Like many of you who have some extra spare time on your hands due to the Coronovirus, I've been using the time to do some deep cleaning and sorting around the home. Places which deserve an honourable mention include:
- kitchen counter tops & inside drawers/cupboards
- under the bed & mattress
- corners around bath/shower area
- air purifier filters
- heater/air conditioner filters
You'd be amazed at how filthy the above places can get due to being overlooked in the day to day cleaning routines!
It's also come to fruition that there's a heck of a lot of clothes that I no longer wear (for a variety of reasons!) As most of the clothes are still in good nick, throwing them away would seem a waste of some perfectly good clothing, so I thought perhaps I could donate them somewhere. I presumed it would be a rather simple task, either take them to a charity shop, a clothes bank or find a company which collects second hand goods.
After asking around and looking online, it seems that 'donating' in China isn't really common at all. In fact, most people scoff at the idea of donating anything. Instead it seems more customary to just throw it away. Selling second goods is equally difficult to do.
In my online search, I came across the goliaths of the donation businesses, namely the UNICEF and Red Cross affiliated organisations. Looking into them, they only accept cash! The Red Cross website is also ridiculously slow and painful to access... We all know that many people are still living in poverty, especially in many parts of rural China, and yet these powerful & influential organisations with a huge reach aren't willing to handle the logistics of donating much needed provisions to them! I suppose handling cash makes it easier to take a slice of the pie...
I'm sure that many other people have come to this dead end in search for a donation pathway, and so have just given up and threw their clothes or other items into landfill to contribute to the already bludgeoning landfills scattered across the world.
I also wanted to donate some boxes of books to children/students in need, ideally to a school where they would be appreciated more (such as those schools in a more deprived areas). Having worked in state schools before, books are always happily accepted in my experience. Having researched into this, this also seems to be an arduous task. Educational resources are now heavily restricted in China, they must now be 'approved' by some conditioned bureaucrat, before they can be received by the school.
The idea of donating has become slightly more apparent to some people these days with the newsfeeds of masks and other items to help combat the Coronovirus coming in from abroad, so perhaps we'll see the act of donating becoming easier, or indeed possible in the near future?
Charity then it seems, is something which isn't actively encouraged in China for what ever reason. It's a real shame for millions of people still in need however.
For ways to donate to help with the outbreak of the Coronovirus, click here. If you have any other suggestions or advice regarding donating in China in general, please comment below.