Today is the Inauguration day of the First Board of Directors of “Grateful Heart Charitable Foundation”. I give my deepest appreciation and thanks to Mrs. Regina LEUNG, Wife of the Chief Executive, HKS.A.R., Mr. Liu Lin, Deputy Director-General of New Territories Sub-office of The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong S.A.R., Ms. IP Shun-hing, MH, JP, Member of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Chairman of Hong Kong Women Development Association Limited, Mr. LAM Tak-leung, MH, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong New Territories District Adviser Alumni Association, Mr. CHAN Chung-bun, SBS, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong S.A.R. Commission on Youth, Prof. CHAN Cheung-ming, BBS, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong S.A.R. Elderly Commission, Mrs. LAU KUN Lai-kuen, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong S.A.R. Women’s Commission, Mr. WONG Ka-wo, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants & Related Trades and all for your coming and guidance; it should be our great honor in getting the acceptance from Mr. LIN-wu, Deputy Minister of Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong S.A.R.being as our Chief Honorary Patron and all social celebrities here as our Honorary Presidents. I represent all our committee of Board of Directors to express my sincere thanks to you attendance today.
I set up Grateful Heart Charitable Foundation (the “GHCF”) in 2007. This is a registered non-profit making charitable organization to serve the community in Tin ShuiWai, TuenMun and other western districts in New Territories. During this period, large numbers of social and family tragedies happened in those areas are not just impressed on my heart
but also spread out to the whole of our society. Nowadays, people are living under great pressure. Relationships are also becoming alienated to each others. It definitely triggered off many negative family and youth issues, such as increasing numbers of divorce. It must bring unhealthy effects to the children if the parents handle it improperly. Many teenagers lose the confidence and security on their parents and family. They gang up together and do many improper and immoral things. Increasing numbers of youth are turning into drug-addicts, premature sexual relationships, promiscuity – All those really impressed on me when I got to read them every time. Thus, I had made an important decision - establishing “Grateful Heart Charitable Foundation” to response the need of our society, to assist the needy and to help those less fortunate in facing their problems; the problems liked tragedies happened in Tin ShuiWai area, Mood disorders, youth crime, family violence, etc.
The formation of GHCF allows us to serve the community in New Territories western district with total caring on their body, heart and soul, providing with suitable supports and assistances to the different individuals in need. With the heritage of Jesus’s Faith, Hope and Love, we hope and trust, HIS gospel can be spread out to every family and people through our one-stop family services and HE let all live in a fruitful life and build up their own family with obedience to Jesus’s Faith, Hope and Love and good neighborly community with mutual help. We trust everyone will sense, “Loves are going around themselves, cultivating into their hearts everywhere.” Our mission is to foster the virtue of “Helping others as the basis element in getting true happiness” from the individual to the whole society, use a beautiful life affecting to another life. Our foundation will also agglomerate more powers and efforts from various communities and parties, cooperate with different social groups and organizations to hold different kind of charitable activities and functions and social services. On one hand, with the concept of “To help people, to help themselves”, we provide different tools and ways to the needy in improving their living so as to solve their problems shortly; on the other hand, GHCF encourage the public to concern our community by helping those less fortunate so as to advocate the culture of Love and assist the grassroots-group in need.
The Fund Services
By offering funds and grants, GHCF supports and cooperates with various charitable organizations to provide social services. Our foundation also implemented multiple key projects; provide the public with different community services, so as to benefit more people in need.
1. Professional Community Services
Currently, the foundation operates “Grateful Heart Service Centre” and “Grateful Heart Reading Centre” in Tuen Mun District. These two social services complex centres are the platform for the foundation to provide various social services in Tuen Mun and New Territories western district.
Grateful Heart Service Centre
Grateful Heart Service Centre is located at Hong Tak Garden in Tuen Mun, it is also being the head office of the foundation. The centre started to provide service since September 2008, it was managed by Tuen Mun Alliance Church in the early stage and currently managed by GHCF and Tuen Mun District Women’s Association. It mainly provides professional social services to the residents in Tai Hing and even for the whole Tuen Mun District. Grateful Heart Service Centre aims at serving people from different age groups by launching different campaigns, such as recreational activities and hobby classes to people in need. They also facilitate the personal growth of young people and give care to the women and senior citizens with less fortune through forming corresponding groups and launching various programs.
