Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tsunami Relief Fundraising

On January 2, 2005, at Yee Hong Community Centre in Scarborough, a number of public citizens and organizations have formed a fundraising working team to help and support the victims of the tsunami. Dr. Joseph Wong* leads this team. For this fundraising purpose we will use the following names, either Canadians Tsunami Relief or Tsunami Relief Fund.

Our goal is to raise funds for Canadian Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) mainly through an 18-hour national telethon held during the weekend of January 8-9. Other supplementary activities include mall donations, street donations, partnering with various commercial and professional organizations. Gather as much donations as possible before January 11 to meet the deadline for dollar-for-dollar match by the Government of Canada.

We’re planning to hold press conference sometime this week, to tape and air interviews with community leaders of the countries affected by this tsunami. (If you know someone that we can contact for this purpose, please let me know).

There are several task forces in this team: admin/executive/accounting, media & external communications, volunteers, telethon, mall & street donations.

We need volunteers for telethon and mall & street donations. For telethon we need people who can talk in English and other languages such as Hakka, Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Toi Shan, Sri Lankan, Filipino ~ 130 people. We need about 72 volunteers to man booths at mall donation outlets. So if you care to volunteer your time and you know people who are willing to volunteer for this cause please let us know.

As a charitable organization, this team cannot provide tax receipt. If you need it, Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) will give you tax deductable receipt for donation of $20 and up.

If your organization or any organizations you know want to support this good cause and the fundraising activity we can put these organizations’ names as our partnering organizations in our communiation materials. The deadline to provide this info is Tuesday, January 4, 2005, 2:30PM.

Dr. Joseph Wong, the leader for this initiative is very experienced in conducting fundraising for good causes. He and his team successfully counducted fundraising for SARS in 2003. He also has many networks that are very crucial and important to run this kind of fundraising action. I learnt a lot from this initiative. Can you imagine within five-hour meeting we can layout our plan, assign task-force leaders, and define steps of actions? I believe that’s the difference between experienced manpower with solid network and most of the general public like us.

Most of the people I met in this meeting were not even directly affected by this catastrophic natural disaster but were willing to spend their precious Sunday’s afternoon until early evening for this cause. We are all volunteers… doing this work without pay. Sometimes we spend our own money to facilitate our volunteer work. Trisna, a member of this working group, bought us samosas for our dinner. Thanks Trisna!

Eight of CCEVI’s members are involved in this working group ~ Wen Seh Ching, Anny Chow, Eric Li, Jason Liang, Jennie Lo, Ayrini & Trisna Widjaja, and I. Other organizations include Yee Hong, Canadian Hong Kong Link, Canadians Multicultural Links Association, and Rotary Club (who has 59 chapters in GTA). Judy Yeung, a director at Mississauga Board of Chinese Professional & Businesses, is one of the backbone in the telethon task force. Through her solid network with Bell Canada our working group can waive a huge expense of around $20,000 (the amount of money to setup a call centre) .

I join the Media & External Communications task force ~ with Anna Wong, Yee Hong’s PR Manager as the leader, Anita Chan (a reporter and program host for WebTV) and Michael Wong (President of York’s Rotary Club and Pharmacy Manager at Pharma Plus) as members. I believe I'll learn a lot of things from my team members.

Our communications actions include the following:
  • Create branded logo for letterhead, forms and other communications material.
  • Create Chinese name.
  • Produce Donation Forms with perforated receipt section, Call Centre Scripts Forms (long form & short form), Volunteer Registration Forms.
  • Produce English & Chinese content for e-mail news.
  • Produce English & Chinese web content to distribute to all.
  • Produce Press Kit for Press Conference.
  • Manage January 5 Press Conference.
  • Invite media to January 5 Press Conference.
  • Share ethnic media contacts.
  • Produce content for e-mail news, web and press release in Indonesian.
  • MC January 5 Press Conference.
  • Secure free ad space in Chinese newspaper.
  • Produce and e-mail poster.
  • Arrange media interviews with community leaders.
  • Invite media to interview opportunity.
  • Contact corporate connections (e.g. Banks and other Yee Hong supporters) to help promote campaign.
  • Establish cross-links among organizational websites.
  • Secure Rotary Club buy-in for promoting campaign.
  • Secure taping and coverage at Web TV, possible sharing of footage.
  • Provide Donation Management contact for Donation Committee for advice.
  • Liaise with professional media association for buy-in.
  • Liaise with professional communications associations for buy-in
It’s a long to-do list but is crucial to manage the task force.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this relief effort. I hope there will be a huge turnout of volunteers and supporters for this concerted fundraising.

Dr. Joseph Wong* is the founder of Yee Hong Geriatric Care and one of the co-founder of United Way.

1 comment:

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