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Shanghai Daily Tuesday 30 January 2018                                                                          Jing鈥檃n C3

Volunteers are a credit to their community

Li Qian                                      Residents in the Gonghexin Road Community use an app called Gonghexin e-home to track credits they earn for volunteer
                                             work and peruse the goods and services the credits can buy. 鈥?Jiang Xiaowei
Reviving community spirit and
            bringing neighborhood residents  recognize the contributions of residents   Previously,             The community hosts a variety of activities that
            closer together for the common   but also help bring residents closer       neighbors               residents can attend free of charge by redeeming
            good are common headaches for    together.                                  were 鈥榝amiliar          credits. Women in the neighborhood particularly
grassroots officials. The problem is par-                                               strangers,鈥?but         like a flower-arranging class. Children enroll for
ticularly acute among younger people.           鈥淧reviously, neighbors were 鈥榝amiliar   now they can be         karate and calligraphy lessons.
                                             strangers,鈥?but now they can be real       real friends.
   The Gonghexin Road Community has          friends,鈥?he said.
found one solution.                                                                     Zhu Youyuan
                                                Residents can also redeem credits for   Deputy director of the
   It introduced the concept of a 鈥渢ime      services provided by the property man-     community鈥檚 office
bank,鈥?where residents can earn credits      agement company.
by doing volunteer work in the com-
munity. Earned 鈥渢ime credits鈥?can be            鈥淭his is very popular with residents,鈥?redeemed for a variety of goods and ser-     Huang said. 鈥淭hey can make an ap-
vices, including annual laundry cards,       pointments with repairmen, under the
cinema tickets, restaurant coupons and       supervision of property managers.鈥?membership in exercise classes.
                                                Companies in or near the commu-
   Residents can earn and use the credits    nity can also participate in the app
via a tailor-made app called Gonghex-        functions.
in e-home. It is the first of its kind in
Shanghai.                                       鈥淭hey can donate resources, like
                                             entertainment tickets, to support our ac-
   The Luoshan neighborhood in the           tivities and also promote their brands,鈥?community was first to try out the new       Huang said. 鈥淢any companies sponsor
app a year ago. The project will be ex-      activities but don鈥檛 have enough partici-
panded in 2018 to 25 neighborhoods,          pants. We can ask our residents to take
said Zhu Youyuan, deputy director of         part. Both sides are winners.鈥?the community鈥檚 office.

   鈥淧reviously, only senior citizens took
part in volunteering and other commu-
nity work,鈥?said Huang Bei, Party chief
of Luoshan. 鈥淵oung people didn鈥檛 have
much time and weren鈥檛 interested in our
activities. We used to post community
information on neighborhood boards,
but now we also use social media after
talking with young residents to see what
they wanted.鈥?
   She added, 鈥淲e now have 387 regis-
tered users, more than half of whom are
young people.鈥?
   Han Liang and his wife are among the
active users.

   鈥淔rom the app, his wife found out that
the community was providing free ka-
rate classes to children, so she signed
up their 8-year-old son,鈥?Huang said.
鈥淲e didn鈥檛 charge a penny, and we let
the parents decide on a class time that
suited their schedule.鈥?
   As a result, Han Liang鈥檚 wife be-
friended community social workers
and told them of her husband鈥檚 skill at
pen writing. She recommended him as
a volunteer teacher.

   鈥淢y son didn鈥檛 want to learn pen writ-
ing from me because he thought it was
boring,鈥?Han said. 鈥淏ut now, he is en-
thusiastic about it because he can learn
in classes with other children from the
   After holding more than 10 classes,
Han noted, 鈥淲e love doing things for
the community and can earn credits for
things we want.鈥?
   Another popular function on the app
is 鈥渟haring parking spaces,鈥?which helps
ease the community鈥檚 chronic parking

   鈥淩esidents with their own parking
spaces can open access to others when
they are gone from home,鈥?Huang said.
鈥淣eighbors can use credits to obtain
short-time parking.鈥?
   Wan Jie, 30, has benefited from it.
   After his wife got preg-
nant, he paid many visits to
property management officials, seeking
a parking space near his unit. No luck.
鈥淢y parking space was about eight min-
utes鈥?walk from my unit,鈥?Wan said. 鈥淚
wanted a closer one. So, I posted my
plea on the app, asking for exchange of
parking spaces. Unexpectedly, a neigh-
bor contacted me and agreed for an
exchange.鈥?   Zhu said 鈥渢ime credits鈥?not only
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