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“I only wish I could have donated more.”
Award Ceremony on June 2
94-year-old granny Bu Geum-hyeon, who made headlines for donating 100 million won, her entire hard-earned fortune as a life-long shellfish diver, received a Presidential Recommendation by the people’s nomination at the 10th Ceremony for National Recommendation Awards.
The National Recommendation Award is a system run by the Ministry of Interior and Safety that selects and awards good Samaritans who brighten up our society in a humble and quiet manner after they receive direct nominations from citizens.
In April, 2020, Bu, who is from Seongsan-eup, Seoguipo-si, Jeju, donated 100 million won for Sahmyook University’s development, saying, “Please make good use of this money in nurturing useful members of this society.” She worked as a shellfish diver ever since the age of 17 until she retired at 81. During her 60-plus years of career, she would pick up marine products during high tides out in the sea. Additionally, she would do upland farming, sell things, and work as a daily laborer for miscellaneous works to earn money. Since her retirement 10 years ago, she had participated in the public laboring project until she had to quit due to a recent leg injury.
Upon her decision to leave the world clear-hearted and empty-handed, the granny sold her properties and shared the profits among her nephews and nieces and neighbors in need. She also gave a 100-million-won donation to Sahmyook University, wishing it to be used for educating future generations.
Bu has lived her entire life all alone since her husband, to whom she married at 19, left for Japan to make money. Every time her hard-earned money accumulated sufficiently, the childless woman spent it supporting students in financial struggles.
The number of recipients of her scholarship amount to as many as 80. Late Professor Han Seong-bo, the former SU Dean of Theology Department, was one of those beneficiaries and treated and took care of Bu like his own mother.
The Presidential Recommendation was originally planned to be handed to her on March 3, at the 10th Ceremony for National Recommendation Awards at the Seoul Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jung-gu, Seoul. However, since the aged lady found it difficult to travel all the way to Seoul to attend the ceremony, the Ministry delivered the Recommendation Award to her through Seoguipo City, one day prior to the event.
Talking about the award, Bu said, “Spending money to help others brought me greater joy than spending it on myself. I only wish I could have earned more money to donate more.” She added, “I’d like to thank everyone who recommended me for this honorable award, and Seoguipo City and Sahmyook University for their heartwarming and respectful treatment toward me.”
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