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Shanghai Charities 2021 and How You Can Help This Holiday Season

An A-to-Z roundup of people doing good work in Shanghai and how you can join them
2021-11-17 12:00:00

‘Tis (almost) the season. If the upcoming holidays are putting you in a giving mood, but you aren’t quite sure how to put that generosity into action – read on.  We’ve pulled together a list of charities you can lend a hand to. From animal rescue centers to environmental protection enterprises, Shanghai is full of people who just want to help.

Here’s an introduction to charity groups in Shanghai, links to further information, and how you can help out.

BaoSquared Fiber Project

BaoSquared is a social enterprise that focuses on environmental protection and poverty alleviation. The Fiber Project is an initiative centered on textile recycling with 27 stations around Shanghai for dropping off clothing donations. The goal of this project is to reduce the environmental impact of textile production through the proper reuse and recycling of materials.

How to help:

Donate your old clothes to one of their recycling stations throughout the city. You can find a map of the stations here. You can also help out by organizing a donation drive in your office or workplace, and / or volunteering in various support capacities (photography, PR, and graphic design are just to name a few), among other possibilities. Click here to learn more about the various ways how you can contribute.

The Chi Heng Foundation

This NGO, whose name means "wisdom in action," funds and operates projects in education and care for children and adults impacted by AIDS. The Chi Heng Foundation aspires to ensure that that no one is excluded or discriminated against because they have AIDS. CHF promises a long-term commitment to helping children not only complete their education but also receive extensive support along the way. Roughly 78% of the organization’s expenses goes towards their orphans, vulnerable children and youth programs.

How to help:

CHF accepts money in a number of ways including PayPal, check, direct deposit, and wire transfer. Your donation will contribute to education sponsorship and psycho-social support programs for kids affected by AIDS, and also “other students who have endured poverty, sickness in the family, or discrimination.” To give you an idea, these are the funds needed per year to support a student:

A primary student: 360rmb

A junior high school student: 600rmb

A vocational school student: 3,775rmb

A senior high school student: 5,400rmb

A university student: 6,740rmb

The Community Center

The Community Center not only provides classes, tours, and social events for expats, but also helps run a few volunteer programs. Their “Charity Link” program aims to pair potential volunteers with organizations in the city. They also run the “Giving Tree”, which is a charity initiative aimed at helping children in need in rural China by sending out gift bags sponsored by companies and individuals.

How to help:

There are a number of ways you can help out The Community Center. If you have old books you’d like to donate contact If you are interested in volunteering with them, you can email

Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation

The Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation educates and equips the local advocates and organizations in rural China and Cambodia who are working to break the cycle of poverty in their own communities. Working together with local partners and trained advocate teams, CWEF works in several key focus areas: increasing access to education for children from low-income families, improving rural community health through WASH (Clean Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) solutions, and enhancing mental health support for children and families impacted by migration. CWEF projects have directly impacted over 140,000 people.

How to help:

CWEF is looking for volunteers in various fields from translation, to photography, to marketing. Check out their site for info on becoming a volunteer. They also accept donations here.

Educating Girls of Rural China

Starting back in 2005, EGRC is “empowers rural young women through education, provides opportunities for their personal and career development, and further identifies and trains a new generation of women leaders.” They primarily offer sponsorship programs to girls at all levels of study, seeking to provide access to education through financial sponsorship and emotional support.  EGRC programs offer online and in-person training, mentorship, and a variety of programs with specific focus on confidence-building, mental health, career planning, and personal development. Lean more about them right here.

How to help:

EDRC accepts one-time and monthly donations right here.

Eleventh Hour Rescues

Eleventh Hour Rescues is a small organization of animal rescuers from around the world based in Shanghai. EHR often rescues animals needing emergency homes in at the very last-minute, hence the name. Their motto consists of 3 Rs: “rescue,” “rehabilitate”, and “re-home” and they use it to guide them in providing happier lives for animals in need.

How to help:

There are countless ways you can help EHR! You can donate, become a godparent, sponsor, foster, or be a flight volunteer to accompany a dog going to its forever home abroad. Click here to learn more about getting involved with EHR.

HandsOn Shanghai

HandsOn is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 that promotes volunteerism and aims to inspire, equip, and mobilize people “to take action that changes the world” through direct community action in a variety of capacities.  They currently have more than 2500 volunteers each month through more than 150 local service projects who are all working towards the development of healthy and vibrant community. They run programs for education, elderly care, children's health and the environment.

How to help:

They are always looking for volunteers! Visit this page for more information on how to get started.

Heart to Heart

Heart to Heart is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers that provide care and support to Chinese children undergoing heart surgery whose parents cannot afford to pay themselves. Some other voluntary services they provide are hospital play-room sessions, teaching English to medical staff, collection and distribution of clothing, blankets and food, and participation in fund-raising projects. Donated funds are only used on the projects specified by the donors; no funds are used for reimbursement, salaries or any other secondary expenses.

