Press Release: Charitable Donations 2015

June 10, 2015

Grants totaling more than HK$1 million, supporting hot dinners for street sleepers, guide-dog training and assistance for the hearing-impaired, will be awarded Friday, June 5, by the American Women’s Association and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), both of Hong Kong.

“Our charitable sweet spot is small grants to small charities with exceptional vision and commitment,” says AWA President Stephanie Bourque. “With our loyal AmCham partners, this year it is our privilege to assist 24 charities that provide important services in our community.” 

The largest single award this year, about HK$115,000, will go to Evangel Hospital, for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccinations to underprivileged high-risk girls to prevent types of cervical cancer.

The smallest grant (HK$10,000) will provide child-friendly, durable desks and chairs to the Children’s Institute of Hong Kong, serving children with autism and other special needs.

“We are grateful for the AWA’s diligent vetting efforts to identify charities and projects that match our charitable goals,” said James Sun, chairman of the AmCham Charitable Foundation. “Our partnership with the AWA enables us to contribute to local charities engaged in meaningful community service.”

Examples of this year’s awardees and their projects include:

  • Enlighten supports underprivileged families coping with epilepsy, a seizure disorder. The grant will pay for 14 seizure alarms so that family members are quickly alerted when children with serious epilepsy are having seizures at night so that they can be placed in the recovery position and given medication as needed.
  • Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association provides guide dog services to people with severe visual impairment.  The grant will pay for workshops to identify individuals who may receive the greatest benefit from guide dogs and will support sending two people to the US for guide-dog training.
  • Suen Mei Speech and Hearing Centre serves students with hearing impairment and speech or language problems. Students with profound hearing impairment receive cochlear implants to amplify sound. The devices use very expensive batteries and this grant will provide the batteries to underprivileged families.
  • Sunshine Action provides an array of services to Hong Kong’s homeless and neediest individuals. The latest grant will provide 120 hot dinners monthly (for ten months) to street sleepers in the Sham Shui Po area.

The AWA accepts grant proposals each fall and, with a zero-cost all-volunteer review process, identifies the top applicant charities. “We look for charities that can make the best use of our modest grants,” says Andrea Roth, the AWA’s Charitable Donations chair.  “Our target groups are Hong Kong’s low-income population, women and girls, the disabled, children, youth and the elderly.”

The AWA and AmCham will present their grants at a June 5 Awards Tea hosted at the residence of US Consul General Clifford A. Hart, Jr. “We deeply appreciate CG Hart’s willingness to host this presentation ceremony in his residence,” says Richard Vuylsteke, president of AmCham. “This is just another example of the year-round close cooperation AWA, and AmCham enjoy with the Consul General and his staff.” This year AmCham’s Charitable Foundation is funding nine grants, including the cochlear implants and hot dinners for street sleepers. “We are gratified to be able to assist these dedicated community organizations,” Vuylsteke says.

The Celtic Connection Choir is, once again, adding its charitable “voice” to the mix, providing two grants totaling HK$48,500. The Choir is funding five evaporative cooling systems for the Ebenezer New Hope School for the Visually Impaired, and 155 bedside lamps for an elderly housing complex.

 “Our generous partners amplify our impact in the Hong Kong community,” AWA’s Bourque says.  “We invite any local groups with similar goals to join us in making a difference!”

For more information contact:

Andrea Roth, AWA Charitable Donations Committee Chair

(+852 6978 0180/[email protected])

Ming-Lai Cheung, AmCham Director, Government Relations & Public Affairs,

(+852 2530 6927/ [email protected])

Barbora Mayer, AWA Office & Website Manager

(+852 2527 2961/ [email protected]