|Park Shin-hye at a press conference in April 2018. Korea Times file|
By Ko Dong-hwan
Top model and the heroine of tvN TV drama "Memories of the Alhambra" Park Shin-hye has donated more than 50 million won ($44,000) to help firefighters buy more high-tech washers for their safety jackets.
The Salt Entertainment star's generosity will pay for about 20 washing machines specially designed for the safety outfits, according to Munhwa Ilbo Thursday.
The machines will be delivered to fire stations across the country within this month, including Gangdong Fire Station in Seoul's Gangdong-gu District where Shin lives. Firemen in Songpa-gu District in the capital and her hometown Gwangju metropolitan city will also benefit.
|Park Shin-hye played TV news reporter Choi In-ha in SBS's 'Pinocchio' (2014). Screen capture from SBS|
Shin, 28, grew to admire the firemen while filming the SBS romance drama "Pinocchio" in 2014, where she played a TV news reporter covering city issues. She apparently learned during the 20-part series that firefighters' jackets must be washed in specialized high-end machines due to toxic chemicals on the jackets.
The former Lotte Department Store model and China's No.1 pick of popular Korean ad models in 2016 then learned more about the life-threatening working environments of Korean firefighters that are often reported in the news.
Fire stations across the country have been short of the high-priced machinery, which is not mass-produced, and some locations were not equipped with it.
LG Electronics, which developed the equipment, received Shin's donation and was asked to deliver and install the device at fire stations in need of the machine.
|Park Shin-hye in a commercial for Mamonde from Amore Pacific. Korea Times file|
Debuting in singer Lee Seung-hwan's music video for "Flower" released in 2003, the singer aspirant-turned-actress in 2017 donated 50 million won for children in the earthquake-stricken port city of Pohang in 2017. In 2016, she gave the same amount to victims of burnt-down Seomun Market in Daegu and charity group Babsang Community. She also gave the same amount of money to help find the missing victims of the Sewol ferry disaster.
Since 2009, Shin has six times been appointed honorary ambassador for festivals and institutions, including Chung Ang University in 2014 and the Korean Intellectual Property Office during 2013-14.
The former child actress won dozens of awards during her acting career from 2003, and has also appeared in more than 50 advertisements since 2004.