Eleven's grassroots fund-raising efforts: Two 7-Eleven stores in another southern city, 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 Taichung in central Taiwan and two in Taipei. With seven top fund-raising stores located in southern Taiwan, some have said the phenomenon fits perceptions that people from the south are more passionate and compassionate. But Feng Yen, a National Taiwan University professor, said the trend should not be attributed to a single factor.

"I don't think that northern Taiwan residents are more detached or apathetic. I believe that fewer 7-Eleven stores made the top 10 donor list perhaps partly because there are more channels for donations in central and northern Taiwan than in the south," Feng contended. According to President Chain Store Corp. statistics, the top-ranking Hsing An Pang store raises an average of NT$6,000 to NT$7,000 in donations per month. The highest monthly record was slightly more than NT$11,000. Over 2013, the store's donation box collected nearly NT$320,000. The No. 2 fund-raising store was Hsin Chuang Store in Kaohsiung's Zuoying District, collecting about NT$260,000 last year.

A local homemaker surnamed Chen said she was not surprised by the store's good ranking. "I think that many customers were moved by the store's kind atomosphere into making donations. The clerks are polite and they tend to bow to each donor for his or her contribution. Their attitude has helped encourage shoppers to make small donations," she explained. Lin Li-li, 7-Eleven's PR chief, said stores in major cities in the south tend to outpace their northern counterparts in fund-raising. "Perhaps southern Taiwan residents are more compassionate toward disadvantaged folks," she suggested.

Donations at the nearly 5,000 7-Eleven stores around Taiwan are not eligible for tax deductions, but the move allows ordinary people to help the disadvantaged in their daily lives, Lin added.

The fourth-ranking store was located on Taipei's Linsen North Road. Storekeepers said most donors there are customers of the various bars and night clubs in the vicinity. None of 7-Eleven stores in Taipei's upscale residential areas managed to make an impressive showing in fund-raising last year. (Jan. 9, 2014). (By Sofia Wu)

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