We always like to think of our city as a kind-hearted one – and there might be something to that. Guangzhou’s first volunteering body came into being in 1987, making it one of the first cities in mainland China to establish a voluntary service network. As of 2017, a total of 10,060 Guangzhou-based organizations, groups and societies have climbed aboard the volunteering train.
For those of our readers interested in chipping in and lending a helping hand, we’ve rounded up a few of the ways you can get involved in Guangzhou’s volunteering scene.
If your Chinese is good, applying online is the most convenient way to kick-start your participation in a meaningful cause. There are two volunteering associations in Guangzhou that you can sign up with online: Guangzhou Volunteers’ Union (GVU), which, according to their website, has “helped over 2 million residents in the past 10 years,” and Guangzhou Young Volunteers Association (GYVA) which boasts over one million registered volunteers in Guangzhou as of 2017.
As two of the city’s largest volunteering organizations, they both offer a well-rounded range of ways to help out. From attending to the elderly, to catering to the homeless and cleaning up the environment, the list goes on.
Depending on your skill set, you can also sign up to assist drug addicts, play matchmaker to singles, counsel the depressed, or teach primary school students, among numerous other good deeds. The two outfits are also actively involved in providing volunteers for major expos and sporting events, such as the Guangzhou Asia Games and Guangzhou International Marathon.
Visit a Volunteer Service Station
A total of over 150 volunteer service stations, manned by GYVA members, can be found spread out across the city. The students that man the booths are often proficient in English, so feel free to drop by and make yourself known.
These volunteer booths take on many a role, from giving directions, to distributing free water bottles to children and the elderly. One booth at Jiahewanggang in Baiyun Disrict, for instance, gives out free clothes to those in need.
Normally, Volunteer Service Stations are open weekdays from 9am-noon and 2-5pm, though this is sometimes affected by weather.
Contact a GYVA group on QQ
Have a specific field of service in mind? Try contacting one of these GYVA subgroups on QQ.
Disabled Service Group
QQ: 2964 3303
Match-Making Service Group
QQ: 7487 2351, 6096 0208
Addiction and Rehab Service Group
QQ: 3088 91536
Earthquake and Disaster Service Group
QQ: 8493 2205
Environment Protection Group
QQ: 9141 0241
Cycling Enthusiasts’ Service Group
QQ: 675 6143
Photography Enthusiasts’ Service Group
QQ: 8337 0253
For more subgroups, visit 125cn.net.
The Guangzhou-based Guangdong International Volunteer Expatriate Service (GIVES) is one of the most renowned volunteer groups in the city and has been a prominent charitable force in areas such as education, health and orphan care for more than two decades.
GIVES also hosts the annual International Food and Fun Fair at the Canton Tower, where various food stalls and performances raise funds for autistic children. To learn more about GIVES, visit www.gives.cn.
Click here for more helpful guides to living in Guangzhou.