This local nonprofit is happy to take your surplus goods—blankets, toys, kettles and rice cookers in particular—and redistribute them to people in need. Want to get a little more hands on? Volunteers can sort donations or help cook. Hands off? The foundation is looking for donations to support Syrian child refugees. Pick-up available, but there’s often a waitlist.
2 Castle Peak Rd., Tuen Mun, 2984-9309.
Send a Crossroads care package to a Syrian refugee
More than 50 years old, Caritas Hong Kong focuses on social work, education and medical services for low-income families in Hong Kong, but also accepts clothing and electronics donations—as long as the items are in good condition and you can drop them off yourself. The drop-off point is on Caine Road, so you should be able to handle it.
Drop off at 2/F, Caritas House, 2-8 Caine Rd., Mid-Levels, 2843-4652, www.caritas.org.hk.
Green Dot Home
Green Dot Home will pick up your old furniture and homeware—as long as it’s not visibly damaged or built into your walls—upcycle it, and then resell it with proceeds benefiting partner nonprofits. Hope they accept all things Ikea!
Collection fees apply. www.green-dot-home.com.hk.
Green Dot Home gives your furniture a second lease on life
We get it—the winter chill has set in, and you’d rather hibernate than take on some sponsored hike. Perform your good deeds indoors at one of these operations.
Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education & Services
The Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education & Services is always on the lookout for English- and Cantonese-speaking journal volunteers to work on the organization’s monthly newsletter, help organize projects and add to its bank of educational materials.
Kely Support Group
Working primarily with teens, Kely Support Group fosters leadership with art education programs, mentorship and private counselling. Kely accepts adult mentor volunteers all year, as well as those who can contribute to administration, program planning and photography. Various fundraising events throughout the year—such as Kely’s annual Philharmonic concert in June—also need volunteers.
2/F, East Wing, 12 Borrett Rd., Central, 2521-6890, www.kely.org.
Make a Donation
Here’s something you can do over your lunch hour: donate to the Standard Chartered Marathon Hong Kong’s fundraising drive. The race itself is on January 25, but the marathon is raising money for three local charities until February 8.
Min. donation $100. www.hkmarathoncharity.com.
A Sporting Chance
From races to rugby, March is chock-full of altruistic action. Give your all to one of these charitable races or events.
Mission Possible at the Rugby 7s
Balance out that riotous Rugby 7s weekend at the Mission Possible charity box—just next to the South Stand. A team effort from the Peter Bennett Foundation and the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, Mission Possible raised nearly $4 million for local charities last year and sent all of the proceeds to four local charities. Mission Possible is out for another round this March, so stay tuned for a new list of charities.
Minimum donation $16,000 for three-day weekend, www.missionpossible.org.hk.
Beat the Banana
If you’re going to run for fun, you might as well look ridiculous. At the Beat the Banana charity race, runners will be trying to catch the titular “banana” over a 5-kilometer course. But it’s not just about chasing down fruits—the race is also an opportunity to raise money for the World Cancer Research Fund.
March 15. Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade. www.beatthebanana-hk.org.
Can you Beat the Banana?
April in Hong Kong means it’s likely raining cats and dogs outside. Take the stormy skies as a hint to make some friends at a local animal shelter.
The Alley Cat Watch
Homegrown nonprofit Hong Kong Alley Cat Watch focuses on neutering then releasing feral cats to curb populations, as well as finding homes for friendly felines. You can volunteer to foster and adopt lost cats and kittens, or donate money to help the cause.
Hong Kong Dog Rescue
The Hong Kong Dog Rescue has been saving dogs for over a decade—and if you’re not ready to take the plunge and adopt a dog, you can volunteer to walk pups or take them home temporarily as a foster parent.
Walk a dog with Hong Kong Dog Rescue. Photo: Siu Pang
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has earned its reputation as a haven for feral or mistreated animals the world over. The organization is constantly in need of volunteers to help clean kennels, walk pooches and provide temporary foster homes.
Volunteer to play with puppies at the SPCA. Photo: Ali Bullock
A Clothes Call
If your winter clothes are capsizing your closet, take a minute to send last season’s garb to someone in need.
Local NGO St. James’ Settlement runs Green Ladies, which consists of three secondhand consignment stores, and it’s looking for your unwanted fashion. Green Ladies will pay you up to 30 percent of what it makes on your clothes, shoes and home accessories—but if you’re feeling altruistic, you can also just drop it all off as a donation.
Multiple locations, including 85 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, 2831-3204, greenladies.sjs.org.hk.
The Salvation Army
Stalwart do-gooder The Salvation Army collects unwanted goods from its recycling bins that are scattered across town. The nonprofit will either distribute your stuff to local people in need, or it will sort and sell the goods in its Family Stores to help raise money for community programs. You can also opt for the pickup service, if you have at least five large bags of clothes and goods, or big-ticket electronics such as TV sets or washing machines.
Travel for Good
Whether you’re getting out of town or staying in the SAR, make your holiday count with a bout of benevolence.
Habitat for Humanity
Put on your construction hat and pick up a hammer: Habitat for Humanity is out to bring homes to the more than 500 million people in Asia who are living in dilapidated slums. Take a Global Village volunteer trip to help build a house in the likes of China, Bangladesh, Fiji or Mongolia. If you can’t get away, consider donating to the Friends of Habitat program: $200 buys eight sets of windows, whereas $500 provides 2,500 bricks.
Six months’ notice required for international trips. 2520-4000, www.habitat.org.hk.
Build a house in Guangdong with Habitat for Humanity
Staying put this summer? Enjoy a little voluntary staycation with a day trip to Ark Eden. This homegrown charity on Lantau Island runs an eco-education center that teaches visitors about environmental sustainability. Volunteers can help with the workshops and field trips, or get more hands-on with composting and farm work.
