A Shanghai man who passed away in 2011 donated his 20 million yuan (3.23 million USD) villa to a charity that helps build schools in poverty-stricken areas, local media have recently revealed.
The Oriental Morning Post reported on Wednesday that the donor, Xu Shaocun, left his 380-square-meter property located on Huaihai Middle Road to a charity called Project Hope, according to the Global Times. Xu, who was in his mid-80s, was reportedly inspired to donate the villa after following tragic coverage of schools that collapsed during the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan province.
A portion of the proceeds earned from the sale of Xu’s property will be used to build two schools, one in Hubei province and one in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It’s estimated that cost of the two schools, to be named after Xu and his sister, will be around 900,000 yuan. A vice director from the charity told the Post that the rest of the money will be used to set up a scholarship fund for poor children.
The report said that neither Xu nor his sister were ever married or with children. The family became wealthy before the Cultural Revolution, during which time, the villa was divided for other families to occupy. Ownership of the entire villa was returned to Xu in the 1990s.
By the end of 2004, Project Hope had financed more than 3,400,000 poor rural students and funded over 14,000 primary schools in rural areas to build libraries.
In 2011, the organization was ensnared in scandal when The Daily Telegraph reported that it accepted sponsorship from China Tobacco, even allowing some schools to be named after cigarette brands.