Choi Soo-jong, left, and Ha Hee-ra, center, pose with Yi Il-ha, president of Good Neighbors International (GNI), during a donation ceremony held at GNI’s office in Seoul Monday. / Courtesy of GNI
By Park Si-soo
A celebrity couple has donated money to aid children living in poverty-stricken circumstances.
Renowned actor Choi Soo-jong, 45, and his spouse Ha Hee-ra, 38, actress, contributed 100 million won Monday to Good Neighbors International (GNI), an international humanitarian and development organization headquartered in Seoul, in the hope of supporting children suffering hardship due to financial difficulties.
The couple who were present at the donation ceremony held at GNI's main office, expressed their desire to help underprivileged children with their donation.
``We have looked for an opportunity to perform a good deed to commemorate the 14th anniversary of our marriage,'' Choi said. ``We hope that our small contribution will serve as a foundation for supporting hungry children in Korea.''
The international humanitarian organization said it would distribute the money to children care centers and welfare facilities across the country to help provide poor children with food, warm clothing and essentials for the coming winter.
Choi has served as a goodwill ambassador of the non-governmental organization since 1999. Since then, he has participated in a variety of community services organized at home and abroad especially in Bangladesh in 1999 and North Korea in June 2005.
Founded in 1991, GNI has concentrated on projects such as education programs for orphanages and handicapped children, finding homes for widows and rural community development.