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More charity chain stores for Beijing

By Huang Ying (China Daily)

09:03, August 06, 2012

The network of charity supermarkets is expected to expand across Beijing, both in urban and suburban districts.

In residential communities with a supermarket, donation sites will have to be established, according to a senior official.

In the charity supermarkets and donation sites, there will be a system for processing articles that are donated by residents, said Cheng Liyan, director of the charity work office of the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, earlier last month on Beijing Public Service Radio.

For example, he said, old clothes collected by the donation sites will have to be cleaned, sterilized and ironed before they go on sale in the market. Clothes that cannot be recycled will be processed into other products.

Revenues gained through selling donated products at the charity supermarkets will be returned to the donation sites and used to help impoverished residents living in the community, Cheng said.

Currently, there are about 8,000 charity supermarkets across the country. Most of them are subsidized by local governments, said Wang Zhenyao, dean of One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University.

They largely rely on government funding and haven't found appropriate commercial strategies yet, Wang said.

However, Beijing-based Tongxinhuhui charity chain stores have managed to turn losses into profits.

The first shop was opened in 2006 by Migrant Workers Home, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving migrant workers. It has now expanded to 12 stores in Beijing, all of them located in residential communities around the Fifth and Sixth Ring Roads.

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