During the outbreak of COVID-19, when teams are physically separated and corporate volunteering activities are postponed—many of our partners were asking us how best they can help. Thus our program team at HandsOn Hong Kong has come up with a few ideas that many of our corporate partners found useful:
1. Encourage Corporate Employees to Use their Skills
Employees with expertise in areas such as finance, HR, translation or marketing are well placed to provide lasting impact to an under-resourced local charity. Many of our nonprofit partners are working through COVID-19 crisis-related planning and communications, and urgently need support from volunteers with specialized skills.
Check out our skills-based volunteering page to see what we're doing locally and get ideas for how corporate volunteers can safely serve the community from home or remotely.
2. Organize a Drive to Raise Emergency Items
Since February, we have compiled a list of our charity partners’ most urgent needs during the COVID-19 crisis. To date we have directed tens of thousands of masks, hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes as well as bulk deliveries of rice and canned food to charities in need. But many needs remain. We encourage corporates to share this list with employees - or invite staff to bring items into the office for a volunteer team to sort and arrange delivery to a charity in urgent need.
3. Encourage Companies to Support Your Own COVID-19 Relief Programs
The physical and emotional impact of this crisis will be long-lasting and some Hong Kong’s most vulnerable are suffering more than ever before. At HandsOn Hong Kong, we have been working hard to develop new ways to volunteer during this time of crisis. Since April, we have launched several relief programs, including phone call support to self-isolating elderly individuals and care package delivery to low-income individual and families, and we are working towards delivering more than 3,000 relief packages to low-income households by the end of summer. We highly recommend you to share your own calendar link with companies so they can sign up to volunteer.
4. Unite Corporate Teams in Support of the Community
At a time when many are feeling helpless, uniting corporate teams in support of a cause can be empowering. If a company financially matches employee donations, take this opportunity to let them know about your organization and set up a fundraising page for staff to support relief efforts for your organization.
5. Fundraise for a Good Cause
Every act of kindness no matter how small, can make a difference. For those corporate partners in the retail or service industry, explore opportunities to partner with them so customers can show their care for our community by making a purchase during these challenging times. You could also work with them to set up a fundraising campaign to donate a percentage of sales or all proceeds from specific items to support your COVID-19 relief efforts. It’s a wonderful way to engage customers in supporting the community!
6. Virtual Volunteering
COVID-19 is forcing people to think and act differently. This includes finding ways to support the community while operating remotely—from home or office. As the situation has calmed down in the last few months and once companies resumed operations, we have already seen teams from corporates offering virtual career coaching for ethnic minority students in Hong Kong and creating educational videos for students with intellectual disability, supported by our program team. It’s such a great way to build social connection while we are physically separated from each other. Please refer to this graphic for more ideas.