On behalf of the Directors, we would like to welcome you to the sixth edition of our Newsletter, M.E.F. This issue is being sent to you just after the birthday of our Founder’s birthday on 28th August. Happy birthday Marilou.
TELEVISION BROADCASTS LIMITED
Ms. Lin Ting Ting, Jacky a Reporter at Television Broadcasts Limited contacted Birthday Happiness Asia after hearing how we deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate children in Hong Kong. She has requested that she interviews the Directors and films the party in Harmony House on 24th September. She would also like to interview some of the Participants and 2 or 3 Celebrants. Her report will hopefully appear on TVB at the end of September or early October.
FUNDING RAISING COMMITTEE
When our Co-Founder, Marilou began Birthday Happiness Asia she wished to reach as many less fortunate children as possible and decided to work with Partnering Organisations. This way more children could celebrate their special day and have a wonderful lifelong memory. To reach these less fortunate children requires a lot of Volunteers, Sponsors and Donors. The new Funding Committee has undertaken the arduous task of raising awareness of our objectives as well as raising money for future parties. Alex Garcia, Andrew Eden and David Strestfield bring unique skills from marketing and the financial world that are being utilised to raise money for future joyous parties. Their first face to face meeting will be held on Tuesday, 13th September. If you wish to help this Committee in anyway, please
PARTY IN AUGUST
You may recall that in our last Newsletter we informed you that there would be only one joyous party in August because many Social Workers were on holiday and many children had to take exams. The one joyous party that was conducted in August was at the Society for Community Organization’s Centre.
There were 7 Celebrants and with their guests there were 27 Participants. There were the traditional games such as Pass the Parcel, Musical Chairs etc. The Celebrants then made a wish and cut a delicious cake made by Jeremy Mair (@JeremyMair) before being served wonderfully delicious Jollibee food. Many thanks to all the wonderful Volunteers for all their efforts to ensure a great time was had by all. Thank you also to Mr. Andrew Lupton for making a video of the joyous party that can be viewed at the following link:
PARTIES IN SEPTEMBER
With schools returning to face-to-face classes all children, parents and Social Workers are busy with the new academic year. We have two joyous parties on Saturday, 24th September. The joyous party at the Society for Community Organization will start at 2.00 pm for 90 minutes. It will be led by our Team Leader, Ms. Fiona Wei. The other joyous party will be at Harmony House in Kwun Tong starting at 11.00 am also for 90 minutes. This party will be
led by our other Team Leader, Ms. Sonya King. As some of the children in Harmony House might have suffered great trauma at the hands of men, the Directors have decided that only female Volunteers will be permitted to help at this party. At both parties, the eggless cakes and vegan meals will be sponsored by the Sadhu Vaswani Centre. If you can help in anyway at either party, please contact us. Thank you.
NEW PARTNERING ORGANISATIONS
You may recall that we were communicating with the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf in order to organise a trial joyous party. It has been decided that the first party with them will be on Saturday, 15th October in their Kowloon City Centre starting at 2.00 pm for 90 minutes. This party will be led by Ms. Fiona Wei who is attending Hong Kong Sign language classes at Li Po Chun United World College. We also hope to have a Piñata. Please note that all Volunteers must pass a Rapid Antigen Test.
Birthday Happiness Asia is pleased to inform our Friends and Supporters that we have also reached an agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong (https://www.elchk.org.hk/en/) to have joyous parties with them.
This new Partnering Organisation has a number of Centres throughout Hong Kong and serves thousands of less fortunate children, all of which could benefit from parties provided by birthday happiness.
It has been decided that a trial joyous party will be held in their Centre in Tseung Kwan O. The date has yet to be confirmed. The joyous party will start at 6.00 pm when the Centre will have no extra-curricular activities and the room dividers can be removed, making the Venue much larger.
One of our Friends that attended our joyous party last month as a Volunteer was Ms. Reshma Gowpani of Faith Charity Foundation. She attended the joyous party in the Society for Community Organization’s Centre in August to see how we deliver birthday happiness. She was also instrumental in introducing us to Home Care for Girls (http://www.hcgirls.org/zh/) and the Officer in Charge, Ms. Ip.
The Home Care for Girls’ mission as stated on their website is for when girls face problems like “divorce, domestic violence, child abuse, emotional problems, running away from home... When girls are unable to live with their families and have nowhere to go and living on the streets may become their only option. Who can give them a safe home and a promising future? Home Care for Girls provides a home away from home”.
After extensive discussions with Ms. Ip it was decided that we would have our first trial party with them in October, most likely on a Sunday afternoon after the some of the girls have returned from their home visits. As some of the girls have suffered great trauma at the hands of men, the Directors have decided that only female Volunteers will be permitted to interact with the girls in the Home.
A Volunteer, Ms. Eva Lo has also offered to have a joyous party by taking the Celebrants and their Guests from the Home to a local cinema to see a movie followed by a restaurant meal with suitably wrapped presents and homemade cake. She was willing to hire a coach for the joyous party. Eva was willing to pay for everything. Although a great idea it would be prohibitively expensive for one person to bear the full cost. It has been decided that such a joyous party will be postponed until nearer to Christmas or even early next year when we have found more Sponsors. If you are willing to help financially for such a joyous party, please contact us. Thank you.
Pupils at the ELCHK Lutheran Academy had to submit a short video documentary for their Summer Assessment. The purpose of the of the school project is to demonstrate an “understanding of how well- structured communication enhances audience engagement through analysis and argument”. The pupils read the article in the South China Morning Post and this prompted them to contact us. The video can be viewed at:-
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VXTj0EKuUDcSt1zeLXuNroH4G41OHfeh/view?usp=sharing or on our webpage
An analysis by WiX of the Birthday Happiness Asia website has shown that our popularity has started to take off with site sessions up by 96%; post views up by 175% and Leads has grown by 86%. There is a genuine interest in Birthday Happiness Asia with more people clicking onto the website. This greater level of interest is due to more new items posted onto the website on an almost weekly basis and the wonderful work performed by our webmaster, Andrew Spires.
As we move further into the century the old means of communicating are being replaced by Social Media. The website, word of mouth and distribution of this Newsletter has limited reach. The future lies in harnessing the power of Social Media, through such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp etc.
We are seeking a Volunteer who can use their Social Media skills to reach as many people as possible to help us deliver birthday happiness to less fortunate children. If you can help us, please contact us. Thank you.
WHATSAPP VOLUNTEERS’ LIST
Many Volunteers keep in touch with each other through WhatsApp messaging and not emails. They have requested that they be included in our Birthday Happiness Asia Volunteers’ List. However, as you may know, we are cognisant of all our Volunteers’ contact details. If you wish to be included in our WhatsApp Volunteers’ List please inform us by email and we will add you to the list.