We are what they wear
Updated: 2013-06-20 16:33
By Xu Lin (China Daily)
Students from Wenshan of Yunnan province express their happiness after putting on the new clothes. Photo provided to China Daily
Wang Kai, co-founder of Wardrobe of Love, poses with students in Huining, Gansu province. Photo provided to China Daily
NGO Wardrobe of Love offers high-quality new clothes to impoverished students and is supported by TV celebrities and ordinary people. Xu Lin reports.
TV presenter Wang Kai, 34, never expected his micro blog post would help tens of thousands of children in impoverished areas.
Wardrobe of Love, a non-governmental organization that he co-founded with CCTV host Ma Hongtao in 2011, provides high-quality new clothes to more than 67,000 impoverished students from 437 schools in 19 provinces.
"Clothes may not change a kid's life, but they can feel our care and love, and the colorful life beyond the mountains," he says.
Wardrobe of Love has collected more than 13.8 million yuan ($2.25 million) to purchase clothes for children through online auctions of artworks and costume donations from celebrities and the public, charity galas and corporate assistance.
After working at CCTV for eight years, Wang quit his job in March because he wanted a change in life.
His new 30-minute show Kai Talk, about common problems in life such as cheating in marriage, will soon appear on the Web.
In May 2011, when Wang was moving to a new home he was unsure what to do with the traditional Chinese costumes he used to wear on TV programs.
So he posted a message on his Sina Weibo account saying he wanted to open an online shop to sell TV presenters' costumes and donate the money to charity organizations.
To his surprise, thousands of people reposted his tweet and Wardrobe of Love was born.
Wang sent many volunteers to impoverished mountainous areas to investigate, and they concluded the children needed warm clothing that was waterproof and could "breathe".
Chen Nian, founder and CEO of Vancl (Beijing) Technology Co, an online clothing retailer, joined the program, and calculated that suitable clothes would cost 158 yuan for boys and 162 yuan for girls.