Bundled with Love: Youth Innovation Bridges the Opportunity Gap with Impact Philanthropy
Updated: Apr 29, 2022
by Vera Chuang, SDG Changemaker of KIDsforSDGs
In the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, every 1 in 5 children struggles under the poverty line. Seeing firsthand the problem of wealth disparity on both the local and international levels, we believed that even as youth our efforts can, too, substantially make a difference, no matter how minuscule it may be. However, even though peers around us were receptive to the idea of serving their community, finding suitable options wasn’t an easy task. Thus, together with our founder Stefanie and co-founder Michelle, we started SimplyShare with the mindset that “actions speak louder than words”.
What we are and our impact
SimplyShare is a student-led platform that connects youth to skill-based volunteer opportunities for impoverished children. We aim to create a ripple effect by connecting youth to suitable volunteer opportunities, allowing them to take the initiative to propose skill-based programs, making community service more heartfelt, accessible, and proactive.
Over the past one and a half years, SimplyShare has put together a team of more than 30 passionate both local and overseas high school students and hosted 25+ workshops thus far. We collaborated with 7 NGOs locally and internationally and served over 450 children living in Sham Shui Po, one of Hong Kong’s poorest districts, in our variety of skill-based programs. From fundraisers, caged home visits, care package distributions, to storytelling sessions, basketball summer courses, block-coding boot camps, STEM workshops, and more. SimplyShare has managed to cater to different aspects of the children’s interests and needs. It was like sowing a seed in their hearts and watching them flourish into tougher mindsets, short-term ambitions, and importantly, fulfillment.
SimplyShare 2.0: Bundled
Without a doubt, volunteering holds a great impact on our community. It exposes underprivileged children to opportunities that they couldn’t experience otherwise, which already signifies one step closer to achieving our mission. Yet, with their limited assets, developing passions and interests simply wasn’t sustainable. To bring these children’s interests and skills to a further extent, they need resources.
It's easy to stack up different unused items at home, knowing they would be in better use somewhere else. Still, together with complex procedures and a lack of collection centers within close proximity, donating became a struggle. To be rid of such blockade, donors need a centralized platform.
Introducing: Bundled. This mobile platform serves to bridge the gap between the ones in need and the ones that can provide, with the goal to increase accessibility. Amid the pandemic, grass-root NGOs and youth donors are lacking a centralized platform to receive and donate to communities living under the poverty line. These donations fall into 5 main categories: educational, recreational, electronics, clothing, and daily necessities. With a one-stop donation platform, donors can start donating from the comfort of their own homes and skill the hassle of a commute. In the future, we hope to bring Bundled onto the international scale, benefitting passionate donors beyond the local sphere.
Call for action
Through our work, we want to do more than simply spread the message, but instead prioritize call-for-action. Our community Whatsapp group now has more than 90 members participating and being introduced to the multitude of volunteering opportunities, both hosted by our team and also our collaborating NGOs. In the future, we hope to expand to different school communities and create school chapters, so more children could benefit, and the joy of volunteering could continue and be spread.
About the Author: Co-Founder - Vera Chuang of Simplyshare
Vera is a 16-year-old tech-innovator for social impact, SDG ChangeMaker, and volunteering enthusiast. She advocates for empowering her local community with the ambition to bridge the technological opportunity gap, as well as working with youth regionally to scale impact. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SimplyShare, a student-led platform connecting youth to skill-based volunteer opportunities for impoverished children. Currently innovating for more sustainable impacts, Vera is developing SimplyShare’s mobile app Bundled, a one-stop donation platform for youth to donate resources to grass-root NGOs. She is also the Hong Kong Chapter Lead of Superposition, an international non-profit empowering women in STEM through education and community. Passionate about the cross-paths of tech and inequality mitigation, the team has been striving to make innovation opportunities accessible in their local community.