Looking to give back over the festive season? Here’s how you can help make a difference with volunteering opportunities, where to donate in Hong Kong and more…
As the festive season approaches, it’s more important than ever to spread the holiday cheer and support our local community. From volunteering at food banks and supporting charity initiatives to fostering a furry friend or simply shopping for stocking fillers at local homegrown businesses, here are just a few ways that you can get involved and help give back to the city. Ahead we’ve rounded up ways to help make a difference, including volunteering opportunities, where to donate in Hong Kong and more…
Read More: Where To Volunteer In Hong Kong – Nonprofits, Charities & Social Enterprises
The strain of the global pandemic and Hong Kong’s fast-moving shopping industry has hit even the biggest, most prominent brands (how many closures can you count — we know we’ve lost some of our favourite outposts over the past couple of years!). So it’s no surprise that some smaller businesses are struggling to recover losses and stay afloat. That’s why it’s so important to band together and show our support for homegrown local businesses!
Shopping online, especially on big brand marketplaces, can feel easy and the lure of free shipping is always an added bonus but we believe in Hong Kong retailers! Not only is shopping locally a great way to give back to the community, it’s also a surefire way to avoid fast fashion companies that are causing havoc on the environment and withholding pay from workers.
Whether you’re looking for stocking fillers, luxurious beauty gifts, an alternative to that Zara satin dress or a trinket that doubles as an ode to #homekong — local brands (including sustainable fashion brands!) stock it all! Plus, you could always gift restaurant gift cards, boutique homeware vouchers and passes to Hong Kong’s health and wellness scene that can be used in the near future; it’s a great way to give local businesses some much-needed love and revenue this year.
Sassy Tip: Why not do good with your wrapping paper too? Support hunger relief charity Foodlink Foundation and local artists by purchasing their charity wrapping paper. One roll of four sheets ($40) can provide six meals to a hungry family (plus they’re eco-friendly too!). We love the festive designs by Christine Wong, Zony and Ditto Ditto. Order your rolls here.
Read More: 50 Local Hong Kong Brands You Need To Know
A few Christmas products to shop this year from local brands:
- Sustainable shopping platform ethikaal has launched responsibly-produced Gift Boxes for the festive season, inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to support people in need. You can also browse its charity products.
- This year’s Zubin Crackers by The Zubin Foundation was created by Hong Kong’s diverse youth, and each contain a crown, a joke, and a novelty item. They make for fantastic decorations on Christmas trees or dinner tables during the holidays. All proceeds go towards The Zubin Foundation’s work for Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities in mental health, support for women and girls, and providing jobs and opportunities.
- For its 10th year, The Lion Rock Press is proudly supporting Mother’s Choice with 100 percent of the profits from its Charity Christmas Cards going directly to the organisation.
- You can support Love21 Foundation — a Hong Kong charity empowering the Down Syndrome and autistic community with sport and nutrition programmes — by buying the Love21 Charity Card Pack at Bookazine.
- The Society for the Relief of Disabled Children is also selling Greeting Cards to support its work to create and fund medical, surgical, rehabilitation and educational services for differently-abled children in Hong Kong.
Volunteer Your Time
We’re not always in a position where we can lend monetary help but we might have the ability to lend our time this holiday season. So many charitable organisations and initiatives in Hong Kong would truly benefit from an extra pair of hands. Aside from time, you could also prove to be particularly useful as cause-driven organisations are often looking for people to support with marketing, design, legal work, education, translation, event management and fundraising.
Check out this list of inspiring, worthwhile charities and organisations that may need a little extra assistance this time of year.
Read More: Where To Volunteer In Hong Kong – Nonprofits, Charities & Social Enterprises
Donate Food And Hygiene Supplies
Reduce food waste by supporting local charities striving to feed Hong Kong — it’s a win-win! Perhaps you stocked up on cans earlier in the year or were gifted too many Christmas treats. Whatever it may be, there are various organisations working tirelessly throughout the year to collect, sort, store and redistribute surplus food items to those in need.
This Christmas, Feeding Hong Kong is running a Santa Sack Food Drive 2022 calling for key staples: essential food items like rice, noodles, cooking oil, and canned food, which are in high demand in the community. Other than food, the non-profit also welcomes casual chain restaurant vouchers. Have a look at its volunteer calendar here to see which areas you might be able to help in.
