HOPE worldwide Hong Kong organized Volunteers for Seniors Day 2019 on January 20, 2019, mobilizing over 2800 volunteers into hundreds of teams to visit over 860 elderly persons who are on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and live alone or with an elderly spouse. HOPE worldwide HK has collaborated with the Hong Kong Church of Christ for over 22 years for this service day, organizing more than 50,000 volunteer visits to nearly 16,000 seniors living in housing estates before the Chinese New Year.
Volunteers gathered in Cheung ShaWan for an opening ceremony to rally their strength before bringing care to the elderly before the cold Spring Festival. Officiating guests kicked off the service day by unfurling a large banner proclaiming “Serve the Community” written as a Chinese New Year scroll. The calligraphy was written by an elderly man visited by volunteers last year. This meaningful calligraphy was his last. From his calligraphy, a bookmark was created and given to all the volunteers, encouraging them to make the most of the day’s moment as they showed love and concern to all the elderly they were to visit.
Officiating guest Dr. Lam Ching-choi, Chairman of the Elderly Commission, remarked the following in his speech: “To create a social environment that is caring for the elderly, the Government and the Elderly Commission alone are not enough. We need the community’s participation and support. Therefore, I sincerely hope that all volunteers can help spread the love of the elderly, encourage friends and relatives to participate in volunteer work, and take care of the elderly around them in their daily lives to understand their needs and provide assistance.”
Dr. Jeff Kin-hung Wong, Chairman of the HOPE worldwide HK Executive Committee, applauded the contribution of the volunteers and said: “Today four out of 10 seniors are caring for themselves or for another elderly person. Therefore, elderly individuals living alone or with an elderly spouse have been our main target of service. We hope to encourage the community to give a bit of heartfelt support to the elderly, who themselves have contributed to the community over the years.”
After the ceremony, volunteers set off in groups to bring “Lucky Bags” to the elderly living on their own or in nursing homes. Some groups went to clean homes, enabling the elderly to welcome the New Year with a clean apartment. Other trained volunteers conducted preliminary cognitive ability assessments, identifying possible high-risk elderly persons so that they can obtain early follow-up and possible treatment. Still, others accompanied elderly individuals to fulfill a wish that they normally could not do on their own. A final group of volunteers brought patients to the HOPE worldwide Dental Centre for a checkup. Each of the persons visited or served received a “Lucky Bag,” containing donated items such as white rice, rice cakes, cooking oil, rice flour, oatmeal, biscuits, ointment, and toothpaste, as well as a handwritten New Year scroll and a hand-woven scarf.