It’s never too early or too late to get involved with expat volunteer or social groups. Everybody was new in Shanghai once and a spirit of inclusion and support suffuses most organisations and clubs.
The Shanghai expat community is very active in organising events for compatriots, fellow mothers and those interested in meeting people while lending a helping hand. There are several benefits to contacting these organisations and attending events. Besides meeting new people with similar interests, getting involved provides an opportunity to explore and get to know your new home.
Hands On Shanghai
Founded by expat professionals in 2004, Hands On Shanghai (HOS) matches expat volunteers with local NGOs who need their help. HOS works with a broad range of NGOs, allowing them to organise flexible volunteer programs for busy professionals and parents. Depending on your expertise or interests, HOS can arrange volunteer opportunities with organisations that work in the areas of children’s health, education, elderly care, environmental protection and facility upkeep. HOS also supports local community organisations with direct donations, fundraising planning and execution and project implementation.
Shanghai Volunteer Association Charity Service Corps
The Shanghai Volunteer Association Charity Service Corps (The Charity Service Corps) welcomes enthusiastic, outgoing long-term and short-term volunteers for over a dozen running projects that help the poor, the elderly, children and disabled people.
Shanghai Expat Volunteer Programme
The popular website frequently has interesting and fun volunteer positions open for content contributors, event photographers, event coordinators and office support. Also, if you have any performance skills, chances are that Shanghai Expat can arrange a stage for you. Volunteer opportunities with Shanghai Expat are a great way to meet active people.
Heart to Heart Shanghai
Volunteers for Heart to Heart Shanghai participate in children's play activities at the Shanghai Chest Hospital in Puxi, the Shanghai Children's Medical Centre (SCMC) in Pudong and the Wuxi People's Hospital. Play sessions are conducted from 2-3.30pm. No experience or Chinese-language skills are required.
The Royal Asiatic Society
The Society hosts cultural and literary events, as well as activities such as walks and tours for expats. Events are generally well-attended by expats interested in history and culture.
CereCare Wellness Centre Shanghai
A residential facility for young people suffering from cerebral palsy, CereCare needs financial support and volunteers to spend time with the children.
Second Chance Animal Aid Shanghai
Run primarily by expats, SCAA cares for abandoned animals in Shanghai and facilitates their adoption.
Brits Abroad Shanghai
Brits Abroad Shanghai is very active, organising several events each month to bring expats together for meals and city tours. Some events, such as the wet market tour, are particularly helpful for newly-arrived residents.
American Women’s Club of Shanghai
AWCS is a non-profit social club whose focal point is providing American women in Shanghai with a foundation that assists them in adjusting to and living in a new environment.
Australian Shangahi Association
ASA is an active focal point for Australians interested in networking, attending social events, volunteering activities and playgroups for children.