Lee Seung Gi gives 550 million won to charity in celebration of his birthday – such a generous yet humble guy

When it comes to favorite Korean singers/actors, I would be hard-pressed to find one that has impressed me more than Lee Seung Gi in the last year.

(Well, Kim Jae Uck is just as impressive to me, but that’s because he is my current favorite Korean dude).

After all, not only did Lee Seung Gi stand up to his agency after it came to light Hook Entertainment had illegally kept most of his singing earnings for the last decade and is likely to win that fight with his recent lawsuit, he also did so with grace.

Throw in the Korean singer/actor is one of the most generous people in Korea when it comes to donating money to charity, and Lee Seung Gi is pretty stellar all round.

Something he proved yet again this week when he donated a massive 550 million won (around $443,000) to the Korean Red Cross.

According to the man himself, the money will be used to provide mobile meal trucks and to manufacture blood donation vehicles to be used in disaster relief efforts, and was donated in honor of his 36th birthday today.

To help promote the Korean Red Cross even more, Lee Seung Gi then posted on his Instagram account the reasons why he felt so strongly about donating money:

재난 상황에서 실질적인 도움을 드리고 싶었습니다. 어렵고 힘든 이웃에게 따뜻한 식사라도 대접하면 좋겠다고 생각했습니다. 그러다 이동급식차량을 알게 됐습니다. 소방차 다음으로 빨리 출동해 이재민 5만 명 분량의 식사를 챙긴다고 합니다.

응급상황에서 가장 부족한 것이 무엇인지, 전문가들의 목소리를 듣는 과정에서 혈액 부족 문제를 인지하게 됐습니다. 현재 우리나라 혈액 재고분은 보유일수 5일 미만으로 위험한 상태였습니다. 16세~29세 헌혈자 참여자가 71%에서 54%로 30%이상 감소했다고 합니다. 특히 코로나 시기를 거치면서 헌혈 수급 상황은 더욱 불안정하고요.

재난 상황, 그리고 응급상황은 누구에게나 일어날 수 있는 일입니다. 저의 기부가 재난과 병마로 고통받는 이웃들에게 작은 도움이 되길 바랍니다.

Roughly translated into English, that means:

I wanted to offer practical help in disaster situations. I thought it would be nice to treat a desperate and needy neighbor with a warm meal. Then I found out about mobile food trucks. After fire trucks, they are the next vehicles on the scene and can quickly serve 50,000 meals.

In the process of listening to the voices of experts about what is most lacking in an emergency, I also came to recognize the problem of blood shortage.

Currently, blood stocks in Korea are in a dangerous state with fewer than five days of supply. It is said that the number of blood donors between the ages of 16 and 29 decreased by more than 30% from 71% to 54% in recent years. In particular, the blood donation supply and demand situation was even more unstable as we went through the Corona period.

Disasters and emergencies can happen to anyone. I hope my donation will be a small help to neighbors suffering from disasters or disease.

Being the generous yet humble person he is, Lee Seung Gi also didn’t mention that he was awarded a certificate by the Korean Red Cross in recognition of being a donor who has generously given over 500 million won.

Nor that it is the second huge charitable donation he has given in just a month, as he also donated 2 billion won (approx $1.6 million) to the Seoul National University Children’s Hospital in December after he received the unpaid earnings Hook Entertainment had not paid him (illegally).

Earnings he said upfront that, when he received them, would all be donated to charity.

And just a couple of the many large charitable donations the singer/actor has given to various Korean charities in the almost 20 years since he got his start in the entertainment industry.

See, Lee Seung Gi is lovely, isn’t he?

About Michelle Topham

Brit-American journalist based in Austria, former radio DJ at 97X WOXY, and Founder/CEO of Leo Sigh. I've covered K-drama, K-pop, J-pop and music news for over a decade.