When giving is receiving

by Isabella Lee

Top-notch professional aspires to help make the world a better place

Garrison Hui
district governor
Lions Clubs International District 303-Hong Kong & Macau, China
Photo: Lewis Wong

Hong Kong people have donated billions of dollars to charities over the years. While many are willing to inject some cash into fundraising activities, some dedicated individuals also give their valuable time and effort to help the needy and in return reap rich rewards.

Garrison Hui, district governor, Lions Clubs International District 303 —H ong Kong & Macau, China, is a case in point. "Lions Clubs members offer their time and talent to make a difference in the communities they live in. In so doing, they experience the joy of others, which is a wonderful feeling and it provides a deep sense of satisfaction," Mr Hui notes. "We believe in offering more than money and materials to help people overcome hardship such as natural disaster, poverty or physical disability."

Leader of the pack

Starting a career as a fairly introverted engineer, Mr Hui gained self-confidence and life experience through his choice of charity projects which enabled him to develop into an outgoing and all-round leader. He feels that his life has been enriched in the process.

For instance, as the chairman of the committee running the club's rebuilding project in Sichuan following the devastating earthquake that struck the mainland China province last year, Mr Hui now leads the Lion Village project to resettle residents in the affected area as part of the Lions Clubs' long-term relief plan.

Working with members from other districts, he oversees the venture that consists of an entirely new settlement of 180 buildings, including a hospital and schools, where earthquake victims are housed, educated and able to make a living.

"It is a priceless experience to head such a large-scale project," reflects Mr Hui, who gives his own time —a nd often invests his personal funds —f or meetings and monitoring work. "It is an eye-opening journey that equips me with new skills and aspirations for advancements in both my personal and professional lives."

Sharing life

Lions Clubs International is a global network that provides its 1.3 million members in 205 countries and regions the chance to give back to society through donations or by providing services or care.

Mr Hui explains that this vast platform offers tremendous opportunities for meeting other Lions Clubs members and networking through regular project planning meetings, conventions and functions.

"We develop relationships with local and international communities and business leaders. Through these we get to interact with like-minded people," he remarks.

Within his governed locality, Mr Hui has the opportunity to meet people from a diverse range of backgrounds, through the activities organised by the Lions Clubs. The chance to meet with such people from all walks of life is not only a great social occasion with the prospect of forging new friendships, but also offers an invaluable meeting of minds and sharing of insights.

With the majority of Lions Clubs members already being successful in their field, the sharing of their rich professional experience is considerably helpful. "Through interacting with our members, I've gained insights and wisdom to help me run a successful business and broaden my knowledge beyond the engineering books. With the valuable help I received from the network of Lions Clubs members, I've gained the inspiration to one day found my own company," says Mr Hui.

Lions Clubs membership not only leads to life-long friendships, but also boosts family life. Mr Hui's wife and children share his interest in community work and all volunteer on projects of their choice.

"While we attend separate events according to our individual interests, we get plenty of quality time by participating in joint club activities for spouses and children. Sharing the volunteer experience with my family is a great way to bond," he concludes.

Growth platform

  • Volunteer experiences enrich life
  • Charity projects hone leadership skills
  • Involvement in community services leads to great personal growth
  • Membership boosts friendship and people network
  • Club activities create platforms for member families to enjoy quality time

Taken from Career Times 23 January 2009, p. 13
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