Quake donations jump by half in a week to HK$85m
Maggie Tam and Ada Lee
Donations to help victims of the earthquake in Japan have jumped by half in just a week to more than HK$85 million.
And more cash gifts are on the way as the people of Hong Kong continue to open their hearts and their wallets.
World Vision Hong Kong has raised HK$32 million, the Salvation Army HK$13 million, the Red Cross HK$39 million and Unicef HK$1 million.
The total is a 50 per cent rise from Tuesday last week.
Students at Hong Kong Polytechnic University - including Japanese exchange students - gathered yesterday to send messages of support from Hongkongers.
At a 'Don't Give Up, Japan!' booth, they encouraged passers-by to write messages of encouragement on a huge Japanese flag.
Written in Chinese, English and Japanese, the words included 'Recover soon, Japan!', 'Full of hope' and 'You are not alone and always in my prayers'.
Japanese students helped to translate some of the messages into their language and write them on the flag, which will be taken to the Japanese consulate.
Many others stopped by to fold origami cranes.
'I'm really glad to see so many Hong Kong people are willing to help,' said Ryunosuke Yoshida, a 21-year-old Japanese student studying international business in PolyU, who still has a relative missing.
'It's a really big threat to my country, but I'm thankful to see every part of the world is trying to help us.'
Yoshida has been volunteering for fund-raising activities with other Japanese expatriates in Hong Kong.
Another exchange student, Nozomi Shima, from Tokyo, said her family and friends were all safe and she was surprised at how calm they all seemed. 'I feel kind of weird to see how Hong Kong people react here. They're very nervous about the radiation,' she said.
'But my friends in Tokyo are still having a normal life. Few of them wear masks in the street.'
Fifi Lee Wai-lai, an undergraduate student minor in Japanese studies, said she had developed a strong affinity with the country after learning its language.
'Hong Kong people are huge fans of Japanese culture. Together with the threat of radiation, I feel like we are more concerned in this natural disaster than others such as the Sichuan earthquake,' she said.
Harumi Nakahama, a Japanese teacher at PolyU, said: 'It is a good opportunity for us to let the locals know about our spirit and our culture.'
But another local student, Cheung Ho-yan, said Hong Kong people were not doing enough, despite all the talk of the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
'I hope that more actions are planned,' she said.
Fund-raisers also include members of 'Ganbare Japan' - meaning 'hang in there' - a new charity set up by a group of Japanese expatriates who wanted to help the cause.
Donations will be given to the Hong Kong Red Cross.
Meanwhile, The Peninsula hotel is making a donation of US$10 to the Japanese Red Cross Society on behalf of each guest who stays there.
It is also donating all its revenue from a Japanese afternoon tea set.
And visitors can buy a paper crane for US$5 to hang on a tree in the lobby.
The cranes would be sent to the Peninsula's Tokyo branch when the campaign ended in May, a spokeswoman for the hotel said.
Messages of support
Students collected words of encouragement on a huge Japanese flag
The Peninsula hotel is donating this amount, in US dollars, for every guest that stays there: $10
Habitat for Humanity
HSBC: 502-476591-002 (for HK$)
HSBC: 502-476591-274 (for US$)
Please send bank-in slip with contact information.
Make crossed cheques payable to 'Habitat for Humanity China Limited'. Mark 'For Japan Post-Disaster Response' on the back and send with contact information to 17th floor, Sun House, 181 Des Voeux Road, Central, Sheung Wan.
Online donations at www.habitatchina.org
Make crossed cheques payable to 'Hong Kong Red Cross' and send to Hong Kong Red Cross, 33 Harcourt Road. Write 'Japan Earthquake 2011' on the back.
Online donations at www.redcross.org.hk
Inquiries: 2802 0021
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Hong Kong)
Account name: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HK). Please remark: 'Designated to Japan Earthquake Fund'.
Online donations at http://www.spca.org. hk/eng/donate/donate2_donation.asp
The Salvation Army
Bank of East Asia: 015-515-40-400333-1
Bank of China: 012-878-1-044486-6
Hang Seng Bank: 024-385-094180-001
Details at www.salvation.org.hk
Inquiries: 2783 2333
Bank of China: 012-875-1-0810855
Wing Lung Bank: 020-601-003-7634-8
Bank of East Asia: 015-260-81-01210-0
Make cheques payable to 'Hong Kong Committee for Unicef'.
Send cheques, with personal details and 'Japan' written on the back, to Hong Kong Committee for Unicef, 3/F, 60 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley.
PPS: Use your contact number as bill number. Enter Unicef merchant code: 6012, then select bill type 3 'emergency'.
Online donations at www.unicef.org.hk
World Vision Hong Kong
Hang Seng Bank: 286-364385-003
Bank of China: 012-883-0-002136-6
Details at www.worldvision.org.hk