Share the joy of a wish

Featured on the Hong Kong Economic Journal (December 6, 2018)


Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of working with several charities that help children and one that is close to my heart is Make-A-Wish. Just this past week, Make-A-Wish Hong Kong celebrated its 20th anniversary and also its annual Christmas celebration at the Landmark Atrium. We were joined by celebrities and loyal supporters to kick off the seasonal events.


I think children and those suffering are always on our hearts but ever more so in the holiday season. When many of us are traveling abroad, eating scrumptious meals, spending time with families near and far and enjoying the holiday cheer, some people are suffering in the holiday season due to a variety of reasons. This goes for beneficiaries of Make-A-Wish. Make-A-Wish is an international organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. When a child is faced with a critical illness and is relegated to spending days, weeks or even months in hospitals, going through tests and sterile treatments, Make-A-Wish comes alongside the child and his/her family to let their imagination run wild in choosing a once-in-a-lifetime wish.


Children have amazing creativity and they choose wishes that fall into one of five categories: To have, To meet, To be, To go and To give.


Some children choose to have something of their dreams which could be a camera to capture their favourite moments, an iPad to help them pass the days in the hospital or a birthday party for after they recover.


Some children choose to meet their idols and stars which have included Disney princesses, pop stars and sports players.


Some children choose to be something for the day and the most memorable international example is when a 6-year-old became ‘Batkid’ for the day and the city was transformed into Gotham City for him to save people.


Some children choose to go to a destination of their dreams which include traveling to Japan to visit Disneyland, to Washington to meet then President Obama and Italy to watch a football game.


And some children, most touching of all in my opinion, are the ones who choose to give. In the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity they have to get something for themselves, they choose to use their wish as a way to bless others. Take Natalia as an example. A 10-year-old girl from Cincinnati who loves cooking and was battling a brain tumor. When asked what she wanted to her wish to be, it was this: to feed the hungry and keep them warm. “I always feel cold and I want to be able to give others warmth”. Her wish enabled her to cook with a chef to create a special soup recipe and then serve the soup to the homeless in one of the largest homeless shelters in her community. In addition, her wish included giving blankets to the homeless. Her kindness and selflessness warmed not only the hearts of the recipients but all those who witnessed this selfless act.


Locally, Pansy, a girl who was facing leukemia, decided to use her wish to help other children in China who were facing the same illness as her. She wanted to recruit volunteers to create bracelets with her and the sale of those would be to support children in China with cancer. With 100 volunteers supporting her, they created over 400 bracelets which were sold out in a flash and a substantial amount was raised to be donated.


These children, going through possibly the most difficult time of their lives, decided to give. To give to others. To give to bring others joy. As we step into the festive Christmas season, are we also choosing to give? Let’s make this season truly about giving and bringing joy to others and be inspired by these Make-A-Wish children who have chosen to share the joy of a wish.


* Make-A-Wish Hong Kong has a charity sales booth at Landmark from now until the end of the year. Visit the stall and share the joy of making a wish come true!*



#Giving#make_a_wish #sharing #giving #holiday_season #gift_of_time #gift_of_care

分享願望的喜樂


這些年來,我有幸跟多家幫助小朋友的慈善機構合作,其中一家深入我心的是「願望成真基金」。就在上星期,「香港願望成真基金」慶祝成立二十周年,並在置地廣場舉辦一年一度的聖誕活動,一眾名人與及支持者到場出席啟動禮。


我相信很多人心裡都會惦記著一些需要幫助的孩子及社會上較弱勢的一群,尤其是在大時大節時,這種感覺分外強烈。當我們在節日期間出國旅遊,享受豐富美食、與家人歡度美好時光時;另一邊廂,其實很多人(包括願望成真基金的受惠者)正因各種原因身受痛苦。


國際組織願望成真基金的宗旨,顧名思義正是讓患重病的兒童「願望成真」。當小朋友患上危疾,往往需要花上數星期、甚至數個月在醫院裡進行各種檢查和治療,願望成真基金的角色是與孩子及其家人並肩同行,給予機會讓他們發揮無限想像力,並盡力助他們實現夢想。


小朋友的創意無限,他們的願望大可分成五種:擁有某種東西、與某人見面、成為某人、去某個地方,以及作出貢獻。


有些小朋友選擇擁有自己夢寐以求的東西,例如可拍下他們精彩生活的相機、助他們在醫院解悶的iPad或在康復後舉行生日派對;


有些小朋友想跟他們的偶像,如迪士尼公主、明星及球星見面;


有些小朋友選擇成為某人,最經典的例子就是美國紐約的市民多年前為了完成一名六歲男孩的願望,把城市化身成《蝙蝠俠》中的高譚市,讓男孩扮演「蝙蝠小子」儆惡懲奸;


有些小朋友選擇到訪一些他們想去的地方,包括到日本迪士尼樂園、到華盛頓跟奧巴馬總統見面及到意大利看球賽等。


對我而言,最令我感動的是那些選擇作出貢獻的小朋友,他們把握這個絕無僅有的「願望成真」機會,為他人送上祝福。以Natalia來做例子,這個來自辛辛那提市、喜歡烹飪的十歲女孩不幸罹患腦瘤。當被問到她的願望時,她表示希望讓飢餓的人得到溫飽和溫暖,以及向無家者派發毛毯 ,「我常常感到寒冷,所以我希望可以帶給別人溫暖」。為了實現這個願望,她和一位廚師製作了一款湯水食譜,在區内最大的收容所為無家者送上湯水。她的善良和無私不但溫暖了受惠者的心,還包括得悉這行動的所有人。


在香港,患有白血病的女孩Pansy則選擇利用自己的願望去幫助内地同受這個病困擾的小朋友。她希望招募一批義工與她一起製作手鐲,再將義賣所得的金錢幫助内地患癌症的小朋友。在一百名義工的幫助下,Pansy製作了超過四百枚手鐲並火速售罄,籌得一筆可觀的善款。


這些正經歷人生最艱難階段的小朋友選擇作出貢獻、為其他人帶來喜樂。聖誕節將近,我們亦會作出同樣的選擇嗎?讓我們就如這些願望成真基金的受惠兒童一樣,在這個普天同慶的日子為其他人帶來喜樂吧!


「香港願望成真基金」由即日起至年底會在置地廣場擺放慈善攤位,在此誠邀大家前來支持,一起分享願望成真的喜樂!


christine@jems.com.hk

劉馬露明

5/F China Hong Kong Tower 
8-12 Hennessy Road Wan Chai 
Hong Kong

Tel: 3188 1516

Whatsapp: 5580 4397

Email: info@jems.com.hk

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