NT$120M donated by Taiwan public to help combat coronavirus in Italy

A call for help by a Taiwan-based Italian priest in combating the coronavirus outbreak in his home country has been met by an overwhelming display of generosity from the public.
More than 20,000 donations worth over NT$120 million (US$3.98 million) were made after Rev. Giuseppe Didone, an 80-year-old member of the Catholic Order of the Ministers of the Infirm based in northeastern Taiwan’s Yilan County, made an appeal April 2 asking for help with disease relief efforts in Italy.
In a letter released April 7 through Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital in Yilan’s Luodong Township, Rev. Didone said despite knowing Taiwan is a country of kindness, he was still amazed by the outpouring of support, adding that he is indebted to the love shown by all who contributed.
Although the fundraising campaign was intended to run through April 15, the priest said his church is no longer accepting donations having reached its target.
According to Rev. Didone, the church will use part of the funds to purchase medical supplies for shipment to Italy, with a fixed amount forwarded to either the Holy See or the church’s headquarters in Italy to help those affected by the pandemic.
The reverend, who was granted ROC (Taiwan) citizenship in late 2017, said he is truly grateful to have been dispatched to the country 55 years ago. The goodwill of local people has reaffirmed his intention to spend the remainder of his life in Taiwan, he added. (SFC-E)
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