JP Morgan weighs in with HK$1 million it raised for new youth community centre JP Morgan, in partnership with Operation Santa Claus, last week helped to open a new community youth centre in Tin Shui Wai, long the source of some of the city's most painful stories about economic hardship and family conflict. The HK$1 million the financial services firm raised last year shows the real-world changes such contributions can have on the lives of some of Hong Kong's most underprivileged residents. 'We believe it is a good way to connect with the local citizens through helping others,' Michael Fung, the chief executive of JP Morgan in Hong Kong, said at a ceremony to launch the centre last Thursday. 'Despite the economic downturn, we will not change our commitment of giving back to communities where we live and work.' The bank's donation was used to set up a library and hire staff at the 600 square metre venue on the ground floor of Sui Fung House. Staff at the centre will regularly organise tours to museums and exhibitions as well as hold workshops on photography, crafts and public speaking. Run by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, the centre is expected to benefit 1,800 children and young people in the community in the coming two years. The centre will remain open seven days a week, allowing young people to borrow their favourite books and also join a readers' club to share their experience with friends. Club members will have an opportunity to be appointed as 'reading ambassadors' to spread the message that 'knowledge can change one's life'. The centre will also organise talks and group discussions for parents. According to the staff, a small fee will be charged for joining some activities, while those receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance will pay less or enjoy services free of charge. 'We hope young people in Tin Shui Wai can develop the reading habit and learn more daily knowledge at the centre,' Mr Fung said. 'Of course, I believe this place will also serve as an excellent platform for them to establish networks and partnerships with each other.' As a long-time supporter of Operation Santa Claus, JP Morgan provided HK$1 million to establish two other libraries in Yuen Long and Wong Tai Sin last year with one of Hong Kong's oldest charities, Yan Oi Tong, a beneficiary of Operation Santa Claus 2006. Mr Fung said education projects amounted to more than 40 per cent of the bank's charity spending, which also supports community-development, arts and culture projects. Aside from the financial aid, employees from JP Morgan also volunteer their time with organised English 'reading circles' for youngsters at the centre. Organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, Operation Santa Claus, now in its 21st year, hopes to aid 13 groups. Part of the funds will also go to the SCMP Homes for Hope project to help victims of the Sichuan earthquake rebuild their homes.