Ever since school started and my soccer mom-like duties abated, I started volunteering at Roundabout. For those who may not know, Roundabout is a social enterprise headed by volunteers that connects those with means to those in need. It is a fantastic enterprise that supports 48 charitable organizations in the Beijing area and many more throughout China, Inner Mongolia and Mongolia. Most known for the many book fairs Roundabout holds throughout the city, it also has a fundraising retail store in Shunyi where donated goods that cannot be used by other organizations (think orphanages and the like) are sold to raise funds to support their partner charities.
Making donations (monetary or otherwise), buying books, and shopping at the store are all easy ways to help make a difference, but Roundabout always welcomes volunteers too. Whether you can volunteer a few hours or an entire day, the work of sorting through donated goods is never-ending. Last week, two teachers and a group of a dozen or so high school students from Dulwich were on site sorting books, toys, and electronics. I’ve also watched kids as young as 8 come in and lend a hand. No matter what your circumstances, chances are Roundabout can put your spare time to good use.
If you are ready to help make a difference, visit Roundabout’s website here to sign up to volunteer or to find out other ways you can get involved. You can also learn more by inquiring at the store. Many people think of volunteering around the holidays, but Roundabout can always use an extra hand any time of year.
Roundabout Store Address:
Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm. Yuyang Road West, Off An Hua Road (Behind Yosemite Villa Compound), Shunyi District. (137 1877 7761 (English), 137 1805 3814 (Chinese only), Roundaboutchina@gmail.com) 众爱商店，顺义区榆阳路（优山美地别墅后街，从安华路转入）。
Photos: Christopher Lay