Giving the Gift of Education and the eBay Charity Run

eBay Inc. Editors

As part of the eBay Foundation’s global GIVE Team program, the China GIVE Team has been focused on promoting volunteer opportunities to employees and granting funds to non-governmental organizations in China since April 2008. In the spirit of giving back to support communities in need, the China GIVE Team has already built several successful nonprofit partnerships. Here are the stories of two such initiatives that are focused on bettering the lives of underprivileged children.

China_Giveteam_1Project Hope

Today, China is becoming known for its high-rise buildings, splendid shopping streets and luxury clothes. However, left in the shadows of this glamorous lifestyle are the children in impoverished rural communities in western China whose families work hard each day to provide the basic necessities. Many of these children are eager to learn, knowing that an education will one day help better their economic situation. That’s why the China GIVE Team has become engaged in helping these underprivileged children to fulfill their dreams for higher education.

In 2008, the China GIVE Team began to work with the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF), a non-governmental organization focused on supporting Chinese youth, particularly through their signature program, Project Hope. Project Hope identifies children who have dropped out of school in China’s rural areas and guarantees their right to complete at least an elementary education. One component of Project Hope that was of particular interest to the China GIVE Team is their teacher development program. This program brings teachers from rural regions to Shanghai for a 10 day training course with university professors. Knowing the huge impact these teacher training sessions would have on the children in the classroom, the China GIVE Team recommended a grant of $13,000 to support the initiative, financing the training for 50 rural teachers from the Shanxi province. In addition, 20 eBay employees volunteered their time to conduct a computer skills training session for the teachers, demonstrating tools like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. CYDF estimates that more than 2,500 students will benefit from the increased education of just these 50 teachers alone.

“In this early chilly spring, we are full of passion and have felt the care and warmth brought by the people in Shanghai. In return, we are filled with hope. We are sure to harvest this knowledge to benefit the kids in our school” said one country teacher, Xianwu Xiong from Zhenan county Shanxi Province.

The China GIVE Team also organized some additional activities to support the rural teacher trainings. They donated 27 PCs to equip a computer room and worked to get CYDF added as a nonprofit organization on eBay Giving Works. Through Giving Works donations, the CYDF received an additional $5,975 in donations. Every quarter, eBay volunteers will continue to deliver training courses on computer skills. “With the formation of the eBay Give Team in China, we provide our employees an opportunity to get connected with the community where they live and work” said Daniel Lee, GM of eBay Global Development Center. “This helps create a strong sense of community service that aligns well with eBay values.”

For The Heart, From The Heart

On Nov. 29, over 200 employees from the China office will put on their sneakers for charity at the Shanghai International Marathon. Each team member has signed up for this challenge with the ultimate goal of improving the living conditions for hundreds of orphans. Their target is to raise enough money to cover food, clothing and shelter in addition to tuition for 2,100 orphans in China (Shangri-la) and Africa (Kenya).

To help reach their goal, the China GIVE Team is calling on employees to help raise money by simply bidding through the eBay auction site. Employees may also choose to have any product they buy shipped directly to them or shipped to the children as a holiday gift.

“I am proud to be part of this event, along with 200 of my colleagues,” said Patrick Firouzian, senior director, DPD China. “We are running for a good cause: children who have not had the chance for a normal life. Any support we receive will motivate our participants to start, continue and complete the race. It will also make a material difference in many children’s lives”