Please introduce yourself and the organisation you represent!
Hi, My name is Jeff Rotmeyer, I am the founder and CEO of ImpactHK. ImpactHK is a registered charity in Hong Kong supporting the homeless. Every night our volunteers and staff are out on the streets in multiple locations serving the homeless, with the aim of earning their trust, and we hope that that trust will result in them coming to our centres, where we can get to know them better and hopefully develop friendships. As a charity, we not only provide housing and employment opportunities for the homeless, we make sure that we support these individuals with a holistic program, including weekly counselling and mentorship, but also daily support in our classes and as much opportunity as possible to engage other individuals, have a laugh and develop friendships.
What is ImpactHK's background and advocacy?
In the past two years, we have housed 170 individuals off the streets and almost all these individuals remain off the streets because of our focus on friendship and connection.
Tell us about your slogan, 'Kindness Matters'
Our hashtag #kindnessmatters really came after understanding how many people in society will judge and criticise people in need.
You know, when we see people in need, the last thing we should be doing is focus on judging them or putting blame on those individuals. It has absolutely no positive outcome, but what does have a positive outcome is being kind to people.
We have seen first hand how important kindness is and we’ve seen how using your love and your care can actually bring the best out of people and that’s the very least we should be doing. It’s free to show kindness to people and it really is so important, especially during these times when so many in society will place judgement on others.
What social issues would you like to see improve in Hong Kong?
So many pressing social issues in Hong Kong that really need addressing. I’m quite passionate about working with the homeless obviously, as well as with the down syndrome and autistic community, who are another group of individuals who are completely held back and limited by people who know nothing about them.
I see asylum seekers in Hong Kong who are extremely unfairly treated. I see a Nepalese community here in Yau Ma Tei that does not have the opportunities that they need and I see ways in which ImpactHK can help them out. Of course, we see domestic helpers in Hong Kong completely inhumanely treated and a lot has to be done there to support this vital community for Hong Kong.
How can people get involved with ImpactHK (through volunteering, donations or other means)?
At ImpactHK, we’ve kind of tapped into a great need, a need of so many people to get out there and help. There are so many caring people in Hong Kong and what we’ve done is we kinda made it easy to volunteer.
You can simply go to our website (see below); every single day we have a volunteering activity. You can sign up there and just come join us on going out in the streets and serving the homeless and street cleaners and other people in need in Hong Kong.
We would also have a more tailor-made volunteering opportunities; if you like you can send us an email through our website and we can help provide you with a really good opportunity to do something meaningful and to make sure that your effort and care goes directly to the hands of somebody who needs it.