Lush, the handmade soap company, always furnishes its shops in ways that are a feast for the eyes. So imagine our delight when, just when we needed to furnish our new Hong Kong Distribution Centre, they happened to be refurbishing and offered us their exquisite, superseded items.

It was amazing. Our goal had been to create a space which Hong Kong people would find not only helpful but even beautiful: a place that felt rather like a nice boutique, although, of course, they would pay us no money when ‘shopping’ in it. This shelving was perfect, except for one factor. Our space was quite large and there wasn’t quite enough shelving to fill it. It seemed a pity. We had stored this furniture for three months, knowing how helpful it would be in this project, but we definitely didn’t have enough. Our team met on it and suggested other shelving to supplement, but it was not a great match. The following day, to our astonishment, an email came in. “Lush is renovating another store and is offering more shelving. Might Crossroads be interested?”  We jumped onto email with an astonished yes. The timing, the quality, the need met: everything about this was a perfect match. Now this space is open, serving Hong Kong people in need with, we hope, the sense that they are being cared for with dignity and respect (see image below).

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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After her husband died, Mrs Szeto felt like the only way forward in her grief was to focus on her two young sons, aged 12 and 7, and pour herself into their learning to give them a strong future. The family of three now lives in a small public housing flat, with basic furniture, but Mrs Szeto takes every possible opportunity to enrich the lives of her sons with sports activities and support of their academic projects. When she visited Crossroads for some furniture, referred by her social worker, Mrs Szeto was excited to see a small set of chairs and folding table that weren’t just compact, but looked cute and fun enough to entice her sons to spend time on their homework! It was our privilege to help Mrs Szeto in her quest to support her boys, with all the love of a mother’s heart.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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When Rwanda suffered its inimitable ethnic fighting, the result was not simply war. It was genocide. In 100 days, the country saw 500,000 people killed. Bertrand Russel called it, “The most horrible and systematic human massacre we have had occasion to witness since the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.”

The images of death from that period are searing. So is the legacy the country continues to battle as it tries to reconstruct, train its youth and equip them for a different future. The population averages US$1.57 per day. Good employment, and the training that enables it, are therefore critical.

A simple gift of tools can help. There are training centres in the country helping young people master employable skills. The equipment they need, however, may be beyond their reach.

Knowing the depth of need in many communities, Ian Wells (pictured), one of Crossroads’ long term community volunteers, offered a huge set of tools on Global Hand, our match-making website. They were snapped up by a Rwandan carpentry centre.

Tools - Ian

With drills, saws, vices, chisels, hammers, screwdrivers and more – a treasure trove for this impoverished area – the donation was collected from the UK and shipped to Rwanda.

“Rwanda is clinically dead as a nation,” said Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, at the time of the genocide.  As better quality employment opportunities open up, this country is, increasingly, able to give the next generation a greater chance at life.

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It’s a nice problem to have. Our phones run hot and our email boxes burst with new messages as Hong Kong people generously offer goods to us each day. The people of Hong Kong love to give.

So, yes, a nice problem to have, but a problem, of sorts, nonetheless. With phone calls numbering 60, 70, or more, every day, it can be hard for even our dedicated team of volunteers to keep up.  They were sometimes overwhelmed. So was the system they were using. It was designed for an earlier time in Crossroads’ history. It worked fine, back then, but could not meet today’s demand. Nor, from what we could see, would it meet tomorrow’s.

Microsoft2When Microsoft first contacted Crossroads, it was to arrange a day of corporate volunteering and simulations. But after a day serving at our Crossroads’ site and experiencing a taste of poverty through the Struggle for Survival simulation, they were inspired to do more than just use their muscles!

Microsoft worked with Crossroads to come up with a partnership that truly used their core strengths, and solved our incoming phone calls dilemma.They donated and hosted a brand new IT system which is far better suited for handling the generosity of Hong Kong’s wonderful community.

“The most immediate benefit is that we have more visibility of our donation pipeline so that we will be able to match more donations to more needs and deliver relief faster. That means we will be saying ‘no’ [to donations] less often!” said Matthew Gow, Crossroads’ CTO.

With Microsoft’s partnership, it’s a joy to be saying ‘yes’ to more lives changed!

We can help your company engage with development issues

Crossroads has helped hundreds of companies, including some of the world’s biggest brand names, find ways they can develop their CSR programmes and serve the poor, through volunteer days, finding NGOs to partner with around the world, taking part in simulations, and much more.

Contact us today at enquiries@crossroads.org.hk to start talking about how we can help!

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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HongKong_child_in_wagonChi Kin should be running and climbing like any other energetic preschooler but at 3 years old, the little boy still can’t walk.

Chi Kin suffers from a genetic condition that means his legs are too weak to take more than a few steps at a time.

He’s receiving therapy that will help his legs grow strong, but in the meantime, Chi Kin rides in a stroller to get around.

With medical costs mounting, though, his father started to worry when their old stroller began to wear out.

 

“It was almost broken,” he said. They couldn’t afford to buy a bigger, stronger stroller that would help Chi Kin.

We had the joy of meeting Chi Kin and his Dad at Crossroads when they visited to collect some goods to help with family life. One of the things they hoped for was a stroller to replace the broken one.

Little did his father know, stroller company Maclaren had recently donated to Crossroads a large quantity of their high-end strollers, still in their packaging! Our staff unpacked one of the larger models, and the happy father started to put it together straight away.

“I didn’t expect we would get a brand new stroller!” he said. He expressed great gratitude to Maclaren for the donation.

