CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING STORIES 2021 & 2020

HandsOn Hong Kong partners with various types of companies to collectively serve the community. Over the years, we are proud to have partnered with more than 200 companies and their passionate volunteers. Together we have built a range of meaningful service programs for their employees and clients. Here is a sampling of recent corporate programs.

                        

 

LGT Bank - Going green to preserve the city's trails

While many have taken to the city’s hiking trails this past year to enjoy Hong Kong's nature, some seem to have forgotten the importance of leaving no trace of themselves behind. The HandsOn team recently empowered volunteers from LGT Bank to help address this by mobilizing their team to support the fantastic non-profit Clean Up Hong Kong Trails (CUHKT). These hands-on volunteers painstakingly combed through section 3 of the Wilson Trail, picking up all the trash they found on the way, collecting an incredible 12 bin bags full to help preserve the beauty of our trails. Not only were bottles, cans and cigarettes butts found, but even unexpected items such as broken chairs and an alarm clock. Thank you LGT volunteers for setting an example to us all on hiking responsibly!

 

Alvarez and Marsal - Giving upcycled coffee grounds a second life

Your morning coffee isn't JUST a caffeine hit to get your day started--left-over coffee grounds can be easily given a second life! During our recent HandsOn program with Alvarez & Marsal, their volunteers did just this when they upcycled coffee grounds to help make an impressive 30 soap bars Combining coffee grounds with soap and essential oils is perfect for adding exfoliation, especially for dry skin areas. These beautiful, fragrant soaps were donated to elderly supported by the Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service. Big thanks for all for #BeingTheChange with us!

Fossil - Celebrating International Women's Day through community service

Happy International Women's Day! On a day that's all about celebrating women's achievements, #HandsOn brought together a team of female volunteers from Fossil to support elderly women in Hong Kong Guided by our talented Program Managers, Ivy and Rachel, this group of 30 #ChangeMaking volunteers spent their afternoon making eco-friendly lip balms and hand-wash for 30 women supported by a local elderly centre. What a pleasure and privilege to empower this group of women to spread a little joy, connect with each other and #ChooseToChallenge in recognition of #InternationalWomensDay!

 

Fossil - Ensuring social connection for the elderly during CNY

As we counted-down to the Year of the Ox, the HandsOn team was working on ways for the community to celebrate together and stay connected at a time of physical distancing. We found a way for our partner Fossil to support this community need through a virtual 'Fai Chun Challenge' and red-packet upcycling workshop. This program connected 12 of their volunteers with 15 local elderly, each in need of company and someone to celebrate the holiday with. Besides making festive decorations, everyone played games together to spread a little joy and be connected to one another—heading into the Lunar New Year as they each mean to continue!  

 

 

Fossil - Recycling soap for the local community

Used hotel soaps left behind by guests are often thrown out and sent to the landfill. Yet, every day thousands of children across Asia die from diseases that can be largely prevented simply by maintaining good personal hygiene with soap. Volunteers from Fossil spent time sorting and carving slightly used soaps donated by hotels and hospitality groups, so that these can be shipped by Soap Cycling to disadvantaged communities across Asia. In addition to helping communities overseas, Soap Cycling also provides soap packs to homeless and destitute communities here in Hong Kong, which is vital as Hong Kong continues to experience the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Tiffany & Co - Spreading holiday joy from the office

The recent holiday season saw volunteers from Tiffany & Co. get "hands on" to make Sensory boxes and hand-made holiday cards for children with special needs. Each box contained sensory boards made with love and care, combining textures and elements to stimulate the children's senses and help them experience the calming effects of sensory input. The colourful 3D cards they made to accompany the boxes were a joy to behold, and hugely appreciated by the children and their families. 

 

 

AmEx, Cisco, Fusang & Portcullis - Lifting spirits by providing Inspiration Jars

Christmas should be a joyful time of year but for many of us, the need for social distancing and self-isolation kept us apart from our loved ones. In the lead-up to the holidays, volunteers from AmEx, Cisco and Fusang & Portcullis spent time carefully making 'Inspiration Jars' filled with notes of blessings, positivity and warm wishes for the holidays (one to be read every day of the month). These words of kindness and support can go a long way in lifting spirits of the city's elderly. The jars were handed out to lonely elderly supported by the Martha Baker Social Centre, along with a Care Package of food and hygiene items to support their needs during the Season Of Giving. 

 

 

Zurich - Supporting families facing home learning challenges

Through their Purpose Week in November, VF teams across APAC activated their own sense of purpose by giving back to their local community. Their Hong Kong office joined forces with HandsOn to take part in 12 community service activities managed by our team--from filming a story for a child in need of social connection, to making caring-check-in calls to a lonely elderly person, providing virtual career guidance to a disadvantaged teen and other impactful programs. Each activity empowered their volunteers to give back to society in their own meaningful way.

