In December 2019, IU was named one of Forbes Asia’s “Heroes of Philanthropy” for her unwavering commitment to charity. Since the first year of her debut, the angelic singer has donated over ₩1.5 billion KRW (over $1.25 million USD) to dozens of important causes in Korea and internationally. Here are just 5 of the ways she’s made a huge difference to the lives of people in need.
1. Coronavirus – 260 million won
Recently, netizens have been amazed by IU’s incredibly generosity in wake of the growing COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) threat in South Korea. In less than one week, she’s donated a total of ₩260 million KRW ($220,000 USD) to 4 Korean organizations. The money will provide masks to low-income families as well as medical supplies to hospitals working to prevent the spread of disease.
2. Sokcho fire – 100 million won
In April 2019, a deadly fire tore through Sokcho and neighbouring cities in Goseong County, Korea. The first forced thousands to evacuate their homes, injured dozens, and even killed two residents. The damages to over 2,000 buildings totaled over ₩5 billion KRW ($4.1 million USD).
IU helped to offset some of the devastation by donating ₩100 million KRW ($84,000 USD) to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation. The money was used to support children affected by the fire.
3. Disadvantaged children – 600 million won
IU has donated to the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation on numerous more occasions. She made her first ₩100 million KRW ($84,000 USD) donation to the charity in May 2015 to celebrate Children’s Day in Korea. She then donated a further ₩100 million KRW for Children’s Day in 2018 and 2019. Plus, she matched the donations on her 10th debut anniversary and at Christmas time in 2018 and 2019.
In total (Sokcho fire donation excluded), IU has donated ₩600 million won ($500,000 USD) to help disadvantaged children.
4. Elderly citizens – 150 million won
Alongside children, IU’s heart also goes out to the elderly citizens of Korea. In particular, one charity she donates to repeatedly is senior citizens’ foundation in Bangbaedong, Seoul. Since 2016, she’s made 5 contributions of ₩10 million KRW ($8,400 USD) each to the charity. The donations are used for things like cooling comforters to prevent heatwave deaths.
IU also donated 100 million won to the Korean Foundation for Support of Senior Citizens in Need in December 2019 as a way to thank UAENA for their own kind contributions in her name.
5. Sewol tragedy – 250 million won
IU’s largest known charitable contribution was the one she made in honor of the Sewol ferry tragedy. In April 2014, the MV Sewol sank on route to Jeju island. Almost 300 people tragically passed away, most of them young high school students.
Devastated by the tragedy, IU held a series of 8 concerts the following month to honor the victims. 100% of the proceeds from the concerts were donated to the victims. The estimated total donation was around ₩250 million KRW ($210,000 USD).