Article by Xianease
When people think of the Christmas season, there are mostly images of presents, trees and fat white men who can somehow squeeze their girth down chimneys so that they may place said presents underneath the aforementioned trees. For people that are consumed by the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to forget that Santa Claus embodies an important part of the Christmas spirit—that is, the spirit of giving. While we at Xianease have been fortunate to be a part of the Xi’an scene for more than six years, we thought this year we should follow Saint Nick’s example and give back to some less fortunate people in our community.
To this end, we held a charity event at the Westin Hotel—we called it “Jingle and Mingle”. With the help of our partners, Xian Brewery and Duvel, who both donated beer; Meeting Jazz, who brought a fabulous band to entertain us; the more than a dozen local businesses who donated prizes to our raffle; and, of course, the Westin, who provided the space, some wine and some food, we put on a big holiday bash. Nearly 150 people attended, and thanks to them we were able to raise over 10000RMB to benefit three local charities: the Yellow River Soup Kitchen, the Star Sun Home for mentally handicapped children and the 422.907 Dog Shelter.
A week after the party, we delivered the money we raised to the three charities in person and were able to get a little bit of time with them to learn more about their organizations and their plans for the future, as well as to ask how our readers might get involved.
YELLOW RIVER SOUP KITCHEN
The Yellow River Soup Kitchen was started by Tony Day, and in the 11 years since its founding, it’s come a long way from an outdoor, rain-or-shine baozi line for the homeless. Now their activities have expanded, and the data speaks for itself:
• Over 145,000 meals have been served to the homeless and needy
• Aid has been provided to 55,000 people across China
• 90 homeless have been helped in finding work
• A plethora of quilts, coats and thermal underwear have been distributed to the homeless
• More than 100 wheelchairs and other aid have been provided to the homeless and needy
Now operating out of a small building on the grounds of the Catholic church on Wuxing Road, the Yellow River Soup Kitchen plans to use their share of the proceeds from Jingle and Mingle to pay for more meals for the homeless and needy. The donations will also help fund an annual activity to provide them with haircuts and new clothes for Spring Festival.
Anyone wishing to donate to or volunteer at the Yellow River Soup Kitchen is encouraged to contact them through the following channels:
WeChat Official Account:
hhcscf-2013, or scan the QR
THE STAR SUN HOME
The Star Sun Home, located in the heart of the Muslim District, provides education and care to local children with mental handicaps. Approximately 100 children have benefitted from their programs, and their staff of 14 now care for a roster of 15 students in need. They plan to use their share of the proceeds to buy clothes, books and other supplies for their students.
Anyone wanting to help the Star Sun Home is encouraged to donate clothes, or to donate their time as a volunteer teacher. Alternatively, the Star Sun Home has set up a store that helps their former students provide for themselves by selling their handmade goods, and any purchases will help those former students make a living. Any inquiries can be directed to Teacher Shi via her mobile at 158-2976-4118 (speaks Chinese only).
THE 422.907 DOG SHELTER
The 422.907 Dog Shelter is named for two important dates in their history, in which they saved dozens of dogs and other domestic animals from tragic fates, including but not limited to an unfortunate end on a butcher block. Since then, more and more animals have been given a second chance by the shelter and its team of workers and volunteers. Providing a humane shelter requires a lot of resources, however, and the 422.907 plan on using their share of the proceeds to help offset their significant facility costs.
The shelter, more than anything, is looking for volunteers to help care for the rescues and to place them in loving new homes through adoption. Anyone interested in helping out is encouraged to join their WeChat group (scan the QR below) or to call 157-2197-8350 (speaks Chinese only).