To add a bit of cheer to your week, we want to share some amazing acts of kindness by our local community. Stay strong, Hong Kong!
You may have dealt with hotel quarantine; you may have lost a loved one to COVID. Although the pandemic has left many of us in doom and gloom over the past two years, good news is that Hong Kong will soon be returning a semblance of normalcy – or, at least, is due to do so in April – and it appears that we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Looking back, people around the world have come together to help each other during these tough times, and Hong Kong is no exception. To shine a light on these ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things to help those in need, here’s a roundup of some of the inspiring and touching tales!
Acts of kindness by Hongkongers during the pandemic
1. Kunj Gandhi and Farah Siddiqi – Founders of HK Quarantine Support Group
If you’ve had to travel abroad at some point over the last two years, you’d probably be familiar with HK Quarantine Support Group, an incredible Facebook group that’s amassed over 77,000 members in its community. Founded by two like-minded Samaritans, Kunj Gandhi and Farah Siddiqi, the group aims to provide support to those in self-isolation or quarantine. With the mandated hotel quarantine, which was three weeks at its longest, HK Quarantine Support Group has come as a lifesaver for many, sharing everything from the latest regulations and insights, to providing food, books, and other resources to those in need. And most importantly, Kunj and Farah have inspired other to pay it forward. With individuals sharing their experience regularly – once even helping a son virtually take care of his mother during her travels – HK Quarantine Support Group has brought out the best of Hong Kong.
Kudos to HK Quarantine Support Group for assisting us in our search for the best quarantine hotels in Hong Kong!
2. Bethune House – supporting migrant workers
In the most recent wave, there have been terrible stories of domestic workers being rejected and abandoned by their employers due to being tested preliminary positive for COVID-19. Unable to quarantine at their employers’ homes, nor a bed in the overcrowded hospitals, these workers have been left to face the cold all by themselves. Bethune House, after receiving numerous urgent calls from these domestic workers, have started a fundraiser to provide them with shelter, food, and emergency assistance. So far, the funds have helped hundreds of people, with $1,000 sponsoring each worker for a week. At the time writing, the appeal has already raised over $260,000 – just around $40,000 short of its goal. So, contribute today!
Find out more about Bethune House.
3. Sridevi Krishna and Sonu Jain – founders of Desi Samaritans
Established by a passionate group of volunteers belonging to the Indian community in Hong Kong, Desi Samaritans is an initiative that supports the elderly, homeless, and specially-abled. Since its inception in February 2020, members have cooked and delivered over 20,000 meals to those in need. Anyone in Hong Kong can sponsor these meals, and many have devoted money, time, and effort to its cause. Donations have varied from Wellcome staff providing rice out of their own pockets, to companies offering jackets and sweaters the Boy Scouts of America in Hong Kong. Moreover, Desi Samaritans partnered with GiveIndia, raising over $140,000 to give patients oxygen during the worst of the pandemic. Enabling individuals to come together to support those in need, is one of the greatest accomplishments of Desi Samaritans.
4. Roger Chan – launcher of the F&B Run club
Despite facing devastating times, the Hong Kong F&B industry has been able to channel their energies for positivity and change. In April 2021, Roger Chan, the chairman of Metagroup, invited everyone to go on a run together in order to raise money for charities, while benefitting their own wellbeing and finding a sense of community. The mission began with the effort to #RunToTheMoon, i.e. a distance of 384,400 km. Since the launch, the 600-plus participating runners have covered 335,000 km – 85% of the goal! The F&B Run Club have also raised an astonishing $420,000 for two local charities: InspiringHK and Lifewire. Furthermore, the initiative has inspired others to begin their own challenges. Are you ready to take one on, too?
Find out more about the F&B Run Club.
5. Francis Liang and Terrance Fung – Founders of Dr Chuang Shuk Kwan 張竹君 Fanpage
Another Facebook group that has been instrumental during the pandemic are the updates by Francis Liang and Terrance Fung. Ever since the COVID-19 virus has become a threat in mid-January 2020, Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, Head of the Communicable Disease Branch (CDB), has been providing nearly daily updates at 4.30pm, which include information on cases, deaths, and the latest regulations. While Dr Chuang and her colleagues at the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority themselves deserve a round of applause, Francis and Terrance have also been instrumental in ensuring this information reaches a greater population. The duo have created a Facebook group that not only supports the Doctor, but also offers its community transparency and knowledge to help everyone combat the pandemic. Feel free to become one of the fanpage’s 20,000 followers today to request help from, or offer help to, the community.