We truly love all that the Box of Hope Charity embodies. It not only allows the sharing of wonderful gifts to the under privileged across Asia, but it brings together a huge sense of community and friendship. It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of not just our members - and guests - for our own involvement, but for everyone else getting involved across Hong Kong.
In the run up to this years Box of Hope, I thought it might be an idea to gather a few people together to wrap a few boxes in advance of our popular Box of Hope packing evening. I honestly never dreamt that by the day of the event I would need to be moving TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY wrapped boxes ready for packing. I have to say the mornings in my home with members, guests and neighbours popping in for an hour or two's social wrapping were a real highlight - and one I miss already!
We tried to wrap a lot since we wanted to pack a lot ! The availability of wrapped boxes on the night can become a bottle neck and we wanted to avoid rushed wrapping, giving each box a lot of time and love.
So on the night we did pack a lot. An awful lot. Part way through the night the shout went up that we were starting to run out of donations for the boxes. While I could see we had packed a huge amount, it somehow didn't look like we would beat last years record 344 boxes. We kept going though, packing and packing - with loud music to keep us moving!
When the final very lengthy count came, I was totally astounded. Not only had we beaten last years record, but by a whopping 95 extra boxes - we packed FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE BOXES in a single evening. Fantastic.
After the box packing came the box checking. A few days after the Box Packing night, our ladies donated more time & effort as we joined the wonderful team at the Box of Hope HQ to spend a day helping them check some of the 1,000s of Boxes of Hope flooding in this week and next. Always a wonderful experience and so many truly beautiful boxes and messages from the citizens of Hong Kong.
We cannot wait to get started all over again next year.......perhaps we should set up our box wrapping donation service........a good way to raise more money for this charity. Watch this space !
It only felt like yesterday since we gathered our members together to support the Association of Round Tables HK for their annual Pedal Kart 24-hour Grand Prix.
The race runs over 24 hours with teams pedalling through night, relay race style. It is a feat of teamwork, engineering, spirit and endurance.
Our members lent a hand with the organisation of the event (our Pedal Kart Coordinator works tirelessly to help behind the scenes.) Ladies helped with race set up, marshalling, manning the Ladies Circle booth, welcoming two of the charities we have supported this year - and anything else that needed some manpower. I have to admit my least favourite task was to help close the face painting stall which proved to be extremely popular indeed - character building stuff that's for sure!
Following our help with the last two years races, the Association of Round Tables HK pledged HK$360,000 to the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf. Their largest single donation to date. HK Society for the Deaf had approached us with a funding proposal outside the reach of our ordinary fundraising - to create a sensory room for hearing impaired children at their new facility in the New Territories. Sadly it was beyond our normal fundraising but were so keen to see the project funded, we approached Round Table to see if they would be able to help - and to cut a long story full of due diligence, site visits and quote comparisons, they agreed.
This highlights the great fundraising capability of the Annual Pedal Kart Grand Prix, and the fantastic work done by the gentlemen of the Hong Kong Round Tables. If you would like to learn more about them or make a donation, please contact the Association of Round Tables Hong Kong.
Looking forward to the next race already !
Looking ahead to our 50th Anniversary
This blog has a very unlikely start (particularly if you know me well......) - I was tidying up. Not only that, I was tidying up and found something I had been looking for. Quite remarkable.
Before summer, I was looking for details of all past chairlady's to add to our Website, to acknowledge and thank them for all they've done over the past 50 years to bring our organisation to where it is today.
I found our first "chain of office" - and to cut a long story short, I've since been in touch with our first ever Chairlady - and NOT ONLY THAT.....I've now met her.
Think about that one moment. I have met the lady responsible for chartering our organisation back in 1968 here in Hong Kong. Simply magical.
I could honestly write about it all at length - instead - next time you see me, stop me and ask me about my Summer trip to meet Jeanne. Again, if you know me, you'll know that when I'm passionate about something, I am very animated, excitable and difficult to get a word in edgeways..........so be prepared.
When we met, Jeanne kindly shared a book with me which holds details of our Charter ceremony held at the fabulous Mandarin Oriental "overlooking the twinkling lights of Hong Kong Harbour". Inside the book is an excerpt describing Hong Kong as a "city of contrast and intrigue, with crowded streets buzzing with people and majestic mountains rising from expanses of endless crystal blue sea".
A lot has changes in 50 years - but honestly, this still remains a very up to date way of describing this amazing place Ladies Circle Hong Kong calls home.
The meeting between our first Chairlady and I has inspired me so much. It feels like we've come full circle. It's a perfect way to describe how we must celebrate our 50th Anniversary in a few months and hopefully, Jeanne will travel here to help us celebrate.
Will you join us in March 2018 and help us celebrate and take Ladies Circle Hong Kong forward for the next 50 years? I hope so.
(You know you can register interest here.....tickets on sale soon.....)
Will I come back, aged 91 to celebrate our 100th Anniversary with our future generations (you can be sure I will try very hard !)
.....warning, may induce spontaneous eye leakage
We love drinks drop ins at Ladies Circle Hong Kong - it's an opportunity to mingle and catch up in relaxed surroundings while at the same time as raising funds for our focus charity "Small Group Homes."
On Wednesday evening we were joined by members past and present and friends at an extra special Drinks Drop In at the home of one of our very long standing members. Laura has been such a wonderful presence in our membership and on Council over many years.
Laura is relocating to the UK soon and will be very much missed in our daily lives - but will still be back often and will keep in touch across the miles.
As President I was given the honour of thanking Laura on the night and announcing how much we'd raised (a staggering HK$3,400). I should really have said a little more than just "this is not Goodbye, just a farewell..." I confess to finding it all a bit too emotional (totally rubbish on reflection and I'd give myself a 2 out of 10 !)
It's important to set the record straight I think!....
"Laura, a big thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have been my rock these past few years. Always so supportive and full of encouragement, love and compassion. So dedicated and hard working and with such a level head. You truly embody everything that I take to mean being a true member of Ladies Circle and I will miss you so very much. With much love and thanks to you always."