Children bank on goodwill of J.P. Morgan
Adrian Wan and Dan Kadison
A special group of disadvantaged children discovered the spirit of Christmas yesterday when they visited the Central offices of J.P. Morgan.
More than 30 children aged three to six were treated to two hours of holiday cheer as company employees played games with them, sang carols and looked on as a Santa Claus showered the little ones with presents. J.P. Morgan Private Bank executives and staff started the merry afternoon with educational games about environmental issues.
'We need to treasure what we have and we should teach the children how to build a sustainable future,' Michael Fung, chairman of J.P. Morgan Private Bank and senior country officer of J.P. Morgan Hong Kong, said before the event.
'It's more important than ever for us to raise our children to be environmentally conscious. Teaching our children to respect the world around them is especially important.'
The company is proud of its environmentally friendly accomplishments, and has enacted several 'Go Green' initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint in Hong Kong and around the world.
In Hong Kong, the company has instituted various green measures. It has eliminated paper cups, installed timers on vending machines to reduce power use and replaced bottled water with filtered water, according to Fung.
Additionally, its 'binless office' programme, under which individual bins have been replaced with communal ones, has reduced waste in its Hong Kong offices by 40 per cent, or 12,300kg a month, the company said.
As part of its corporate mission to help improve the environment, J.P. Morgan is donating money to WWF, one of the beneficiaries of this year's Operation Santa Claus charity drive.
The donation will help fund WWF's Marine Detective programme, an educational endeavour that will allow 600 underprivileged children to learn about local marine protection while sailing on a glass-bottomed boat.
'We have chosen WWF because what they do echoes with what we do in the office,' Fung said. 'To us, it's not only about giving money, it's about engaging our staff in these meaningful activities.' WWF's director of development, Laura Weeks, added: 'Education plays an important role in conservation so we are grateful for J.P. Morgan's support and vision.'
After yesterday's educational games, the J.P. Morgan Private Bank employees sang Christmas carols to the children. Then, a Santa Claus handed presents to the youngsters, who are all members of the Po Leung Kuk, a non-profit local social service group and beneficiary of Operation Santa Claus, jointly run by the Post and RTHK.
The gifts were bought with special savings; the J.P. Morgan Private Bank decided not to mail Christmas cards to its clients this holiday season for environmental reasons, and used the money instead for the children's presents.
'As we gather with our friends and families for Christmas, we think about those who are less fortunate,' Fung said. 'We believe it's important to build a brighter future for our next generation, including the underprivileged children. We hope to bring joy to them.'
The children who attended yesterday's event come from disadvantaged homes. Po Leung Kuk resident child care supervisor So Siu-kuen said: 'Thanks to J.P. Morgan's annual support, the children are happy.'
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