If you would like to donate multiple items, be sure to also get in touch with these Hong Kong organisations and food banks below:
Read More: Where To Donate Or Sell Clothes, Furniture And Homeware In Hong Kong
Take Part In Local Christmas Initiatives
Angels for Children
Angels for Children — formerly known as Angels for Orphans — raises awareness and funds for charities in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Indonesia that work tirelessly on the ground to improve the lives of the many children in their care. its Secret Santa wish list gifting campaign may be over but you can still purchase a School Shoes Voucher and a Book Voucher for donation.
Box of Hope
Box of Hope’s mission is to give a child in extreme poverty the chance to experience the joy of receiving a gift. To support this, schools, businesses and individuals all over Hong Kong (including Team Sassy!) actively get involved each year to put together special boxes of toys and personal items (such as toothbrushes and soap) that will then be distributed over the festive period. The 2022 campaign has already ended, but this is a good one to keep in mind for next year!
Cookie Smiles’ Gingerbread for Good 2022
Local social enterprise Cookie Smiles is bringing its Gingerbread for Good campaign back this year — in partnership with LANDMARK and 23 celebrated chefs, who have all created their own take on a Mrs Claus cookie. The pop-up aims to fundraise at least $600,000 for Box of Hope and Vocational Training Council’s Shine Skills Centre.
Where: Shop 305, 3/F, LANDMARK ATRIUM, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
ImpactHK’s “No One Forgotten this Winter” Crowdfunding Campaign
Play your part in ending homelessness! This winter, ImpactHK is aiming to raise $1 million to serve food on the streets, promote inclusion by reducing stigma and eradicate misconceptions about people experiencing homelessness and help people get off the streets and into safe shelters. Make a contribution here.
Operation Santa Claus
Operation Santa Claus is an annual fundraising campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK which hosts a variety of events in aid of select beneficiaries. This year’s fundraising Christmas events include parades, street fairs, charity auctions and more. The campaign also accepts direct donations through its website.
Foster A Furry Friend For The Holidays
Animal rescue shelters are always looking for people who can sign up as foster families and relieve some of the pressure off kennels and shelters, giving them space for another dog or cat while you help your furry friends actively socialise!
There is no shortage of charities to choose from — our sister site Sassy Mama Hong Kong has a great list of animal charities and rescue organisations. If you’re interested, be sure to get in touch and ask any questions before filling out a standard questionnaire. Warning: exposure to belly rubs, wet noses and slobbery chops could result in long-term adoption (welcome to the “foster fail” family!).
Bear in mind that you may not be able to specify which dog you would like to foster, and it will heavily depend on the individual needs of the animal (as well as the space you have available for that breed).
Already adopted a dog? Consider changing up your pup’s food to a brand that gives back to shelters in Hong Kong. For every 2kg ordered, dog food subscription service Buddy Bites donates 1kg to its shelter partners! Don’t forget to consult your veterinarian first if you have any allergy or food intolerance concerns.
Give The Gift Of Giving
Gift a charity eGift Card with Charitable Choice, where your recipient chooses the charity! You’ll just need two minutes to log on and select your gift card design, the value intended and the recipient’s address details. Once it arrives in the post, they’ll be able to choose which initiative or charity they would like to support with the money (or you can also select an organisation on their behalf). You can also send a couple of pre-loaded cards to yourself.
A Hong Kong-based online social enterprise, Twopresents allows you to host a virtual celebration where you invite others to contribute towards a gift fund, of which a percentage will be donated to a charity of your choice. View the charities here.
Make A Blood Donation
One single blood donation can save the lives of three or more people. If you’re in good health, weigh over 41kg and are over the age of 16 (and below 66), this guide is here to help you navigate all the specifics — like what to expect and where to go.
The Red Cross has a daily target of 1,100 donations per day, with the need for blood more prevalent than before as COVID has resulted in a drop in donations over the past year. With that in mind, Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service is doing all it can to ensure blood safety and the safety of those donating.
Read More: Donating Blood In Hong Kong – Where To Go And What You Need To Know
Editor’s Note: “How To Give Back To Hong Kong This Christmas” was originally published by Lexi Davey and was most recently updated in December 2022 by Team Sassy. Have a Christmas charity initiative you think we missed? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Main image courtesy of Any Lane via Pexels, image 1 courtesy of Angels for Children via Facebook, image 2 courtesy of Cookie Smiles, image 3 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 4 courtesy of alleksana via Pexels.