In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the Harrow community has been actively contributing to the society to help those in need. We are pleased to share with you the experience of Valerie (Y8), Vanessa (Y6) and Venetia (4) who have raised 6,350 masks through a charity stair case challenge. Please find below their message for their donors that details their charity initiative.
After seeing the challenges that people are facing due to COVID-19, we want to show that even during difficult times and times of isolation, we are still connected as a community. Since we live in Stanley, we contacted Caritas Jockey Club Stanley Youth Comprehensive Services (“Caritas”) which is a very long-established charity.
At first, we hoped to help those children who are not able to attend online classes or do homework due to lack of computers, laptops or even access to the Internet. However, after doing some research and contacting different charities and telecommunications companies, we found out that phone data cards were expensive and those telecommunications companies had already responded to the plea of those children by giving out free data cards or free monthly subscriptions! Besides, Caritas told us that there was actually a long waiting list for surgical face masks. Therefore, we decided to raise money to buy masks and donate them to Caritas.
Due to social distancing, we were stuck at home. But we wanted to stay healthy and do something fun. We decided to raise money by running up and down the stairs at home. Our goal was 10,000 stairs and we started to appeal to our grandparents, relatives, aunties and uncles. The response was overwhelming and within 3 days we raised HK$21,515 from 20 generous donors!
On 11th April, at 5:30 p.m., we started our stair run. With lots of cheering from our Daddy and Vivi, our poodle sitting comfortably on the sofa, Venetia and Vanessa started first, then joined by Valerie and Mummy. After 1 hour and 46 minutes, we ran a total of 18,752 stairs, far exceeding our 10,000 target! Venetia ran 2,624 stairs; Valerie, 3008; our mum, 6400 and Vanessa, 6720! We are very proud of ourselves!
After extensive scouring for reasonably priced and good quality masks, we finally bought 127 boxes of 50 masks ranging from HK$140 to HK$187 per box. In other words, a total of 6,350 masks were bought. Thank you very much for your kind and generous support for our cause.
We also bought 50 hand sanitisers and thousands of Ziploc bags as we needed to repack them so that each person in need will receive 10 masks at a time.
On 17th April, after our Zoom lessons, we delivered the masks as well as hand sanitisers and Ziploc bags to Caritas. Their Senior Supervisor applauded us and gave us each a certificate of appreciation.
On 20th April, we helped Caritas repack the masks into individual bags of 10 each . We experienced how it was like to be working in a production line. Please press edit here to view a video clip of the hard work we did.
Within 2 hours, we finished repacking 4,100 masks into smaller bags. To see what an efficient team we were, we put together a video here.
Registration for our surgical masks is open since 20th April and we will help man the Fight-the-COVID-19 Counter at Caritas on 24th April when people in need will come forward to pick up the masks and hand sanitisers.
Although we have completed our stair run, donations keep coming in. Hence, we will donate surgical masks to the HK Physically Handicapped and Able-Bodied Association Stanley/Shek O Neighbourhood Elderly Centre (or HK PHAB Association Stanley/Shek O Neighbourhood Elderly Centre. in short) through Caritas.
Thank you very much to you, our generous donors again for all the support and positivity. Without you, this would not have been possible.
We would also like to thank our teachers, Mrs. Helen Cowie (our Parks Housemistress) and Miss Catlin Thomas (4X Class Teacher) for inspiring us to show leadership and give back to our community . We gained and learnt a lot from this experience. As Mother Teresa once said, "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples." Even though there are still a lot of people who need help in Hong Kong and in the rest of the world fighting this COVID-19 together, we should not doubt how small our contribution is. We will make this world a better place!
Valerie, Vanessa and Venetia