 

 

LGT Bank and Swire - Making caring phone calls to isolated elderly

The ongoing Covid-crisis has proved to be incredibly tough for Hong Kong's elderly, especially for those have recently been discharged from hospital, and are adjusting to life back at home. Volunteers from LGT Bank and Swire recently took part in the Methodist Centre's Discharge Support Program for the Elderly, to offer much-needed check-in's, social interaction and support to the elderly via weekly phone calls. Through these calls, the elderly are reminded that they are not alone and that the community has not forgotten them. Besides providing the elderly with care and interaction, these calls also offer the Methodist Centre greater insight into the wellbeing of the elderly, allowing the centre to provide specific support when needed. 

 

 

Bloomberg & Estee Lauder - Storytelling to provide social connection

At a time when many of us are feeling the effects of social disconnection and distancing, bringing the community together through storytelling is a wonderful way to stay connected. Kind-hearted volunteers from Bloomberg and Estee Lauder did just this when they joined forces with HandsOn and Bring Me A Book Hong Kong to record stories for hospitalised children and youths with physical disabilities, respectively. These two programs were run in partnership with two other non-profits supporting these children--Playright and Hong Kong Christian Service Pui O School. After taking part in a storytelling-session led by the incredible trainer Angie, each volunteer then took the time to bring a different story to life and film it for a child in need of support. Huge thanks to each volunteer for doing their bit to make a difference and spread a little joy in these unprecedented times. 

 

 

VF Purpose Week: Finding meaning through giving back  

Through their Purpose Week in November, VF teams across APAC activated their own sense of purpose by giving back to their local community. Their Hong Kong office joined forces with HandsOn to take part in 12 community service activities managed by our team--from filming a story for a child in need of social connection, to making caring-check-in calls to a lonely elderly person, providing virtual career guidance to a disadvantaged teen and other impactful programs. Each activity empowered their volunteers to give back to society in their own meaningful way. 

 

 

Ocean Network Express (ONE) - Providing relief support from the office

As Hong Kong experiences a 4th wave of the COVID-crisis, the city's elderly are one of the most at-risk groups. Our corporate partner Ocean Network Express (East Asia) Limited raised their hands to support the elderly by rallying 25 volunteers from their team to make close to 200 hygiene sets which they packed as part of relief Care Packages for delivery (our first partner to assemble relief packs in-office!). Our elderly center partners, Sau Mau Ping Social Centre for the Elderly and Martha Baker Social Centre for the Elderly, were so grateful to see caring community members give their time to hand-make these essential items and to help provide basic food items to last each household for a month. Thank you to all the day's volunteers!  

 

 

Telstra - #TechFunDay  

Digital technology has never before been such a core part of our everyday lives. But not every child has access to digital literacy experiences that help to broaden their horizons and expand their knowledge. As part of their #TechFunDay Telstra volunteers introduced a group of students from ethnic minority background to the wonders of coding. They created videos together using micro:bit, a pocket-sized computer that helps children bring ideas to life. Volunteers guided the students through every step of the process, creating 10 fantastic videos together by the end of the process -- each of which will be used by 100 other students for teaching and learning purposes. Huge thanks to everyone that took part!  

 

Virtual career exposure for Hong Kong youth

It can be challenging for young people to think through career options when they don’t yet have exposure to the wide variety of jobs that exist. With in-person programs suspended, HandsOn and Moody's partnered on a series of programs virtually connecting students with volunteers from their team. Moody's volunteers formed a ‘human library’ for students to explore and interview about their career paths, an HR leader guided them on crafting their CV and another helped students set up a LinkedIn profile. This super-practical program ended by pairing volunteers and students to walk through their newly created CV and profile and make refinements together. An unforgettable experience for all involved--thank you to everyone that took part!  

 

Corporate volunteers rally to support COVID-19 relief 

While the local spread of COVID-19 seems to be under control—and Hong Kong's restrictions are gradually lifting—many of our citizens continue to struggle. Rising food prices and high priced hygiene products have put additional strain on marginalized groups in Hong Kong such as low-income families, people with mental illnesses, refugees and asylum seekers, and vulnerable women and children.

Given the ongoing need for emergency relief and food assistance, HandsOn Hong Kong has been working hand-in-hand with corporations looking to do their part for our community. Companies including AIA, Ant Financial, Carters, Citadel, CVC, Jones Day, Nu Skin, Schneider Electric, and State Street have each taken action to support community needs during these tough times. Many have sent out volunteer teams to roll up their sleeves and deliver relief packages, some have converted their originally planned HandsOn programs to COVID-19 relief efforts while others have raised funds to support our charity or donated much-needed hygiene items in bulk. The joint efforts of these—and so many other change-makers—will help us to rebuild Hong Kong for the better. Thank you all for your contribution and support!