The Guest Room

A Hong Kong blog that does a lot more than blog

impactHK:Event 1

Our first impactHK event is in the books and it was a total success!

We ended up having 24 outstanding volunteers and handed out 100 meals to the needy in the Nam Cheong area.
photo by ayeshasitara
Leading up to the event, I was quite nervous.  I wanted to make sure we had a great meal ready and that we had enough people organized to get the job done.
I got there a couple of hours beforehand, (way too early!) and purchased the items: a hot meal with meat, rice and vegetables, bananas, drinks and our special Oreo cookies.
As more volunteers turned up, I became more and more relaxed but I still felt a sort of pressure to make sure our team felt comfortable and involved.  Which was all for not, as I soon realized that our team was composed of compassionate and kind people who came with only one goal, helping.
So, as a group we headed off into the action and very shortly came across a pedestrian bridge which was transformed into small living spaces.  Some habitants cleverly tapped into the electricity from the overhead lighting.  You could see how they had created a sort of community there, and one of the bridge dwellers lead us around pointing out how many people needed food in some of the boarded up spaces.
photo by Alain Jaquier
I was overwhelmed on that bridge.  Personally it took me a few minutes to get comfortable and really put into context what was happening.
It took a little bit for me to hand out my first drink, but once I did I didn’t want to stop.  It felt great because you could easily see the happiness in the recipient’s faces and many of them said thank you in English.
photo by Alain Jaquier
We did have one problem during the night, which was the best problem possible, we couldn’t find enough people to give our donations to.
We got to the biggest area of homeless people soon after a 50 person church group of volunteers did.  So, on this night, the homeless ate very well!  Many people actually refused our donations as they were just too full.
It was a real testament to the people of Hong Kong.  There are a lot of people here who really care and judging by the relatively small numbers of homeless people out that night, there must be a lot of actions being taken to help the issues surrounding the poor and homeless.
That’s not in anyway saying that homelessness, the massive wealth gap and opportunities for the poor are non-issues in Hong Kong.  Nobody should be living in conditions like we saw last night.  Especially in a city with so many millionaires.  It just doesn’t make sense.
photo by ayeshasitara
photo by ayeshasitara
I’d like to personally thank all of you who helped out.  I’m so happy I got the chance to meet you all!
Special thanks to Martin for showing us the area and arranging the food, Kay, for helping spread the word and bringing so many friends, and Art Hong Kong for their kind donation.
In the comments below, let us know what you thought of event 1.
photo by ayeshasitara
Next Saturday, I will write another impactHK blog.  On that blog, we will start discussing our new ideas for event 2 which will happen in May.
Cheers and thanks again!

4 comments on “impactHK:Event 1

  1. Martin C.Y. Lai
    April 5, 2014

    Great blog Jeff.Happy to have helped organise and great to meet so many kind people all willing to help out a little. I did try to make sure we split up all the food so that everyone felt involved and carried a bag with something to give out but I have to say that this was the first time I have done this where we struggled to get rid of everything quickly so i apologise to everyone that we walked twice as far and long as is usual, but it still seemed everyone had a great time chatting and being involved anyway. Looking forward to the next one ! Martin

  2. theguestroom
    April 6, 2014

    Cheers Martin!

    And thanks again for all your help in organizing this event!

    I think this was a great start to our humanitarian adventure. I was so happy with our strong turnout and I’m already hearing a lot of excitement for event 2.

    Great stuff!

  3. ayeshas (@ayeshasitara)
    April 7, 2014

    Great initiative, I look forward to joining other initiatives too..cheers

  4. philip
    April 13, 2014

    Nam Cheong PT 2

    Before moving on from the Nam Cheong area, and continuing on from handing out 100 meals to the needy: There are many everyday accessories and toiletries we take for granted – toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant.

    We need to Imagine how we would feel if we did not have access to these small necessities. Items people in need deem as a luxury or simply cannot afford.

    By donating these small basic items to those who don’t have them might provide someone with a greater sense of dignity and self-worth. Simple accessories we may take for granted could be greatly appreciated by those who are less fortunate.

    Maybe this will open a door that will give that person a change to get a job or give them a fresh start to a new life.

    Pack ideas: toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, tissues and other toiletry items.

    [Idea] How many of us have hotel room toiletry packs we keep and save?

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