This weekend I got myself involved in different charity activities and had some super fun & busy days! Friday Leon invited me to join his work's Charity Day and Saturday I was "hired" as a Red Carpet Manager for Brawl on the Bund - a white collar boxing event and gala dinner held here in Shanghai and held hand-in-hand with a Shanghai charity organization.
Charity Day & Tennis Fun With ANZ
Every year ANZ give each employee one day off in the name of charity and also arranges the charity activities. As ANZ is a big sponsor of tennis, ANZ China is for example a diamond sponsor at the big Shanghai Rolex Masters Tennis Tournament here in Shanghai, the bank focuses its Corporate Social Responsibility activities towards this field. In the bank's own words, "through several Junior Tennis Programs ANZ supports and facilitates the development of tennis in China".
These words translated into actions and for our charity day it meant that we Friday morning jumped on a bus which took us to a migrant school out of Shanghai center for young migrant kids. To play tennis! All equipment and arrangements are sponsored by ANZ and with this help tennis have become a weekly part of the migrant schools activities. Some of those kids were surprisingly good (oh remember the kids play every week, not only for charity days like the tennis amateur --> me =).
Migrant Schools in Shanghai
A migrant school is for kids of non-Shanghainese families who for one reason or the other have moved to Shanghai. China is far from being like Denmark for example where a move in the country means an automatic school move. Here it takes years to become eligible to attend the prestigious Shanghai schools. So for these migrant kids it means having their daily life at a migrant boarding school far out from the center of the city and in the weekends they will be with their families in Shanghai.
They were such nice and disciplined kids - and super happy to see, play and become friends with some Laoweis (foreigners). Especially Hugh, Leons Australian Colleague made himself a friend for life.. This little guy almost jumped on the bus with us when it was time to go back to the city center!
It was a super hot, cozy & fun day. Only a bit exhausting maybe due to the fact we had a birthday celebration at Yongkang the night before... But being around kids who got so happy to see us and be with us was so energizing that I almost immediately forgot that I had the last glass of champagne round 2am the night before..
Brawl on The Bund & The Leo Foundation
Saturday I was straight into the next charity activity. A couple of weeks ago I co-arranged our Danish Young Professional Charity Event for Nepal and following this I was approached by a friend asking me if I could be the Red Carpet Manager at Brawl on the Bund 2015. It's a massive white collar boxing event for over 1000 people - a big gala dinner and party focused around an amateur boxing tournament. Funds from table draws, a raffle and an auction all goes to the Leo Foundation. It's a foundation for newborns with respiratory failure and gives access to the facilities at Fudan Children's Hospital for families who can not afford treatment of their babies.
I'm not really a big boxing fan to put it mildly so don't expect any close-ups of the ring. I basically don't event know if Team Blue or Team Red won... But especially after my baby niece was born last year and I got so close to a baby for the first time in my life I've become a huge baby "fan" (check my sister's blog here to see how cute Sofia is) . Babies are truly miracles - the results of love & life so the thought of an innocent newborn with respiratory failure and no funds to get treatment is really painful.
Now there's a lot of painful things happening in our world and we can't help everyone but if more businesses like Brawl On The Bund (which as a business I'm sure is also a money making machine) would incorporate charity into their activities and operations, I'm sure the world would be a better place.
I'll definitely invest a Saturday in high heels supporting the cause - oh and it turned out to be such an exiting evening as well! I met lots of nice and not least beautiful gala -dressed people, had the prince of Belgium walking on our red carpet and a good celebration following the event.
Charity Vibes - What Goes Around Comes Around
Just sharing some charity vibes Friends - if you always seek to help & do good and do it with a positive mindset lots of personal benefits will come as well. Both in form of being a better you, acquiring some new skills (hello tennis serve) and in the form of contacts and potential friendships etc.
Now I didn't make friends with the prince of Belgium at this event but I definitely made some other good contacts in Shanghai's event industry as well as contacts I can use for my personal project: Shanghai Bloggers. This is a project I've worked super hard on the last months and will be launching next week in Shanghai. Super exciting and before we launch I'm going to find out how we can get a charity organization on board from day 1!
More to come very soon and until then check the website which is already launched and presenting the 25+ Shanghai Bloggers who are now part of me and my business partner's Shanghai Blogger Society!