Winter clothes distribution for refugees in HKG

Thoughts, 香港 HongKong Add comments

2015-12-23

Lei Hou RefugeesThe topic “refugees” can be seen nearly every day on TV in Europe. BUT did you actually know that there refugees in HKG? There ARE around 10.000 refugees living in HKG!!!! Where? How is their living condition here? From where? How does the government support them? All these I have not known before, and surprisingly I was not the only!  Therefore, in November I organised together with “HairAid.Hk” –  a newly founded organisation in HKG cutting hairs for people in needs – an awareness and fund raising event for refugees in HKG. The event includes a lot of activities and I was particularly responsible for the flea market. Most of the unsold goods (clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen tools etc.)  have been donated directly to our beneficiary “Christian Action” (= CA) afterwards.

After this event, I was wondering how and when those clothes would be distributed and asked CA for some photos. Due to privacy reasons and protect refugees’ identity, it was not possible to receive photos. Instead I have been invited to join the winter clothes distribution early December!  I took annual leave to join this meaningful event. I felt very excited!

The room was filled with clothes with wide range from for toddlers until adult’s fashion. Beside our donation CA had received a lot of other donations. Every refugee (=client) with a ticket could came in and take a clothes, he/she like. For free, and as many as they wanted within a limited time frame of 15 minutes.

Frankly speaking I was very surprised how reserved they are. They took what they really need and like. I asked one of them why s/he would not take more as it is for free, and the answer was very simple “Not enough space.”

This “scene” was very unusually for me. Imagine,at those crazy sales from luxury brands, are the people that generous? In that moment, people (including me) just focused on a great deal, to find something nice for the next cocktail party. I may use them only occasionally, or I do not have space, but I would still buy. I felt ashamed.

Winter Clothes DistributionTogether with this feeling in my heart, I was even eager to find what the client at the winter clothes distribution requested. Jacket in M size and in blue colour? -> OK, I will search with you. Long trousers for doing sports in bigger size? ->Sure, I will help you to find! You need this shirt in blue instead of pink?-> Let me check for you! It is not that easy, as each client only has 15 minutes time and the donated clothes are roughly tidied up only. The client’s “thank you” and “smile” afterwards are priceless. It made me nearly cry!

I found out that most of the clothes are in smaller size (asian size), there is a lack of “bigger” size for women. Next time, I will definitely donate my clothes to CA directly, instead of put them into the clothes collection boxes from other organisations.

It was such an meaningful and touching day! And it make me think a lot about my life, what do I really need or what I just want to own. If I had only one second time to flee from home, what would I take? What would you take?

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