How to help:

You can choose to donate your money, your time, or necessities. H2H contributes 30,000rmb towards each surgery. This amount is either used to pay for the entire surgery or provide enough funds so that the child’s family is able to finance the remainder. For their school library project, they have found that 20,000rmb is enough to sponsor a new library for a rural school. 5,000rmb will fund a sports equipment program. 3,000rmb will provide meals for 17 families while their children are in the hospital. If you choose to volunteer, you can help them by knitting or sewing clothing for the heart bears they sell. Visit this page for volunteering.

Additionally, you can donate clothes and other necessities. Visit this page for more details on how to donate money and or supplies. They especially need: full-sized children’s toothpaste, baby toys, towels & washcloths, full-sized adult toothpaste, winter clothing for ages 1-8, men’s winter clothing and girls’ backpacks.

 Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home is a group that meets every Saturday to invite homeless people in Shanghai to a safe place where they can eat, shower, collect clothes and just generally feel welcome and appreciated. Life on the streets is hard, so these kinds of events are priceless for people with nowhere to call their own. Volunteers can lend a hand with this or get involved in their other projects like English teaching, design, or raising awareness at coffee mornings and other events.

How to help:

You can donate money or needed items, provide options for job placement, or purchase a custom order item from their site. Email for more information on volunteering.


Lifeline offers free and anonymous support on the phone for individuals in times of emotional distress or crisis. Their 10am-10pm helpline is geared towards suicide prevention, help with anxiety, improving self-esteem, and basically anything else you are having trouble with.

How to help:

Lifeline is always in need of volunteers who make their work possible. If you're interested in taking part, visit this page to have a look at the Volunteer Information Kit and to fill out and submit an application form.

Paw Pals Animal Rescue (PPAR)

PPAR is an animal shelter that finds homes for their rescued cats through adoption. These days many cats are cast aside and left to fend for themselves in the dangerous city. PPAR's mission is to help as many as possible and provide them with a new home.

How to help:

You can donate money or items via taobao and you can also volunteer with them. Check out their page on how to donate or volunteer here. If you’re in the market for a new furry friend, you can also adopt from them directly.

The Renewal Center

The Renewal Center is a charity relying on donations to help homeless people in Shanghai. Your support can provide meals, friendship and warmth. On top of this, any donation goes toward providing the homeless with safe, temporary accommodation, career training – and help getting an essential national identity card.

How to help:

TRC could best benefit from cash donations, which you can provide directly to their site here.

Second Chance Animal Aid

SCAA is a non-profit aimed at improving the health and welfare of pets through methods that avoid it ending up in a traditional shelter. They aim to do this through education, advocacy, medical care, and foster care for animals without a home.

How to help:

SCAA appreciates help in any form they can get it: money, time, goods, or even *fingers crossed* your forever home. You can foster a pet temporarily, adopt one for life or donate time, money or goods. Money donated goes towards veterinary care costs for foster pets (which average 13,000rmb), transportation, and other administrative costs. Please visit this page for more details on donations. Email if you are interested in helping out at one of their Adoption Days events.

Shanghai Sunrise

A local charity registered under the Shanghai Charity Foundation and established in 1996, Shanghai Sunrise’s mission is to create access to education through scholarships for underprivileged Shanghai youth. This volunteer-led organization has raised over 35 million rmb for high school and university students since its inception, helping nearly 3,300 students and their families. Shanghai Sunrise believes in education beyond the classroom as well.

How to help:

You can sponsor a student through high school or university for one year (6,500rmb).

Year-round volunteer support is essential to the running of Shanghai Sunrise. Volunteers can offer their time daily, weekly or on an ad hoc basis. Their volunteering opportunities range from fundraising and event management to sponsor relations and marketing communications. If you have time to give and are committed to help underprivileged young people in Shanghai, get in touch by emailing or visit this page.


If you are looking for ways to help out during the precarious COVID-19 recovery stage, giving blood is a good option. Many regularly scheduled blood donations were cancelled as people were quarantined, and the outbreak has placed a demand on the Shanghai Red Cross Blood Center. “Shanghai is a big city. Even without COVID, there is a large demand,” said Dr. Ashish Maskay of Shanghai United Family and a co-founder of the blood donation community Bloodline.

How to help:

Donate whole blood or just red blood cells, plasma or platelets. Donating 200ml or 400ml of whole blood takes a few minutes while platelets take about half an hour. You can give whole blood every six months, red blood cells every eight weeks, plasma every four weeks and platelets every two weeks.

Check out our list of Shanghai Charities if you want more places to donate to a good cause.