Beijing’s beloved Roundabout, the charity distribution store known to many expats and a growing local Chinese community, is in trouble. The village where they are is for sure coming down after years of speculation, and Roundabout must move again. Tentative timeframe is the end of October.
Because of imminent move, there is currently a massive clearance sale so that they can sell off inventory in a hurry. In one single day – Sunday, October 9, the first day of their clearance sale – they raised enough money to pay for the stomach surgery of Zheng Huang Ye, a 6-month old baby girl from China Little Flower. As the clearance continues, other children in need can be helped as a result of the sales.
But then what?
Roundabout simply does not have the funds to pay for the increasing rent prices in our Shunyi area. As a comparison, rental prices of about RMB 14,000 per 1,000 square meters would jump to RMB 25-35,000 per 200 square meters. Considering the amount of donated items they store, sell and distribute, they need space. But to pay those prices, they would only be working to cover the rent and would never be able to help pay for needed surgeries and other requests.
Currently, Roundabout has been given space to store their extra items in three locations: Beijing REGO British School, BSB, and AGS Four Winds (the logistics company that helps with pick-ups and deliveries). This helps out tremendously as there is slightly less of a panic to liquidate by the end of the month.
The biggest desire/need/wish/hope is to have a lasting storefront location for Roundabout so that they can continue their charity work. It’s a great community service and it’s in danger of closing permanently, perhaps resulting in simply hosting their successful monthly book fairs. The only caveat from Roundabout is that the new location must be accessible to both the expat community and the Chinese residents of local villages. There are always great leads or generous partial solutions, but nothing has worked out. River Garden is offering them a section of land near their compound; now they need authorities to approve structures going up and utilizing the space accordingly. Pinnacle Plaza requires too much rent, without realizing the amount of people-traffic it could create in their shopping area.
How can you help?
*Connections and contacts: Do you know the developers in the area shopping centers (Pinnacle Plaza, Euro Plaza, Dragon Bay, etc.)? Do you own property in the Shunyi area? Do you have connections with local authorities and land developers to get proper permits? Or do you know anyone for the above who does?
*Volunteer! In these closing days, they need more man-power than they can fear they will receive, to help re-stock merchandise, pack things up for storage, and move things out. Even if you have never volunteered in the store before, your help at this time would be helpful and greatly appreciated.
Please contact Leslie Simpson at 137 1877 7761 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any leads or offers of assistance. Let’s keep Roundabout alive in our community.