Li Ka-shing makes dreams of giving real
Proposals to help the poor and elderly so moved billionaire Li Ka-shing that he handpicked them for grants to turn the ideas into reality.
The results of his Love Ideas, Love HK philanthropic campaign were announced yesterday, with grants awarded to 177 projects under the Li Ka-shing Foundation.
The public picked 169 projects, divided into five grant categories - HK$25,000, HK$50,000, HK$100,000, HK$200,000 and HK$300,000. A total of HK$25.86 million will be awarded in grants.
A project to help stray or abandoned animals won the most votes in the HK$300,000 category, while a project to restore the hearing of deaf people was the winner in the HK$200,000 category.
The foundation did not say how many votes the winners received, but said that during the three-week polling period, more than 74,000 registered voters cast a total of 211,000 votes to support the projects they thought were meaningful to their community.
Li, as a voter himself, allocated an additional HK$2.15 million for 12 ideas that he found innovative and moving.
'Many projects demonstrated people's deep love and commitment to their communities. I am very moved by their innovation and dedication and am most honoured to be a part of their initiatives,' he said, adding that he wished people would look through the projects again and give extra support.
One project was initiated by the Fresh Fish Traders' School in Tai Kok Tsui to recycle used school uniforms.
'A lady from Love Ideas, Love HK called me and said although we failed to get enough votes, Mr Li approved our project. I didn't know she was referring to Li Ka-shing,' headmaster Leung Kee-cheong said.
Many students of the cash-strapped Kowloon primary school did not have the money to buy uniforms, and some of them had to wear used, oversized uniforms donated by others, Leung said.
'We feel very happy. And I have to say, despite all the criticism, this project is a nice one. There are people studying the content of every application, and there are people donating not only money but also real effort.'
Among Li's 12 handpicked projects, four were also voted in and as a result will receive twice the amount they applied for.
A full list of the winning projects can be found at www.loveideas.hk. Grants will be awarded next month.
Through the programme, Li wants to tap into the creative spirit of Hongkongers.
Since its launch on September 15, the Love Ideas, Love HK programme has received a total of 1,029 project applications, among which 674 eligible projects were selected for the voting period from November 1 to November 21.
The applications reflected a diversity of needs.
In view of the overwhelming response, the foundation decided to launch a second round of the Love Ideas, Love HK programme.
Details will be announced next month.
Key community project
1 Helping the poor in Yau Ma Tei through visiting, games and other activities.
2 Collecting used school uniforms and giving them to pupils in need.
3 Early childhood education for Yuen Kong Kindergarten
4 Celebrating the birthdays of children with a parent in jail.
5 Jobs for poor, offering home care to the elderly and disabled.
6 Helping the elderly to avoid accidents at home.
7 Educating old people on how to avoid falls.
8 Organising self-help networks for grass-roots women.
9 Retraining poorly educated youngsters so they can teach outdoor team-building activities.
10 Helping stroke victims to recover and resume normal lives.
11 A comedian to cheer up hospital patients.
12 Providing free Disneyland tickets for the poor.