Many Christian-initiated charity organizations participated in this year’s 99 Giving Day, encouraging the Christian community to respond to the slogan “Do Charity Together”.
Brother Z, one of them, recently shared the double encouragement he received from his participation in 99 Giving Day, the three fundraising day event around every year's September 9 launched by the Tencent Foundation which promises to give a donation for every donating fund.
Now living in A city, Z used to be a businessman, but later he began to devote himself to charity, leaving his business to his wife. He has been committed to charity and public welfare undertakings, especially after the earliest COVID-19 outbreak last year, he has operated a public welfare project of “Loving Family”.
The project aims to care for sick children suffering from serious illnesses. Although they would not directly raise money for patients, they realize that many parents of children suffering from serious illnesses need to accompany them to see the doctors in the hospitals in big cities, especially the famous children’s hospital. For a variety of reasons, it can be difficult for parents to find convenient and inexpensive accommodation close to hospitals in central cities.
Especially after the outbreak in 2020, Z’s fellow workers found that the parents of some child patients had to live in the corridor because the surrounding communities were closed to outsiders, and those parents who accompanied their children to the big city for chemotherapy had no place to stay. Faced with such a painful situation, they started the Loving Family project. They rented three rooms in a hotel near the hospital and used them to provide the parents or families of the children with accommodation. Later, they gradually expanded the size to about 10 rooms.
Accommodation is provided free of charge in the Loving Family, and applicants can apply if they meet certain criteria of poverty and serious illness.
Considering that people won’t cherish or take care of facilities if it’s free, Z will charge a management fee of 50 yuan a day. In this kind of central region of the big city, this cost for a room of a few people near the hospital is actually just symbolic, and specialized personnel would manage the rooms.
At the same time, the persons who stay after paying the management fee also need to regularly attend the communication activities with the relatives of other patients, through which they can not only comfort each other, but also exchange some useful information about medical treatment, doctors, and hospitals. At the same time, they will also provide some school children with free tutoring.
In the whole service process, the management personnel of Loving Family has stressed very much that they should accept professional courses or training when helping vulnerable groups with love, rather than just relying on temporary enthusiasm and the love that they think the other party needs, which will often cause “secondary harm”.
Brother Z said that the applicants for their current ten rooms are mainly introduced by patients, so it is in short supply. He also knows that there are similar public welfare projects in many big cities, and he thinks the public service in this field is worth paying for.
Since the beginning of this public welfare project, he has been worried about funding, because he is the one in charge of fundraising. They participated in China's largest annual online charity campaign 99 Giving Day last year and again this year. This year, he invited people around him, both Christian and non-Christian, to participate in the fund-raising for their projects, and raised more than 100,000 yuan, of which he directly raised about 70,000. With the 100 thousand directly raised donation and the donation from Tencent Charity, they raised about one million, which is sufficient for the operation of this project in the next year. Therefore, he began to consider starting a similar charity project near another famous hospital in his city.
“We don’t need you to donate much, just one yuan per person, and the maximum amount a person can donate is 999 yuan. But you can invite more people you know to join, and they can also donate between one and 999. I want more people to participate.”
When he tried to invite more people to participate in such public welfare projects, he was not only able to secure funds for his public welfare projects in the coming year but also feels inspired to see many caring people, both Christian and non-Christian, come to support his work.
- Translated by Nicolas Cao