Intern Joseph has helped hundreds of Hong Kong people in need find furniture and other goods at Crossroads.

Intern Joseph has helped hundreds of Hong Kong people in need find furniture and other goods at Crossroads.

Standing before Joseph was a woman in crisis. After being violently abused by her husband, the woman had taken her 5 year old daughter and fled. She and the little girl then found a new home, ready to start again, but the home was empty. Now, as he looked at the women in need, Joseph, a Crossroads intern, knew that he could help.

Joseph is a student at Polytechnic University, studying applied physics. He quickly acknowledges that when he signed up for a summer internship with us, it seemed an unusual choice. “Physics doesn’t have much to do with social services,” he said, “but I have volunteered with Crossroads before, and I wanted to do something meaningful with my summer.”

Joseph has

Joseph and 48 other interns gave 9,569 hours of volunteering this summer at Crossroads.

The woman fleeing domestic violence was a touching symbol to Joseph. She represented so many of the clients he met during his more than 300 hours of service at Crossroads. Joseph worked with our Local Distribution department, which helps needy individuals and NGOs in Hong Kong find furniture, computers, clothing, and more. “She needed a lot of furniture,” Joseph remembers, “and I guided her through our furniture department, helping her take what she wanted. She was just so happy. She knew we could help her.”

Joseph’s internship opened his eyes to what it means to be poor in Hong Kong. “Before coming to Crossroads, I knew many people in Hong Kong were in need. But I didn’t truly understand their situation. Some people can’t even pay the transportation costs to get their goods home. At first, I thought, it’s just $200 to pay a driver for the transportation costs, but some of our clients can’t even pay that. It really helped me understand their situation better.”

Lifelong friendships are formed over a summer at Crossroads!

Lifelong friendships are formed over a summer at Crossroads!

This summer, Crossroads saw 49 young, energetic students complete 6 week internships with us. Touching almost every department at Crossroads, they staffed our fair trade shop and cafe, they cooked meals for hundreds of volunteers, they helped run our experiential simulations, they lifted, loaded and packed hundreds of items destined to change the lives of people in need!

Like Joseph, many of our interns say it’s a summer that deeply impacts their life. They don’t just see an explosion in their English skills, but they learn other valuable workplace skills like clear communication, respecting varied cultures, and working passionately for a meaningful cause.

Intern Monica helped manage a programme to distribute computers to Hong Kong NGOs

Intern Monica helped manage a programme to distribute computers to Hong Kong NGOs.

Monica, aged 20, who spent her internship in our Global Hand office, says, “I’m a business student majoring in accounting and finance. I could spend the next 30 years of my life in the corporate world. I wanted to do something this summer where I could enjoy myself and also learn!”

Monica’s supervisor, Matt, said, “Monica helped us administer a new programme for providing computers to Hong Kong’s charities. She handled enquiries and orders from dozens of charities that helped Crossroads equip a wide variety of good works across the city in a short period of time.”

Crossroads’ interns clocked up a whopping 9,569 hours of volunteer work this summer. It’s an investment that has already sown into the lives of people in need in Hong Kong and globally.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in an internship with Crossroads next summer, email us at volunteer@crossroads.org.hk

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Our food-saving superheroes

Every day, 3,600 tonnes of food waste are sent to landfill in Hong Kong, according to Feeding Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people...

read more ...

Recycling artisans make good news in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan artist Sagara Ranga Liyanage decided to start a handicrafts business, he had to think outside the box. "I...

read more ...

GoodCity: Multiplying kindness

“I don’t want to throw this stuff out. I want it to go to someone who needs it. If only there...

read more ...

Battling Covid-19 together

COVID: SAME STORM, DIFFERENT BOATS  “This pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society,” Melinda Gates said of Covid-19. She adds:...

read more ...

Valerie will never forget the day she helped one Hong Kong widow find a piano for her 6-year-old son. “She was crying because at first we couldn’t find her a piano,” said Valerie, a local university student. When, at last, Valerie was able to tell the woman that we did, indeed, have a piano for her, the tears turned to a delighted smile, and Valerie knew the work she was doing was worthwhile.

Hongkong_ladie_with_baby

Valerie (pictured right), along with 56 other bright, motivated young people from around Hong Kong, has just finished a summer internship with Crossroads. She was placed in the Hong Kong distribution department, working closely for six extraordinary weeks with some of Hong Kong’s most vulnerable families, helping them select goods they need from Crossroads’ warehouse.

At Crossroads, we look forward annually to ‘intern season’ with eager anticipation! It’s an injection of energy and labour like no other time of year. In 2013, our superb summer interns together invested an incredible 10,000 hours, working in diverse roles, from helping run Global X-perience simulations, to processing donated computers for redistribution.

Jessica (below), a Chinese Studies student, spent her internship working in Crossroads’ Silk Road Cafe, where she served up fair trade coffees and snacks made by a Hong Kong social enterprise.

Hongkong_coffe_shop

“I was very impressed by the pastries,” she says. “They are made by iBakery, a company who employs disabled Hong Kong people so that they can earn a living by baking. Their pastries are very tasty! I like the brownies.”

“Before working here,” reflects Jessica, “I always thought if I wanted to be part of helping the world, I would need to go abroad, to third world countries, and be in the slums and work with them, but I realised I can also do it in Hong Kong.”

Jason (below, right) worked in Crossroads’ incoming goods department during his internship, where he answered calls and emails from the hundreds of people in Hong Kong interested in donating goods each month.

Hongkong_man_sitting_at_a_computer

“The objectives of Crossroads inspired me,” Jason says, “to help those who are in need, who are poor and want to improve their lives.”

The learning curve was steep for Jason, particularly when it came to communicating in English, and dealing with busy donors in a friendly, professional way. He’s about to start a Masters Degree in Sociology and was eager to develop his skillbase. “I’ve had to polish my communications skills and learn ways to speak strategically,” he said. “And I’ve learnt how to work as a team with my colleagues.”

Like so many of Crossroads’ interns, Jason could have chosen to spend his summer internship with a bank or other large corporation, but instead, he chose to give his time to Crossroads and a world in need – for which we are unceasingly grateful!

“I think the experience here is unique,” says Jason. “I really wanted to try something that was special, that could help people.”

Interested in an internship at Crossroads? We accept intern applications each summer and sometimes at other times of year. We’d love to hear from you! For more information, click here.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

Our food-saving superheroes

Every day, 3,600 tonnes of food waste are sent to landfill in Hong Kong, according to Feeding Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people...

read more ...

Recycling artisans make good news in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan artist Sagara Ranga Liyanage decided to start a handicrafts business, he had to think outside the box. "I...

read more ...

GoodCity: Multiplying kindness

“I don’t want to throw this stuff out. I want it to go to someone who needs it. If only there...

read more ...

Battling Covid-19 together

COVID: SAME STORM, DIFFERENT BOATS  “This pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society,” Melinda Gates said of Covid-19. She adds:...

read more ...