Just short of a month since going online, a COVID-19 relief fundraiser organized by seven members of the Taiwanese diaspora raised more than US$50,000 for five social welfare groups helping society’s most vulnerable to weather the COVID-19 outbreak.
When COVID-19 cases began to spike in Taiwan in May, those of the group living in Taiwan began researching organizations with strong histories of helping vulnerable groups, including low-income individuals, domestic violence victims, migrant workers, homeless people and those with disabilities, the organizers said.
Their original plan to directly connect donors with the organizations proved challenging due to the organizations’ Chinese-only Web sites and inability to receive donations from abroad, so the organizers helped the groups create English landing pages and set up payment systems that can accept foreign transactions, they added.
After approaching about 15 organizations, the group ended up working with five: the 1919 Food Bank, the Hsinchulun Home, Homeless Taiwan, Serve the People and the Garden of Hope, they said.
The Taiwan Covid Relief Fundraiser eventually launched on July 8 with a goal of raising US$10,000, to be matched by the organizers.
The goal was reached after only three days, leading the team to revise its goal to US$25,000 with another matching donation.
By July 30, the fundraiser shattered the goal once more with US$26,000 raised by more than 200 donors for a total of more than US$50,000.
As of yesterday, the tally on the Taiwan Covid Relief Fundraiser Web site was US$28,191.
Most social welfare groups in Taiwan miss out on the chance to make themselves known internationally by only accepting domestic donations, Chinese Christian Relief Association secretary-general James Shia (夏忠堅) said yesterday, adding that he was particularly excited when the Taiwan Covid Relief team reached out to work with the association’s 1919 Food Bank.
The food bank has received US$10,000 through Taiwan Covid Relief, enough to satisfy the needs of 46 families for a year, Shia said.
The campaign has broken open international fundraising opportunities, he added.
Many people around the world want to give back to Taiwan in return for the assistance it provided last year, Taiwan Covid Relief organizer Catherine Chou (周怡齡) said.
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