Our enthusiastic Treasurer, Tasha Mahabir, shares her reasons for loving HK Ladies Circle
When I moved to Hong Kong 5 years ago one of my key priorities was to find a charity to support. Without too much looking there wasn't any one cause that jumped out at me. Back in the UK I supported a couple of health related ones and a homeless charity. But it was back in June 2016 a very dear friend invited me along to the Hong Kong Ladies Circle monthly dinner.
I don't think I'd ever been in a room with so many women!!!! But the food was good and the wine - well you know wine!!!
It was a couple of months later - at the October dinner where I was asked if I'd like to join and I said yes! How could you resist a bunch of awful women (...awfully nice women...) who remembered your name, were interested in you and were quite good fun? But that wasn't why I said yes. I don't like good company, food and wine that much!!!
It was the charity. Or rather the charities. [Get ready for the science bit]. I'd never supported a kids charity. Nothing against the little people, but my thing was homelessness and health. And here was a bunch of pretty ladies giving their time and money to make the lives of so many of Hong Kong's disadvantaged children have a more loving….fulfilled….stable…. More of a life. They say 'your school years are your best' - and I genuinely loved going to school - can you see the smile on my face as I write this ;-)…. But ‘they’ say this because the only thing kids should be worrying about is their homework…..
Don't get me wrong - I've never been that oblivious - but just, y'know…..
I tried to empathise and I noticed a change in me. I started thinking about the future. The future isn't me or you. The future is the kids. The generations that we as society are all responsible for. Sure, you may not have given them life, but as a responsible member of the human race it is up to all of us cherish and nurture and positively influence the next generation and lend a helping hand and give a hug or cheesy smile to the next generation.
The main charity we support is Small Group Homes. Oh my goodness. One of the young ladies in their care did a presentation at our September dinner. Only 14 years old and her life has done a 180. When she started her presentation she seemed timid, maybe a little shy. But then her self-confidence exploded and wasn't she just a little pocket rocket! Seeing how SGH had impacted on this one kid was so empowering to see. With their guidance and nurturing the young lady is living a life that she wouldn't have had otherwise.
We give up our time and money and this is the good that comes from it. Sure we can self-congratulate and say we had a part to play, but personally I feel it's a moral obligation to help others. I don't project this onto anyone else, but through Ladies Circle I have been able to develop and do.
So I've now been a member for a year. Training wheels off - I'm the Treasurer! Our November dinner [my one year anniversary] was also our Box of Hope Packing Night. Oh my goodness. I told our President I would have to leave early as I had an early start the next day. Did I leave early? Pfft! Around me were thirty-five women wrapping boxes, packing boxes, labelling boxes, boxes, boxes, boxes all around me!! But that's not really what I saw.
What I saw was thirty-five hearts. That evening wasn't about time or money. It was about envisioning the smile on a kid when they received their box.
That night when I got home I commented on our council group chat - 'if ever I needed validation for joining Ladies Circle, tonight was it'……
When I moved to Hong Kong, I didn't find a charity to support. I discovered a cause I didn't know meant that much to me.
So I wear my Ladies Circle pin with pride. Knowing every day there is a kid in Hong Kong whose life is just that little bit happier.
Hong Kong Ladies Circle Treasurer 2017-18