We all know about the Roundabout Charity Distribution Store that serves so many people in need. The heart and soul behind the effort here belongs to Leslie Simpson, someone who can only be described as an angel on earth. She has built this center to accept donations from many sources, providing numerous items directly to areas of need, and selling other items in the store so that the proceeds can then be used for charity. At Roundabout, patrons can easily see photographs and receipts of exactly where their contributions have helped others.
Things in Beijing can change in an instant. Building permits, or lack thereof, mean that many buildings in the store’s area are being torn down. Leslie leases the buildings that Roundabout uses, and several of them do not have the proper permits by the owner. Therefore, within the next week – certain date unknown – she must move all of her store’s contents to another location in order to continue serving the requests of the charities she serves.
The local government, says Leslie, has been very proactive and helpful in helping her find a new store location. She is encouraged by this, as she is with her newly formed “volunteer” relationship with them. Where once expat donations were used to help people living outside Beijing only, now individuals are able to help a little closer to home in the local villages, schools and areas in need.
For the time being, any items that are not sold in her tremendous 50% off moving sale currently underway will be moved just around the corner to another leased building, the Tibet Store. Leslie says that people wishing to donate should continue to do so. Anything earmarked for delivery will be delivered, items are still being accepted, and they are not closing.
Because of the recent building crisis, Roundabout no longer sells book within their actual stores, however there are plans to have special monthly sales at the internationals schools. Look out for the book sale scheduled at British School of Beijing. The idea is that on regularly scheduled weekends there will be a roving book sale at different international schools in the area. Dates, times and locations will be published in advance. In the meantime, thanks to the new local government relationship with Roundabout, 1,000 Chinese books will be donated to a local poor school on December 16, the start of a very beneficial relationship for all.