His active participation in volunteer activities has helped Alex Kong deepen his understanding of the needs of society, and has inspired him to formulate effective programmes for the needy.
"In my spare time, I participate in the fostering programme for children on mainland China organised by Volunteer Space.
I also visit elderly centres regularly," says Kong, who is a technology support group specialist at UPS Hong Kong.
Kong is also one of the dedicated staff members of the community involvement committee (CIC), which drives UPS Hong Kong's global volunteer month (GVM) initiative. "I have gained valuable insights by participating in various volunteer activities. I discuss my ideas with fellow CIC members to fine-tune our GVM activities to ensure that the needy benefit from our initiatives," Kong says.
UPS encourages its staff at its various offices to take part in volunteer work throughout the year. In 2003, the global express carrier and logistical services giant designated October for its volunteer month involving thousands of staff across the globe.
The 10-member CIC for GVM at UPS Hong Kong is responsible for identifying the needs of the local community and co-ordinating volunteer events for staff participation.
"I have been actively involved in planning most of the GVM activities in Hong Kong. Together with my fellow CIC members, we conduct brainstorming sessions to come up with suitable initiatives," says Kong, who received a volunteer work appreciation certificate in recognition of his dedication to GVM activities in 2010. "We then identify the right charitable organisations and team up with them to organise the events."
Rocky Chen, human resources manager of UPS Hong Kong and Macau, says that over 390 employees and their families contributed more than 1,700 hours to activities organised in partnership with six local charity organisations in October 2011. This year marks the 9th anniversary of the initiative.
"Volunteerism helps to connect our staff internally, promote work-life balance, enhance staff's sense of belonging to the company and their morale," Chen notes.
The 2011 GVM focused on showing care to individuals with disabilities by engaging them in various activities. The GVM kicked off with the Fu Hong Society, a non-profit organisation providing services to individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. More than 50 UPS volunteers joined the Handmade Plants Workshop and made potted plants with the society's members.
Around 200 UPS volunteers, including William Ng, managing director for UPS Hong Kong and Macau, helped members of the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association to beautify its organic mushroom cultivation room by painting the room's exterior. With the Hong Chi Association, UPS staff guided 20 physically and mentally challenged individuals to clean up a country park under the "Rubbish No More" programme. Eighty UPS staff and their families, together with the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, devoted over 150 hours to visits of elderly homes. "As the grand finale of GMV, around 40 UPS volunteers organised games for the low-income and South Asian communities," Chen says.
Crossroads International, an organisation which ships containers of donated goods to the needy, received professional advice from UPS volunteers on more efficient sorting of packages, Chen adds.
Christy Lai, communications and resources development manager at Fu Hong, says: "Through UPS's volunteer work, our members feel accepted and recognised. It helps to boost their self-esteem."