As for Chi Kin, you couldn’t wipe the smile from this little guy’s face! We know he is as thrilled with his new ‘wheels’ as his father is.

Maclaren’s gorgeous new strollers are bringing joy to many more families throughout Hong Kong as each one is wheeled out of our gates.

Some of the strollers have been gratefully accepted by local NGO Pathfinders, who serve migrant families in need.

‘Mary’*, a young Indonesian mother, single and in difficult circumstances, was one of the grateful beneficiaries (baby pictured below right).

Hongkong_donated_wagon

“It really helps me from carrying the baby all the time,” she said. “My arms and shoulders were getting sore before but now with the new stroller.. it makes it more comfortable and convenient for me to go to different appointments.”

 

“We truly appreciate the donation which enables us to provide better services to the at risk migrant mothers and children,” said a Pathfinders staff member.

Every week, generous companies like Maclaren contact us with offers of high-quality goods that we redistribute to change lives.

Could your company or organisation partner with us in this way?
We’d love to hear from you! Email donategoods@crossroads.org.hk

* Name changed

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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Mrs Tse* was inconsolable. She was standing with one of our staff, in charge of Hong Kong goods distribution, weeping. Sadly, it seemed to our staff that we were unable to give her the one thing she had come for: a piano for her 6 year-old son.

“My husband died from cancer in 2011,” she told us. “I can’t afford to buy my boy a piano.”

The devoted mother had organised piano lessons for her son Kevin*, subsidised at a cheap rate for impoverished families, but they had no piano in the house.

“I bought him a little battery operated keyboard and he plays it like he’s addicted to it. But when the batteries ran out I told him I would try to find him a real piano.”

Piano_boyThe reason for her tears was the brown upright piano in front of her. It was the only piano we had ready to give and it had been delivered from a Hong Kong home just the day before. The keys, however, didn’t seem to be working and our staff had agonised over the fact they must send the mother away, without it. At that moment, though, another volunteer was called over to give a second opinion, and spotted the problem. It was simply the angle of the piano. Within moments, this volunteer demonstrated with a few scales that it was, in fact, in perfect working order!

Her tears turned to a wide smile as the mother realised she could provide Kevin with his own piano after all. That night, after the piano was delivered, she told us she was too excited to sleep! She sent us a photo (right) showing the little boy sitting proudly at his real piano – no batteries required!

*Names changed

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

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At least 5,500 people in the Philippines are now confirmed dead in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, with many more thousands of survivors left grieving and homeless.

PHP_typhoon_demaged_house

Crossroads’ first container has already arrived in the Philippines, carried free of charge by CNC Line, with three more containers loaded by 6th December, filled with goods to help reconstruction efforts in affected areas.

What’s needed now?

Now that the initial weeks following the disaster have passed, our partners have asked us for goods that will help people rebuild, such as hammers, nails and other hardware. Read on below for more information.

PHP_typhoon_container_with_building_hardware

HOW YOU CAN HELP

GIVE MONEY

To donate money towards Crossroads’ Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief efforts, please click here and specify ‘Disaster relief fund’ in the ‘What For?’ section.

Alternatively, you can make a direct deposit to:

Bank: HSBC

Account number: 083-6-028407

Account name: CROSSROADS FOUNDATION LTD

(NB – Please email accounts@crossroads.org.hk to notify us of your donation.)

 

GIVE GOODS

Goods requested

Our partners in the Philippines have advised us that construction materials and supplies such as hammers, nails, power tools, wood etc, would be most helpful for the rebuilding efforts now underway in their target areas. Email disaster.response@crossroads.org.hk with questions about other goods needed.

 

Disaster kits 

Crossroads is no longer calling for disaster kits for the Philippines. However we appreciate disaster kits at any time to replenish our supplies, ready to send as soon as another disaster strikes.

Please contact Crossroads in advance of your delivery on 2984 9309 so that someone is available to accept your donation.

How to deliver donations

Please deliver any donations directly to Crossroads after calling to inform our office on 2984 9309, with address details found here. Thank you for your generosity!

 

OTHER ENQUIRIES

Do you have other ideas about how your organisation or company can partner to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors? We’d love to hear from you.

Please email disaster.response@crossroads.org.hk (preferred) or call +852 2984 9309.

We will continue to release updates with any further developments or needs. Thank you for caring for those in need in the Philippines.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Give Now!

Donate to a shipment like this one.

DONATE MONEY

Donate Goods!

Want to donate goods for a shipment like this one?

DONATE GOODS

Philippines Snapshot

Population: 98,39 million
Capital: Manila

Population living below international poverty line of US$1.25 per day: 26.5%

Government statistics indicate that 1.57% of people in the Philippines are living with a disability. 97% of people living with disabilities are not being reached by the public school system.A51

HELPING LIGHT THE DARKNESS

The BBC calls if ‘the worst refugee camp on earth’. A camp on the far-flung island of Lesvos, Greece, seen by...

read more ...

7,000 brand new toys for Christmas

The quantity was astonishing: 7,000 brand new toys, donated through our Global Hand service by a leading toy manufacturer. NGOs across...

read more ...

Excelsior Hotel close equips HK social enterprise

It was the end of an era when Hong Kong’s beloved Excelsior shut down in early 2019. As their doors closed,...

read more ...

Helping equip Ukrainian maternity facility

"Finally, the repair of our maternity hospital is finished," wrote our colleagues in the Ukraine. "Your beds are in refurbished rooms...

read more ...