COVID-19: Group raises more than US $ 50,000 in virus aid for vulnerable people

  • By Lo Chi and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff Journalist, with Staff Editor

Barely a month after going live, a COVID-19 relief fundraiser organized by seven members of the Taiwanese diaspora raised more than US $ 50,000 for five social protection groups helping the most vulnerable in society to overcome the COVID-19 epidemic.

When cases of COVID-19 started to increase in Taiwan in May, those in the group living in Taiwan began to seek out organizations with a strong track record of helping vulnerable groups, including low-income people, victims of violence. domestic workers, migrant workers, the homeless and people with disabilities, organizers said.

Their initial plan to connect donors directly to organizations proved difficult due to the organizations’ Chinese-only websites and the inability to receive donations from overseas. So the organizers helped the groups create English landing pages and set up payment systems that can accept foreign transactions. , they added.

After approaching around 15 organizations, the group ended up working with five: the 1919 Food Bank, Hsinchulun Home, Homeless Taiwan, Serve the People, and the Garden of Hope, they said.

The Taiwan Covid Relief Fundraiser was finally launched on July 8 with the aim of raising US $ 10,000, to be matched by the organizers.

The goal was reached after just three days, which led the team to revise their goal to US $ 25,000 with another matching donation.

On July 30, fundraising once again shattered the goal with US $ 26,000 raised by over 200 donors for a total of over US $ 50,000.

Yesterday, the tally on the Taiwan Covid Relief Fundraiser website was US $ 28,191.

Most welfare groups in Taiwan are missing the opportunity to make themselves known internationally by only accepting domestic donations, Chinese Christian Relief Association general secretary James Shia (夏忠堅) said yesterday. adding that he was especially excited when the Taiwan Covid Relief team reached out to work with the association’s 1919 food bank.

The food bank received US $ 10,000 through Taiwan Covid Relief, enough to meet the needs of 46 families for a year, Shia said.

The campaign opened up international fundraising opportunities, he added.

Many people around the world want to give back to Taiwan in return for the help it provided last year, said Taiwan Covid Relief organizer Catherine Chou (周怡 齡).

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