Help the Elderly in this COVID-19 pandemic
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), there are "more than 152,000 people aged 65 and above and living alone" in Hong Kong. Several have pre-existing health conditions and live on very limited government welfare, that makes it very difficult for them to buy items like protective face masks at inflated prices.
They are also the group that is most at risk from getting extremely sick from COVID-19.
Their state of health, lack of basic internet operation knowledge and lack of funds make it very difficult for them to queue up for long or participate in any online mask give-away initiatives.
Despite, the Hong Kong government efforts to distribute reusable masks, we have received comments from elderly care organizations, which share the same concerns. As noted in a recent SCMP article: "While welcoming the move, social workers and nursing home staff also expressed concerns over the ability of the elderly to register online and whether the masks could be distributed soon enough. “While we welcome the reusable mask for our staff, we don’t think it is suitable for the elderly, as they may forget to wash it when they go home,” said Leung Chu-hei, head of services at the Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing."
With no masks to protect them, leaving the house means putting their health at constant risk! Many have no other choice, but to self isolate and are extremely reduced in their mobility. With crowded, tiny rooms, with little sunlight to live in, such isolation is very difficult and debilitating, can lead to depression and other mental and health issues. This SCMP article describes the hardship quite well: https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3052694/amid-coronavirus-outbreak-bigger-killers-lurk
How we want to help
We would like to raise funds for buying face masks as those are most needed. We would use any potential extra funds for portable hand sanitizer bottles. Both help with giving back the much needed mobility to elderly to buy necessities, and also have limited walking exercise and social interaction with significantly reduced risk of COVID-19 infection. Face masks will be sourced with 3-ply standard and hand sanitizers with at least 60% of alcohol.
We have already verified sources with previous successful orders in place to purchase at acceptable pricing of around HKD 105 / USD 13.46 per box of 50 face masks. If local Hong Kong manufacturers have sufficient supply, then we will prioritize buying from them. All funds will go to purchasing supplies.
Update: As of 12. May 2020 we have already purchased 5,600 face masks (112 boxes of 50 masks each) from our own co-organizers' offline donations to reduce on processing fees. The masks are certified according to BFE+PFA=>95%, FDA, and CE. The delivery has already been received at one of our office locations and is ready for donation soon.
As of 07. June 2020 we have purchased in total 11,600 face masks. The latest batch was even below HKD 100 / USD 12.82. We are already sourcing and preparing for the purchase of the last batch as soon as the campaign has ended.
Distributing to the Eldery
The distribution of the face masks to the elderly will be performed for free by The Hong Kong Society for the Aged (SAGE): www.sage.org.hk. This organization operates multiple centres providing services to the elderly across Hong Kong. Face masks will be re-packaged in packs of 10 per bag to maximize the number of elderly who can benefit from the donation. SAGE will issue an official letter to confirm the donation, and will be shared as an update later.
Above are some example pictures of an earlier self-funded donation of 2,000 face masks and 180 bottles of hand sanitizers in the middle of April 2020, arranged by one of the co-organizers of this campaign. So there's experience how to execute this donation successfully.
We are passionate about helping good causes like sustainable and ethical manufacturing, climate change, etc.
- Edward Chen, Director at Harbridge Partners (www.harbridgepartners.com)
- Tania Reinert, ex-banker, currently training to be forest school teacher
- Kar-Wing Lau, CEO at Allied Control (www.allied-control.com)
Together, we have already donated about HKD 20,000 to this campaign.
Please help us to support the elderly in Hong Kong who are at highest risk and who need our support the most.