Taiwanese donate NT$120 million to fight COVID-19 in Italy

Father Giuseppe Didone

TAIPEI (CNA) — A Taiwanese fundraiser to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy closed Tuesday after raising NT$120 million (US$3.97 million) in a period of six days, according to its organizer.

Father Giuseppe Didone (呂若瑟) issued a public letter on April 1 asking for donations to be made to the fundraising center of Camilian Saint Mary’s Hospital Luodong for the purchase of emergency provisions including surgical face masks and protective gowns for medical personnel in Italy.

Though the fundraiser was expected to run through April 15, Didone said Tuesday that he had decided to stop accepting donations, following the outpouring of support from Taiwanese society.

Didone, who first came to Taiwan in 1965, established special care centers for intellectually disabled people in Penghu and Yilan counties, and now serves at Camillian Saint Mary’s Hospital in Yilan’s Luodong Township.

In 2017, Didone and his late brother Antonio were among six members of the Camillian Order to receive Taiwanese citizenship, in recognition of their contributions to Taiwan.