alt
Posted : 2013-06-25 16:26
Updated : 2013-06-25 16:26

New kinds of donations

Junho from 2PM, right, poses with Felmeta in Ehiopia last year. His care for Felmeta has inspired many of his fans and others to follow his goodwill activities. / Courtesy of World Vision Korea

Hallyu stars serve underprileged, fans follow


By Chung Ah-young

Junho from 2PM, a promotional ambassador for World Vision Korea, an international relief organization in Seoul, visited Ethiopia last year to meet patients suffering from elephantiasis and spent time singing and dancing with children. Since then, he has supported a number of Ethiopian children, including Felmeta whom he affectionately refers to as "dongsaeng" or younger brother. His care for Felmeta has inspired many of his fans and others to follow in the footsteps of his goodwill activities.

Besides Junho, other hallyu stars have recently joined overseas volunteer activities to help others in the world. The effects of their participation and contribution in humanitarian activities are far-flung and immediate because their fans are quick to follow their moves.

JYJ is one of the socially engaged K-pop groups which have actively supported overseas charity campaigns. Consisting of Jaejoong, Jun-su and Yuchun, the group spearheaded a campaign to help Japanese victims from the tsunami-earthquake disaster in 2011. The group made a large-scale effort to help Japanese victims during its world tour through SNS activities at the time.

B2ST's fan club sent a total of 254 pieces of specially designed clothes and handmade knitted hats for newborn babies in African countries to World
Vision Korea last year.

JYJ donated 200 million won ($174,000) to World Vision Korea to support flood victims in Thailand in 2011. The group sent some 30 million won from its profits to the organization to establish hygiene facilities in elementary schools in the Congo in 2010.

Fans spontaneously joined the movement by mobilizing other members through SNS. They are renowned for sending rice wreaths to support major events. "Rice wreaths," or "fan rice," are becoming increasingly popular gifts from fans. These are packed like flower wreaths to celebrate concerts or other events or used as donations for the needy.

The fans began donating rice wreaths in October 2010 at a concert when they donated a total of 8.48 tons of rice. They have since donated a total of 80 tons of rice at concerts and press conferences, helping create a culture of stars making donations.


Key from SHINee donated 2,113 kg of rice and 550 briquettes for underprivileged seniors and children in Korea in February. The donation was originally sent by his multinational fan club in the form of rice wreaths to celebrate his performance in the musical "Catch Me If You Can."
/ Courtesy of World Vision Korea

Giving rice wreaths was actually initiated by Shinhwa fans in 2007 when they sent them for the first time to celebrate the solo concert of its member Shin Hye-sung.

"Hallyu stars' activities are promoted on SNS and worldwide. If stars are moving to take part in the overseas volunteer works, their fans are quick to spread the news and then everybody knows that. We think their activities work positively for hallyu stars' image and Korea," Choi Mee-jeong, an official of World Vision Korea, said.

She added that World Vision Japan is utilizing JYJ's activities as a marketing strategy to raise awareness of the agency. "As many hallyu stars are joining our charity activities, their fans are keen on following them. They are sharing such values worldwide as their fan base is very wide in various countries," she said.

2NE1 fans from all around the world donated some 1,200 mango trees during the global tour last year to South Sudan to offer fruit and prevent desertification of the country. / Korea Times file


In January last year, B2ST's fan club sent a special gift package ― a total of 254 pieces of specially designed clothes and handmade knitted hats for newborn babies in African countries ― to the organization. The fan club decided to help children in Africa after seeing the group's leader Yoon Doo-joon visit Zambia and helped dig a well in the region a few years ago.

Key from SHINee donated 2,113 kg of rice and 550 briquettes for underprivileged seniors and children in Korea in February. The donation was originally sent by his multinational fan club in the form of rice wreaths to celebrate his performance in the musical "Catch Me If You Can." Key has sponsored four children from Uganda, India, Ethiopia and Bosnia since 2009 through World Vision Korea.

In March, a slew of rice wreaths amounting to 9.91 tons or 500 wreaths packed the Olympic Park Gymnastics Hall at G-Dragon's concert in Seoul. The rice wreaths were sent from fans worldwide from 14 different countries _ the U.S., England, China, Japan, Peru, Ecuador, Russia, France, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Chile, Philippines, and Korea.

Actor-singer Lee Seung-gi fans gave wreaths consisting of 13,620 packs of ramen to the drama promotion event venue of "Gu Family Book" from his multinational fans, as Lee sponsors a charity organization which prefers ramen to rice.

Shinhwa fans donated 1,130 trees to form the "Shinhwa Forest" to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the group's debut last year in Gangnam District in Seoul. The tree donation has contributed to solving a lack of green zones in the district.

2NE1 fans from all around the world also donated some 1,200 mango trees during the global tour last year to South Sudan to offer fruit and prevent desertification of the country.
Tree Planet, a social firm, has so far created the star forests such as Roy Kim Forest, Shinhwa Forest and 2NE1 Forest under the Star Forest Project. "The Star Forest Project is expected to foster the image of stars as the mature fandom culture grows to make many people happier," Kim Hyung-soo, president of the firm, said.

Meet the Universe, a fan club of Lee Gi-kwang from B2ST, donated 3,445 pieces of clothing to Ot Can, a non-profit organization as a birthday gift to the singer on March 30. The clothes have been sold to other countries and the proceeds have been used for improving education, health and water safety conditions for children living in underdeveloped countries.

L. Joe's fans from Teen Top raised the fund to establish a bathroom in Cambodia last year to help villagers who are suffering from various diseases due to a lack of bathrooms. L. Joe fans also made charitable donations to Korean Children's Leukemia Fund in 2011.

Yang Ho-seung, CEO of World Vision Korea, said that hallyu stars' activities are meaningful that the organization is active in some 100 countries worldwide. "As hallyu stars are giving love back to the world, they will be loved more than they were," he said.
Jun Jae-hyun, marketing team manager of the organization, said that it is a positive culture that fans are following the donation activities just as they imitate what their favorite stars wear. "We are expecting more socially aware stars to join the donation campaigns and also their fans are sharing such activities with others," said Jun.


  • 1. Korean women hate “it's going to be OK” sex talk
  • 2. 'Insane' video of cobras surrounding baby goes viral
  • 3. Pair arrested for having sex on beach
  • 4. Yoo's body shrouded in mystery
  • 5. Nike founder's daughter-in-law arrested on student sex suspicions
  • 6. North Korea liable for supporting rocket attacks on Israel: US court
  • 7. Court upholds 20 years' jail for hoops star who killed sister-in-law
  • 8. Man jumps from moving car to escape girlfriend
  • 9. Lee Yoon-ji to marry dentist in September
  • 10. Cute ad from Thailand shows limits of technology
Copy editors wanted
Experienced reporters wanted