I will be organising on Tuesday 28 Dec an "Out with the Old" charity event in conjunction with Roundabout, Beijing's Charity Distribution Store.
I would be happy to hear from any individual or company that would be interested in sponsoring prizes for the lucky draw or even to help sponsor the event.
The event is purposely after Christmas so that you can donate any unwanted presents. Not sure what I mean? This is some basic info about Roundabout and the work they do....
Roundabout is a not-for-profit charity distribution store.
The concept is simple; YOU donate your good quality, unwanted goods and they get them out to the people who need them.
ROUNDABOUT - A PLACE TO GIVE.
Believed to be the first charity store in mainland China, Roundabout was set up by an ex-pat woman, Leslie Simpson, who, while already working as a charity volunteer, saw the need for such an organization in our area.
This non-profit store is a place where you can drop of your unwanted goods and have complete peace of mind that the people in charge will use the goods to help people who are in need.
They are currently supporting 30 charities within the Beijing area and many more in areas throughout the country, including Shanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia and Hebei. Choosing only to pass on items via other reputable organizations that are already working to alleviate poverty and suffering, they can make sure that the goods they ship out end up in the right hands.
The operation totally relies on the goodwill of the community and the generosity and kindness they show by passing on their good quality unwanted goods. Donations are then sorted by the team of hard working volunteers who readily give of their time to help others and, without whom, the organization could not run. Items that are on the wish lists of the local charities, and items that they know could be of use to those in need are reserved to be shipped out as speedily as possible. Other items such paintings, vases, handbags, decorative items for the home and books are sold in their retail area. The income from the retail area is used to pay for truck hire, rent, electricity and other essential costs. Cash donations are used to purchase items to pass onto needy homes. In the past they have purchased large capacity rice cookers for orphanages, washing machines, sofas and beds for foster care homes, paid for orphans to have life saving surgeries, paid for elderly, mentally challenged, men to live in care homes and last winter purchased and distributed an amazing 100,000 rmb worth of blankets, duvets and thermal underwear.
They ask that donations to the store are in a good, clean and usable condition and can provide a list of what they will accept. Although Leslie jokes that is easier to list what they won't accept as that list is much smaller! Past donations have included office furniture, trampolines, massage tables and 3 wheeled bikes with carts, and homes have been found for all of it!
Roundabout also acts as a bridge between those who wish to give and those who are in need. Supplying information about charities needs to schools, embassies, ex-pat ladies groups, local business men etc? is a full time job in itself but one that gives enormous satisfaction. An example; before Christmas the British School of Beijing had been collecting shoe boxes full of goodies to distribute to children who live in less fortunate circumstances. The Roundabout team used their contacts to match the school with a community of migrant children who were absolutely thrilled to receive their surprise gifts. Most recently we were able to match funds from the Western Academy of Beijing PTA committee with a little girl, Candy, who desperately needs titanium rods inserted into her legs. Once she has had the operation Candy will have a 95% chance of walking for the first time in her life. Put into context Protected content rmb - the amount an individual might spend on a holiday each year - could pay for a 10 year old girl to walk for the first time ever. Quite a sobering thought.