Building Community and Sharing Resources during the Pandemic

Samuel Yau (left) and Jim Ling (right) in Vancouver, 2020

Jim Ling and Samuel Yau are organizers of a Richmond-based online community chat group named “Resource Sharing”. Jim, a retired senior chemical engineer at Canfor Pulp Mill and Rotary Club member, and Samuel, a construction builder, are both advocates of promoting environmental sustainability. In both of their respective industries, they have witnessed much wastage of resources that can otherwise be recycled and reused. With the vision of waste reduction and community building, they established the resource sharing WhatsApp group, which now has close to 150 members. 

“As a construction builder, I see a lot of wastage of construction materials on a regular basis. I am a supporter of the City of Richmond’s Energy Save program, and I hope that our resource sharing group can contribute towards waste reduction and promote energy savings.”

Samuel Yau

When the COVID-19 pandemic was still at its peak, many grocery stores and restaurants reduced their orders from local farmers, leading to an excess of crops that farmers were unable to sell. When Jim and Samuel learned that a Surrey-based Persian cucumber farmer was seeking help, they connected with the farmer and offered to purchase and distribute 600 pounds of cucumbers. Samuel drove to Surrey to pick up the cucumbers, and organized order pick ups in front of his home in Richmond while practicing social distancing and proper sanitation measures. The cucumbers were bagged and placed on his pick up truck with a cash box for collecting payments. For those who did not have a vehicle, they would deliver the items to people’s homes. As most of his group members are of Cantonese origins, Persian cucumbers are not a regular part of their diet. Through this occasion, many members learned how to prepare the cucumbers and shared their recipes in the chat group. Some group members such as Diana Chan donated the cucumbers to seniors in her social networks.

When there was a shortage of hand sanitizers, the duo also helped source hand sanitizers through a local friend in Delta who owned a brewery that manufactured ice wine and glutinous rice wine. The community group requested 160 bottles of hand sanitizers, and again Samuel volunteered to pick up the products and transported them to his Richmond home for pickup. 

“I am a Rotary Club member, and during this moment of hardship for everybody, we want to share the good part of mankind to help each other when there is a need to cheer up others.”

Jim Ling

While the work they do is completely voluntary and not-for-profit, Jim and Samuel are passionate about supporting their community group and continue to dedicate their time in promoting their resource sharing initiative.