Combatting radio silence

A radio: modern but based on a retro design. It didn’t look like much, sitting on a shelf in our warehouse, but to Rose, it was a lifeline.

Rose is shy and softly-spoken, a middle-aged woman living alone in a small Hong Kong apartment. When she came to us to receive goods, she told staff that her days are long and lonely. For many years, Rose has suffered from severe depression. The medication she takes can make her feel confused and easily lost. It’s meant that holding down a job, and even leaving home, is very difficult, so she relies on a limited social welfare allowance to survive. When her refrigerator broke down in the height of summer, it was a challenge. But, in her case, the broken radio was even more devastating. She told us that the radio keeps her company at home, when preparing food in the kitchen, or in bed at night. While it’s hard for Rose to go out into the world and be part of the community, listening to the radio helps her feel connected.

Rose reached out to her social worker for help, who referred her to us. When she came to our site this month then, her wish-list was short: a radio and a fridge. Our staff helped her choose a fridge, and found the radio pictured above. “You might look at something like this and think, it’s a bit old-fashioned,” said Jack, one of our HK distribution staff remembering the radio, “but it really impacted her life. Every item on our shelves is special.”

Daily, Hong Kong people receive goods in our warehouse, whether a major order, or something small but surprisingly strategic, like Rose’s request. Many are battling mental illness, others have physical disabilities or a fighting other battles, like family breakdown, recent release from prison, unemployment, and more. It’s easy to miss the importance that humble items can have in others’ lives. If you have excess goods, please pause, before throwing them out, to ask if we can use them for the countless ‘Rose’s who come through our gates each day.

Click here to find out more about donating goods to Crossroads.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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