Spreading Holiday Cheer

3500 festively decorated cookies found their way to the Wanchai office of the Hong Kong Red Cross in early December. Catherine Greco, coordinator of the 2013 AWA cookie drive and Sue Chan, Red Cross Hospital School Administrator, were delighted to see the piles of treats that piled up in the office lobby.

For over thirty years the AWA has been a faithful partner in what has become a holiday tradition. The AWA Cookie Drive provides home baked cookies for Christmas parties, which are held at the eighteen Red Cross hospital schools across Hong Kong. Over 2,000 chronically ill and handicapped children enjoy these special festive occasions each year. Chrysan Mok Oi Ling, a Red Cross Special Education teacher for over twenty years, explained that the home baked cookies were a special and much appreciated treat. As baking is not customary for the Chinese, they also represent a wonderful East-meets-West gesture of good will. Kate Weisman, AWA’s chairperson for Community Service, experienced first-hand how much the cookies were appreciated and enjoyed. After attending the Christmas party at the Duchess of Kent’s Children Hospital on December 12th, Kate noted, “Spending the morning with chronically ill and disabled children, left me humbled and honoured to be a part of an organization that is doing such good – both large and small - in the Hong Kong community.” To mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of their hospital schools, the Red Cross will be paying special recognition to the AWA with a Long Service Award. This award is in recognition of our committed and hardworking volunteers spanning thirty years and we are truly delighted to be recognised in this way. A special thank you to Allied Pickford, for their continued commitment in helping both AWA and the Red Cross, and making the cookie drive run smoothly – from pick up to drop off.

Taken from AWAre magazine February 2014 by Kate DeStefano Weisman