A merry Christmas in the can as bank staff spread their cheer
Care and love are at the heart of Christmas for a group of Deutsche Bank staff who spent an unforgettable afternoon with elderly people in the Haven of Hope Sister Annie Skau Nursing Home in Tseung Kwan O.
About 30 bank staff - some with their children and spouses - visited the home on Saturday, offering gifts and playing games with the elderly.
Despite only a short time to prepare for the visit, the bank received an enthusiastic response from employees willing to participate.
'We had been a bit concerned that not many people could come with us this festive season. But I was very touched to see so many staff responding to our charity call,' said Alfred Yung Man-ho, vice-president of private wealth management at the bank.
At the nursing home, more than 40 elderly people, most in their 70s and 80s, enjoyed afternoon tea provided by the volunteers and listened to Christmas songs presented by the visitors.
Enthusiasm was high when games were played, with the elderly encouraged to throw bean bags at a target of empty cans.
'I want to play too,' said Fong So-kuen, 87, asking others to move her wheelchair to the game area. She hit the target on her third attempt, winning applause from all. As the players smiled, cheers could be heard after every good shot. Many kept asking volunteers to pass them bags so they could play again.
Tobias Wong, 11, who came with her mother, Lau Mei-wah, was one of the children helping to stack the cans.
'I think they [elderly people] are just like little kids. They enjoy playing very much,' she said.
The nursing home's service manager, Teresa Lau, expressed appreciation for the volunteers' efforts.
'You can see the people are so happy. Look at Mr Liu. He suffers terminal cancer. It's the first time I've seen him laugh since he moved here earlier this month. There is also granny Tsui, who seldom joins in our activities. But today I saw her stand up from her wheelchair to put in a nice shot. It impressed me.'
As a first-time participant in Operation Santa Claus, the finance company is providing help through the Deutsche Bank Asia Foundation to set up a multi-sensory environment for the nursing home, an Operation Santa Claus beneficiary this year.
The project is expected to enrich the lives of the elderly and boost their independence.
Raymond Chung Kai-shing, managing director of private wealth management at the bank, said: 'Every one of these elderly people has made a contribution to the development of our society.
'We do hope, with our efforts, they can feel care and love from society, especially during this festive season.'