Think about this, Beijingers: during the 30 days of November, a locally-organized charity movement raised enough money to provide sight-restoring eye surgery to 131 men in rural areas of China, using little more than pickle juice, homemade pins, corn toss, a few quiz nights, The Beijing Beatles, and quite a bit of generosity from local bar and restaurant owners and our community.

Maovember wrapped up its efforts for 2014 with a final fundraising total of RMB 105,122 with every increment of RMB 800 sufficient to pay for one cataract surgery. RMB 62,166 was raised from events, RMB 22,956 from direct donations, and an even RMB 20,000 from sales of pins, according to the maovember website.

Orbis China is this year’s charity beneficiary, which will use the money to arrange and conduct the eye surgeries. These surgeries are particularly important, as with their sight impaired, these men have become a burden to their families, unable to work fully. By restoring their sight, they are able to return to work and to their roles as breadwinners.

The inaugural 2013 Maovember raised the now seemingly modest sum of over RMB 22,000 and furnished a small library at a migrant children’s school on the outskirts of Beijing.

Congratulations to those involved in the project and everyone who donated for blowing expectations out of the water.

Image: The Beijinger

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