February 3 2020  |  Associations

ImpactHK named WiTR charity for 2020

By Jas Ryat

Voted for by WiTR members, ImpactHK supports the homeless in Hong Kong – in particular, women facing difficult circumstances – by providing food, shelter, counseling, mentorship and employment

Women in Travel Retail (WiTR), the membership organization for women in the travel retail industry, announced that its charity for 2020 is ImpactHK. Erin Lillis, Travel Retail Director – Asia Pacific, Lacoste, nominated the charity.

Voted for by WiTR members, ImpactHK supports the homeless in Hong Kong where those on the streets, as in many other cities, are vulnerable and susceptible to abuse and attack. Homeless females, in particular, are facing additional hardship. ImpactHK has identified that 100% of the homeless women they have encountered suffer from mental illness, as well as physical abuse.

The “heart and focal point” of ImpactHK is The Guestroom in Tai Kok Tsui, west of Mong Kok in Kowloon, Hong Kong, which is a safe place for homeless people in the region to visit. Once inside, they have the chance to receive food, clothing, haircuts, wash their clothes and simply rest and relax. The €15,000 that WiTR expects to raise this year will contribute towards saving six women off the streets and will cover the cost of:

  • Housing deposit and first month’s rent for six homeless females in 2020/21
  • Dental work for these individuals including everything from cleaning to new dentures
  • Furniture and household equipment
  • Medical and hygiene products

While in housing, the charity will provide food, counseling, mentorship and tailor made programs to help the women on their next steps. Furthermore, ImpactHK will also give the women employment, allowing them to continue to pay the cost of rent.

Active for two years, the team has housed nearly 100 homeless individuals off the streets.

Lillis comments, “The money raised by our wonderful peers in this exceptional industry will go directly to change the lives of women and children in need and ensure that they have a safe and bright future.

I will personally follow the project closely and update everyone, and anyone visiting HK for work or pleasure is more than welcome to see for themselves the fantastic work that ImpactHK is doing.”

A number of fund-raising initiatives will be run by WiTR members throughout the year, culminating in its annual meeting and raffle at TFWA World Exhibition and Conference in September/October.

Jeff Rotmeyer, Founder, ImpactHK, adds: “Our strategy starts by showing consistent and frequent care for the homeless on the streets with the aim of getting their trust and friendship. The individuals we support are facing incredibly difficult challenges and pain.

On behalf of ImpactHK, thank you so much for supporting us and the homeless in Hong Kong this year. Your support will go directly towards saving lives and ensuring that dozens of homeless females are given a safe place off the streets and an opportunity for a healthy and happy future.

All of the homeless individuals that we house are given a holistic program focused on as much connection and fun as possible. We truly cannot thank you enough for this support and we cannot wait to work with [WiTR) in saving more lives of our city’s most vulnerable.”

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