In response to the needs of the Tuen Mun District, the centre launched many employability-oriented professional courses to cultivate the talents for different industries in the community. Meanwhile, it also offered employment support services, took care of the grassroots employment issues as well as developed employer network. Personal development and personal employment follow-up services are also included.
Grateful Heart Reading Centre
The Grateful Heart Reading Centre was established in the end of March 2012, it is located at the ground floor of Tip Ying House, Butterfly Estate in Tuen Mun. The reading centre formerly known as the Government’s Public Library, it had served residents living in Tuen Mun Southwest District for 25 years. After the foundation invested resources and converted into current reading centre, the region gained more new learning resources. There are over 3,000 books in the reading centre now, which is the top reading centre in Tuen Mun District, excluding the Public Library. Grateful Heart Reading Centre is not only as a place for reading and self-studying, but also provides various services, including the development of women, elderly caring services, youth and children development services, emotional support services and professional education services. With an aim to facilitate community’s harmony, the residents can live a happy life. Also, the reading centre various regular activities organized by the reading centre must benefit the development of peoples’ body, mind and spirit.
2. Kind Assistance Services
Through the Grateful Heart Service Centre and Grateful Heart Reading Centre, our foundation implemented multiple of poverty alleviation programs, such as “A cup of cold water” and Food Bank programs. Our volunteer teams visited the community actively to provide kind support for the needy; we also provide an emotional support hotline service program namely “Cheer Up”, offers professional assessment and services required for the needy. In the meantime, we promote the importance and education of mental health to the society.
"A Cup of Cold Water"
“A Cup of Cold Water” is launched in September 2008, and is one of the key project of Grateful Heart Charitable Foundation. It is designed to help the disadvantaged, providing them with material assistance, so that they can get continued support, which is like offering a thirsty person with a cup of cold water. Although it seems like a small effort, the giver will surely be blessed for this gesture. This program works on case to case basis, supply the needy with their material needs. For each case, our social workers will assess their needs and make appropriate assistance, referral and follow-up. Since this project implementation, residents throughout Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories had benefited from it, and over half of the beneficiaries lived in Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai.
Food bank is a short-term food assistance service program, this initiative target beneficiaries whom are facing difficulties coping with daily food expenditure, including the unemployed, low-income group, new immigrants and the homeless, and this assistance is for a period of six weeks approximately to resolve emergency needs. Supply of dry food, rice, noodles, canned food, biscuits, milk, meal and fresh food coupons are giving to whom in getting approval on a case-by-case basis by social workers. Since the opening of the centre, this service has benefited up to 261 people.
3. Fully Promote Community Kitchen
The foundation will allocate huge amount of resource to establish and operate the Community Kitchen in the coming year. The establishment of this Community Kitchen is aimed to provide food/meals for the poverty. In response to the environmental protection and exerting the influence on Hong Kong people’s attitude towards food resources are also the purposes of this campaign. Tuen Mun District Women′s Association is responsible for management of the kitchen′s daily operation. On one side, it helps to alleviate the poverty problem of New Territories western district; on the other side, it also acts as a platform to integrate multi-social power to give concerns on the needs of the grass-roots. It is estimated preliminary that 100,000 people in the basic level of the society will be benefited from this service, which leading to a long term positive impact to our society.
In the future, we have opportunities as well as challenges. All the members of the 1st Board of Directors of the GHCF commit themselves to the development and growth of the foundation with humble hearts, and strive for the diversified and sustainable development. The foundation always response to the social needs, work closely with other social welfare organizations, and provide the appropriate and proactive charitable social services in a pragmatic manner.
It is sure that the foundation will seek various opportunities to shoulder more social responsibility. Promoting corporate participation and leading to the cohesion of different concerning groups, fulfilling the needs of different parties in the community and helping disadvantaged people by various means are the ultimate the missions for the foundation.