As the severity of coronavirus continues to worsen, Carmen Yim reaches out to help the elderly and low-income earners during these times of uncertainty.
My motivation for doing charity work definitely comes from my parents, especially my mother, who’s been very active in this area since forever. My father [Stanley Yim, chairman of S.A.S Dragon Holdings] was the director of Yan Chai Hospital [1993-2002]; subsequently, my mother succeeded him [2007-2016] and now I have the honour to follow in their footsteps.
Through the sustained influence of my parents, active participation in voluntary and charity work has become an essential part of my daily life since I was young. Do it while you can – that’s my belief.
The most recent charity event we held was when a couple of friends – Janice Man [actress and model] and Mayao [singer and stylist] – gave out around 2,000 masks and hand sanitisers to low-income families and the elderly at Shek Kip Mei. Later on we’ll also be giving away 9,000 masks to those in need.
The idea behind the event was due to the surge in surgical mask prices. Before the coronavirus outbreak, surgical masks cost around HK$35 for a pack of five. Now the price has risen to more than HK$300. It’s practically impossible for those living in subdivided flats and partitioned cubicles to buy masks from price-gouging retailers. We’re currently sourcing materials and machines to operate a non-profit factory in Tai Po [8,000 to 10,000 square feet] which will supply not just masks but also protective clothing for hospital workers too.
The most touching and memorable moment would be realising how appreciative many of the elderly or the poor have been, and how this lights up their world. When you see the elderly wearing a mask made out of kitchen towels, or reusing one for many days, it really changes you. What also touches me is the amount of people who’ve been supportive and volunteered to donate masks or participate in our upcoming events. Every little bit helps, and we must all do our part to help the underprivileged.
Inside my bag I have an antiseptic spray, a hand sanitiser and also some spare surgical masks just in case I come across someone who couldn’t find any.
Food for thought: While the public is advised to maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid touching potentially contaminated objects and surfaces, it must be difficult for the visually impaired, who heavily rely on their sense of touch, to protect themselves from the virus. I believe able-bodied people must be more considerate and think of those who are vulnerable during the global pandemic.