Bed-ridden Zhou Lihong managing her online store shortly before her death.
A Hangzhou citizen donating funds to the "magic bean baby foundation".
Thanks to help from a charity foundation and millions of cyber store owners of taobao.com, China's most popular online shopping portal, about 20 mothers in difficulty have been able to support themselves by opening online stores.
The charity was initiated by a woman, Zhou Lihong, suffering from terminal cancer. She opened an online store on taobao.com to support herself and her 6-year-old daughter.
Her story spread widely through the portal and following Zhou's death last year, her father, according to Zhou's will, set up the "magic bean baby foundation" using donations from the public. The foundation, later developed into a charity project run by the China Red Cross and taobao.com. So far it has helped about 20 mothers out of difficulty. They met recently in Hangzhou to share their experiences. The project plans to help at least 10,000 mothers in need within the next three years.
(China Daily May 18, 2007)