Make a Difference in the World While Traveling: Volunteer Opportunities in Hong Kong
Volunteer work and doing good when traveling or living in other countries is very rewarding. Exploring volunteer opportunities in the new places we visit or currently live in helps make a difference in the world but also lets us meet new people and have new experiences. There are many reasons to travel in Asia (or anywhere) but having a positive impact when you do makes any travel more meaningful.
Volunteering in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is such a unique country and one of the most special places I have been. It is not just just colorful and exciting but also it is easy to embrace the local people and culture. Besides all of the shiny skyscrapers, and local treats (like tasty egg tart), there are many rewarding activities and ways to spend your time.
As a traveler or tourist you can also volunteer and make a positive impact while really getting to know the local community.
But, like other cities, Hong Kong has many people and local communities with basic needs and challenges. The Hong Kong economy has one of the largest income divides in the world. So there are government programs and many charity organizations that try to help people in different ways. Many of these groups rely on volunteers to assist with different programs and activities.
It might not be an obvious way to spend time if you are visiting for a limited stay, but as a traveler or tourist you can also volunteer and make a positive impact while really getting to know the local community. Doing so also helps us learn how big issues like poverty and equality are handled in the place we are visiting or living in.
Why volunteer for local charities and community assistance organizations while traveling?
Reasons to volunteer your time and effort include:
…It is a great way to meet local people you might never have contact with;
…Giving just a few hours to help communities in need can create priceless memories;
…Helping others is personally rewarding in ways that are not always easy to describe.
Here are some of the organizations in Hong Kong that are doing good and some that I’ve helped out at.
One of the very special organizations who helps the needy around the city which really got my attention was IMPACT HK. If you find them on social media they’re using the hashtag #KINDNESSMATTERS. And it really does matter. YOU can be part of the people who share kindness around the world in many ways, but also by getting involved with Impact HK.
They provide food to the local homeless community and needy people, and feed hundreds of people every month at their Guestroom locations. They also provide clothing and other basics to the homeless on an ongoing basis, as well as offering housing and education assistance, and running wellness and nutrition programs.
Volunteering was a wonderful experience for me, but another great way to help if you don’t have time to spare is to visit their shop called 1ofaKind. They sell new and second-hand clothing for men, women and children and also some wonderful local handmade crafts like plush toys and crocheted blankets.
If you don’t find something that fits they also serve coffee and snacks. You can stop by and support them and the profits go to help people in need around Hong Kong. The shop is in Jordan, about 10 minutes from the MTR station at 18 Man Wai st. G/F Man Wai Building.
Crossroads is another great Hong Kong organization that is not only helping local people but also around the world. Longtime HK residents Malcolm and Sally Begbie are originally from Australia.
They didn’t plan to start an NGO but back in 1995 severe flooding hit Northern China and one thing led to another, and Crossroads was born. Their story is awesome and inspiring. They focus on matching up business and people with resources to other organizations and people around the world with needs.
Another great program they have is Global Handicrafts Marketplace which let people sell their own crafts and products to others around the world, and helps them build a business and an income for themself. They have lots of different volunteer opportunities available.
Hands On Hong Kong
If you want to plan ahead and help out but are not sure what type of program, then check out the Hands On Network (HON), which is an international volunteer network that helps other charities by providing volunteers when needed.
If you would like to include some good deeds in your travel plans this is a great way to find a charitable mission you can participate in. Make sure to sign up and plan ahead though because it seems that there are lots of local people and residents volunteering too!
Volunteering in Hong Kong Blog
If none of the above ideas don’t excite you, then check out Volunteering in Hong Kong for a huge list of different volunteering opportunities, charities and NGOs. Also, their Mission Statement page is worth reading if you are unsure how you want to help.
Do What You Can With What You Have
I know from my experience that it is an honor to help others in need but also personally satisfying. It’s not always possible to donate money to organizations that are doing good but it gives me real happiness to contribute my time and labor. And you can too!
But if you don’t have the time (or are worried about the current situation) you can support these organizations in other ways. I visited HK Impact’s shop 1ofaKind and got some gifts for my family. There are usually online ways to donate or support too.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” So, in your home town or when you are traveling far away, grab opportunities to make the world a better place and see the rewards it brings. Doing good for others usually leads to doing well in your own life.