Mui Wo, Lantau Island, 9277-4025, www.arkedenonlantau.com.
Jump start your inner eco-warrior at Ark Eden
Read Into It
School may be out for summer, but you can still help kids stay on top of their literacy lessons.
Bring Me a Book
Local nonprofit Bring Me a Book is all about promoting literacy in little ones. The organization not only accepts monetary donations ($2,800 buys a “Start-up Pack” for adoptive/foster families, complete with educational materials and books), but also needs volunteers all year round to read aloud to children and families.
7/F, On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan St., Central, 2127-4533, www.bringmeabook.org.hk.
Read to cute tots with Bring Me a Book
The Right Track
With the Happy Valley Wednesday night races on hiatus this month, make time for another jockey club.
Riding for the Disabled
Founded by former governor’s wife Lady MacLehose in 1975, Riding for the Disabled has been running out of the Jockey Club public riding school in Pok Fu Lam since 1978. Horse riding classes at RDA are open to children and adults suffering from conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and blindness. Volunteers can help out with riding lessons, or work behind the scenes in the administration offices.
Experience is not required. Several locations including 75 Reservoir Rd., Pok Fu Lam, 2875-7711,www.rda.org.hk.
Trot out some good karma at Riding for the Disabled
Life of the Party
The weather may be cooling down, but the social calendar is ramping up. Get down for a good cause this September.
Drink for Good
Enjoy a guilt-free cocktail at Drink For Good—an annual night out organized by HandsOn Hong Kong. Last year, the charitable bar crawl saw more than 80 participating establishments raise over $100,000, which went towards taking kids-in-need on sports and holiday outings. Buy a few rounds on the night—a portion of each drink benefits the cause—or volunteer to help prepare for the event.
Date TBD. www.drinkforgood.org.
Drink for Good, you lush!
Very Hong Kong Festival Foundation Association
If you’d rather plan your own party, check out Very Hong Kong: it’s an independent creative event organizer that specializes in arts, culture and heritage programs—think street markets, alfresco film screenings and indie concerts. The outfit is always in need of collaborators, donors and passionate people to help bring the events to life.
Volunteer in a Very Hong Kong way
From sand to sea, October is all about Hong Kong’s beautiful beaches.
East Aquathon 16.3
Revolution Asia’s annual East Aquathon 16.3 is back again with the same route: it kicks off with a 1.5km open-water swim, followed by a 7.5 kilometer trail run and a 7.3 kilometer road run. Last year, the East Aquathon raised over $150,000 for the Sedan Chair Charity Fund, which supports small grassroots charities in Hong Kong. You don’t have to do the whole thing solo—pair up with a relay team and then celebrate on Tong Chong Street in Quarry Bay with an after-party hosted by East hotel.
Minimum donation $400 per participant. You can also raise funds on JustGiving.com.www.revolution-asia.com.
HK Cleanup Challenge
Established 15 years ago as a beach cleanup by the eco-warriors at Ecovision Asia, the ever-growing HK Cleanup now takes on the city’s worsening waste problem on all fronts. During the seven-week challenge in 2014, volunteers picked up over 350 metric tons of trash from the SAR’s shores, parks and streets. Round up some friends or coworkers and get your hands dirty.
Dates TBD. www.hkcleanup.org.
Are you up to the HK Cleanup Challenge?
Fit to Fundraise
There’s no shortage of service opportunities in November: grow out a mustache, take a hike or eat your heart out—the choice is yours.
Chi Fan for Charity
If there’s one thing Hongkongers love, it’s a delicious meal. Chi Fan for Charity aims to give you just that, albeit with a side of philanthropy. Every year, Chi Fan (meaning “to eat” in Putonghua), partners with restaurants—including the likes of Shore, Souvla and Spices—to raise money for a local charity. All you have to do is buy a dinner ticket (roughly $800-1,200 per person), show up, and stuff your face—job well done.
Chi Fan for Charity? Sure, no problem!
Though the exact dates have yet to be nailed down, Oxfam Hong Kong’s big annual fundraiser, the Oxfam Trailwalker, typically takes place in November. Every year, the 100-kilometer hike raises millions of dollars to support poverty relief projects across Asia and Africa. It’s not too early to start guilt-tripping three friends to take on the hike—you’ll want to train for this one!
The year’s fuzziest fundraiser is back on again. This Movember, get sponsored to grow out a handlebar or simply send over some dollar bills to the local Mo Bro chapter. Last year, the team raised more than $3.5 million for the Movember Foundation—a men’s health charity that addresses prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
Style yourself a Mo Bro
Gift of Giving
It’s the holiday season once again! Toss your altruism around like tinsel with some festive philanthropy.
Feeding Hong Kong
Ever year Feeding Hong Kong organizes a huge Festive Food Drive, where the organization collects food, money and non-perishables. It all gets stuffed into thousands of “Santa Sacks,” which are delivered to the less fortunate. The nonprofit also cooks up a Christmas Bread Run, if baked goods are more your thing.
Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children
Stock up on holiday cards from the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children. Choose from the HKSPC’s more than 40 card designs ($30, box of 10)—some of which were drawn by the kids themselves—and proceeds go towards HKSPC’s initiatives.
Operation Santa Claus
The South China Morning Post and RTHK put on an annual fundraiser: Operation Santa Claus. Taking part is easy: just buy some cookies or shop at one of the charity sales to support the more than 20 charities that benefit from the series of OSC sales and events.
This article originally appeared as a cover story in HK Magazine, in print and online.