As Hong Kong reports its first death from the novel coronavirus outbreak and there are signs that local transmissions within the city are likely, face masks and other disinfectant products remain sold out in most shops. It’s more important than ever now for Hongkongers to stay vigilant but calm, have compassion for each other, and also lend a helping hand to those who are truly in need. We understand the coronavirus outbreak is especially poignant for a city that had experienced such tragedy during SARS, and this is an extremely sensitive time for Hong Kong citizens.
With even the government in short supply of masks, it’s not surprising that there are also many people in the city who simply cannot afford face masks, or work in high-risk jobs but are not given proper protection by their employers.
While Hong Kong experts do recommend wearing a face mask, most agree that washing your hands is the most effective preventive measure during an outbreak. If you are one of the fortunate ones with a sufficient supply of face masks and sought-after items like hand sanitizers, do consider donating some to the organizations we’ve listed below that will distribute them to people who are in urgent need. Here’s a list of organizations that are currently accepting donations. Please write to us or comment if you know of any more.
The single most important thing you can do for yourself and for people around you? Maintain good personal hygiene habits. Wash your hands, and sanitize items that you touch regularly such as door knobs and phones — read more tips here.
Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge
Bethune House is a shelter for Hong Kong’s distressed foreign domestic workers, and they provide social counselling to migrant women workers. The registered charity goes through two boxes of masks per day, and they recently appealed on Facebook asking for face masks, sanitizers and alcohol.
What they accept: Boxes or individually wrapped face masks, sanitizing products, alcohol
How to donate: Drop off your donations at the office of the Mission for Migrant Workers (St. John’s Cathedral, 4 Garden Road, Central) or call 2522-8264; 9488-9044; 9711-1673 for collection
Fixing Hong Kong
Established in 2014, Fixing Hong Kong is a local charity offering free repair services to low-income families. Since the novel coronavirus outbreak, the charity has been distributing face masks in areas such as To Kwa Wan, Hung Hom, Whampoa, and Kowloon City to cleaners, homeless people and the elderly. Many cleaners in the city, the Stand News reports, are not given face masks at work and are forced to use the same face mask for several days.
If you only have a couple of boxes to spare, Fixing Hong Kong recommends you repack three masks into a small plastic bag, and give them out to local cleaners in your neighborhood.
What they accept: face masks, monetary donation, volunteers
How to help: Contact Fixing Hong Kong if you’d like to make a donation of supplies; Bank in donation at Hang Seng Bank (89-290186-001 / FIXING HK); join as a volunteer by filling out this form (in Chinese only)
CEDAR Fund / Christian Concern for the Homeless Association
CEDAR Fund is an independent Christian relief and development organisation founded in Hong Kong in 1991, and they are currently working with the Sham Shui Po-based Christian Concern for the Homeless Association to distribute free face masks to homeless people and other people in need.
What they accept: Boxes or individually-wrapped face masks
How to donate: Mail or drop off to the below offices. Package the masks securely if you’re mailing them to ensure they are not damaged during the process. If you’re dropping off in person, call ahead so they can make sure someone is there.
Suite 504, Rightful Centre, 12 Tak Hing Street, Jordan, Kowloon
Mr Tang / Clara 6383-6861
Mon-Fri, 9:30am-1pm; 2-4pm
Christian Concern for the Homeless Association
2/F, Cheong Wah Building, 203-211 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Ms Kwan 2788-0670
Christian group C Prospective is currently collecting face masks, which they will then pass onto the charities Urban Peacemaker Evangelistic Fellowship, Mission to New Arrivals and the Industrial Evangelistic Fellowship for distribution.
What they accept: Boxes or individually wrapped face masks
How to donate: Contact Rai Yiu (9804-6357) or David Mui (9217-8197) to arrange collection or in-person drop-off in Kowloon or MTR stations
For the past week, worship mission community One Circle has been collecting and distributing face masks to low-income individuals. The organization repacks masks into bags of five for people in need. Their volunteers encountered an elderly woman who scavenges for a living but cannot find a mask anywhere, and a pregnant woman who struggled to buy masks and had to stay home to lower the chances of infection.
What they accept: Boxes or individually wrapped face masks for children or adults
How to donate: Drop off at their office (606, 6/F, Sunbeam Center, 27 Shing Yip St., Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm) from now until February 19. Call Mr. Au (9673-9167) before you head in or for more information.
Han Hong Love Charity Foundation
Founded by famous Chinese singer Han Hong, the Han Hong Love Charity Foundation focuses on relief work all across China. Their work during the novel coronavirus has been widely praised, as the singer posts updates and records daily on Weibo. The team has so far delivered at least five batches of supplies to Wuhan medical workers.
What they accept: They have currently stopped accepting donations, after having received RMB $140 million yuan in donations, saying they don’t have the manpower to process any more. We will update this post if they accept donations again.
How to donate: www.hhax.org
Hubei Charity Federation
Hubei Charity Federation is one of two government-designated donation recipients, and has so far received more than RMB $30 million yuan in donated funds. The organization has been allocating medical supplies to hospitals and public transport stations.
What they accept: monetary donations, supplies such as face masks, protective gloves, sanitizing products
How to donate: Make a donation online here via WeChat or AliPay, or through bank transfer as below –
Hubei Charity Federation
Bank account (USD): 5599 7026 9249
Bank account (HKD): 5651 7027 1386
Branch: Bank of China, Hubei Branch Wuchang
Sub-branch SWIFT: BKCHCNBJ600
Address: No.43 Zhongshan Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
If you want to make a material donation, contact 027-87433333, 027-88315095 (during the night), or 027-88315026 for more details.