Bae Jun-sik, a 59-year-old man who grows ginseng in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, became the first farmer to join the “Honor Society” club of large individual donors.
“Honor Society” was founded in 2008 by the Community Chest of Korea and currently has 139 members. It aims to develop a mature philanthropic culture. To become a member, one must donate a minimum of 100 million won ($87,000).
“Sharing takes courage to do; I hope this will be a small initiative for the diffusion of charity culture in rural communities,” said Bae.
He has a history of charitable giving. He started charity works 20 years ago when he donated 70,000 won ($61) to a flooded area. Since then, he has been donating briquettes to senior citizens who live alone and social welfare organizations. In 2006, He donated 160 million won worth of rice to North Korea after witnessing a starving North Korean child on a trip to Mt. Baekdu.
Bae wants to keep helping senior citizens who live alone, the disabled, and young breadwinners.
“For the rest of my life, I want to keep on sharing love with neighbors and participate in volunteering activities in order to contribute to making a happier regional community,” Bae said