Visits To Shangri-La For China Charity Activities

October 26, 2009 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: China NGO Viewpoints




Working in a charity or non-governmental organization in China has both great rewards and challenges. Here we listen to the voices of those people making China a better place.

This section is edited by our volunteer Kay Zhang, the PR/Communications Manager of Care for Children in China. She previously worked for BDL Media in Beijing for about three years before she obtained her master's degree in marketing from London Metropolitan University. To contribute your own viewpoint on working for an NGO in China, please email to [email protected]

Kay ZhangBy Kay Zhang
Working with local sponsors and partners in China is an important function of any charitable organization.

As a champion sponsor of our charitable work in China for over three years, Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts offers its support in many aspects of our work. Last year, I proposed to visit each hotel in China for our ‘Dare to Care' project, to promote this project and thank them all for their supportive work. This then it led me to a series of enjoyable and enlightening journeys.

One Shangri-la hotel I visited was newly opened in early 2008. Their director of sales and marketing had arranged this visit for me and about 20 people from the hotel attended this presentation. As usual, I had a chat with those who came to the presentation early and the whole atmosphere was lively with people talking around me. My presentation lasted about 20 minutes and then, honestly, I felt a bit awkward during the question and answer session that followed it. It was so quiet. For a moment I was worried that I had said something wrong. After a while, one staff member applauded and then the whole team joined in. A lady stood up and said: "Thank you for giving such a meaningful presentation. We feel proud to be part of it by helping the disadvantaged children."

Later I discovered she was the training manager: we did not have a chance to be introduced as she arrived just before the presentation began. She collected all the relevant material and said she would use it for all the new-staff training sessions.

The team left swiftly and quietly. The unusual silence moments ago still made me feel sorry as I thought maybe my presentation was a bit too emotional and had made the attendees feel depressed. Then I shared my feelings with the director of sales and marketing. She replied: "I think our staff were rather touched. To share my personal feelings, our working environment is very much professional and business based. Your presentation was full of feeling and really touched us. We choose to support Care for Children but we did not realize our participation helps to make such a crucial change in children's lives. It is something that touches the very noble side of your heart."

A month later, I received an email from her. She wrote: "Dear Kay, some good news I would like to share with you. This year, our sales team had a very fruitful result from the charity mooncake sales. We raised over CNY60,000 for Care for Children with this project. Your presentation last month was a great catalyst. Thank you."

Another Trip
I went to Shangri-La Xi'an Golden Flower in early September. When I arrived at the hotel, our training team had already been there for two days. They were there for an on-site training and consulting workshop for the Xi'an Children's Welfare Institution. My colleagues soon briefed me on the hotel's hospitality and kind assistance with their work.

After walking into the room, I prepared my laptop to check my email and then I saw a letter under the glass cover on the desk. It was from the general manager of the hotel with a paragraph promoting the ‘Dare to Care' project. It was quite an encouraging message.

After my presentation in the late afternoon, a Shangri-La staff member came to me. From his badge I saw he was the security manager. He told me that he was a member of the local outdoor club and they wanted to donate some cash to our work in the future. It would not be a big figure, but they would like to get involved.

Actions are much louder than words. This trip makes me feel much closer to the Xi'an Shangri-La team and I received an opportunity to see their professionalism.

The next day, a staff member at the hotel gate hailed a cab for me. In the local patois he said to the driver: "To the airport. Don't overcharge her — she is my friend." We waved farewell in the morning sunlight.


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