We seriously LOVE some of the things we hear about going on in our city. Yes, some of the people we meet here can be harsh and mean, but this story goes to show that humanity still exists in Shanghai. Two weeks ago, Rebekah Pothaar, an executive with Ctrip.com, found that her ayi’s husband was in a serious motorbike collision. They went with her to the hospital and found that surgery was going to cost RMB43,000 — a sum that would take them forever to pay back. So Rebekah set up a Facebook group, invited all her friends to a fundraising dinner buffet and a book/DVD swap at Haya’s Mediterranean Restaurant, and they raised RMB12,300 in one evening!
Knowing they’re still a ways off from covering the full cost of the surgery, more friends got together to pose nude (is this becoming a trend or what?) for a series of shots that will be auctioned off at a separate charity event aptly named Golddiggers for the Love of Ayi. Some friends stripped readily, while another friend, Juliette McCawley, offered her photography skills. The event will be held at Kathleen’s 5 on Saturday, Dec 15 (that’s two weekends from now!), and the program details are as follows:
Tickets 250 RMB presale, 300 RMB @ door, includes dinner & 2 drinks + afterparty [100 RMB from every ticket will go to the ayi!]
“Money Shots” – Silent Photo Auction
14 International Golddiggers Pose for Charity
6:30-7:30 Pre-dinner Drinks & Canapes
7:30-9:00 Dinner Buffet
9:00-10:00 “Love for Sale” Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction
11:00-2:00 Digger Afterparty
Performances, Dancers, Money Music
Dress Code: Slinky & Sleek, Red & Black
Get your tickets in advance presale cause we are only selling 300 of them.
And here’s some chicken soup for your soul this cold Monday morning — the story from Rebekah that started it all off:
I didn’t sleep well last night. For once the insomnia wasn’t induced by Red Bull, but guilt. On Saturday night, my ayi’s [cleaning lady’s] husband was in a head-on collision on his motorbike. His right leg is now splinters and mashed potatoes. The surgery will cost 43 000 RMB. They have no health insurance. They have been able to get a loan, but this loan will almost be impossible for them to pay back.
One of the perks of living in China is everyone has an ayi [“auntie”]. I quickly got over the fact that I am paying a grown woman 10 RMB an hour ($1.4) to clean my mess. I return from work on Tuesdays and Fridays, sighing with contentment at the polished hardwood floors, clean sheets, organized closet, scrubbed bathtub, and folded towels. A pretty mother of two, wearing heels and sassy outfits, ayi’s appearance came as a surprise. She can’t read. We communicate in smiles and charades. She doesn’t know my name. I don’t know hers. She laughs at my singing. She laughs at my brother’s pink kitchen. She laughs when I lock myself out of my apartment and call her at 5am to let me in. She always refuses to accept more payment for her work.
At the amount I pay her, ayi would have to work 15 years to raise enough for her husband’s surgery. Ayi is also employed by five of my friends who will pitch in as much as we can. I encourage you to hit up your employers, companies, charitable organizations, non-profits and sugar daddies to help. If you have suggestions about fundraising events, let me know. I will keep you informed on how fundraising is going and on his health. Thanks for listening.
People with a heart. Doing random acts of kindness for someone they may or may not know. We love it!
To show your support, just sign up on their Facebook page to let them know you will be turning up for the event, or call Rebekah Pothaar at 15901995801 to find out how you can help.
And here’s the picture of the ayi and her husband in hospital: