River of Hearts - About Us

Started in 2003 by Christina Showalter and Isabelle Champanet, the mission of River of Hearts (ROH) is twofold: to provide a way for people in need in mainland China to receive clothing, shoes, bedding, toys and other items in good condition, and to create opportunities for Shanghai residents to contribute to the improvement of Chinese families and individuals. ROH organizes the collection and delivery of donated items to Chinese minorities and economically challenged communities. In addition, an experienced group of core volunteers allows ROH items to reach people in need anywhere in China in the event of natural disasters.


ROH’s flagship event is the Sorting Party. Over 40 sorting parties have been held, averaging 3 per year. Hundreds of volunteers come together to run a bazaar that raises much needed funds for transport and prepare donations for shipping by sorting, packing, and loading trucks. 
A testimonial from student Fayme Tanoko at our June 7, 2014 event:
ROH was the first charity event I joined in China. It was such a great time. I had a lot of fun. It reminds me once again to be thankful with what I have and to help others as much as we can. All the people who were helping were so kind and friendly. I really enjoyed my time there.


Over 15,000 boxes of donated items have been sent to provinces such as Yunnan, Anhui, Heilongjiang, and Qinghai. Approximately 13,000 individuals are impacted by ROH every year.

Message from Sandra, a community partner in Yunnan (September 2015):

I just wanted to send you the attached photos of locals receiving clothing. My team is getting it to needy people in the community they are in contact with. Many are elderly and just surviving; they are unable to buy clothes and other items.
This photo (above) is of taking a duvet (blanket) to an old man living in a very dark and dirty home. He is living in desperate conditions, needing basics such as rice and oil. He lives in a remote area.

Message from recipients in Xining, Qinghai:

“This wonderful gift arrived in Qinghai on 14th June [2014] and the majority of the shipment has been sent to Banma County in Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. These daily necessities will be happily welcomed by the impoverished people in this prefecture, whose income is generated by collecting cordyceps (a type of mushroom) during April and May each year…Please accept our warm appreciation to you and your volunteers for putting in so much effort in collecting and sorting out the requested items for the needy people in Qinghai.” – Christian Action


River of Hearts is a program of Community Center Shanghai. Contact us at roh@communitycenter.cn or charity@communitycenter.cn with any enquiries.