As the time draws near to say goodbye to many Hong Kong families who will move away this Summer, we at Twopresents have a very special goodbye of our own we would like to share. After 23 years in Hong Kong the MacKenzie family, Sarah, David, Taryn and Callum who were one of the very first users of the Twopresents platform, are leaving Hong Kong. The children started using Twopresents to celebrate their birthdays back in 2013 when Taryn was 5 years old and Callum was just 3.
Since then Taryn and Callum have chosen to share their celebrations with a good cause every year. And each time they have made an effort to visit their chosen charity to learn more about how the organization is helping the community. By celebrating with Twopresents, the family has learned about the plight of sharks through the Hong Kong Shark Foundation and pink dolphins through the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society. They also learned how WWF protects our planet, how stray animals are taken care of by Hong Kong Dog Rescue and Kirsten’s Zoo and how impoverished children are cared for by the Nepal Youth Foundation. Through 14 birthday celebrations, these two young children raised over HK$71,000, supported 7 charities and saved more than 70kg of gift & packaging waste. What an impact to leave behind!
As a matter of fact, the whole MacKenzie family has been active in helping to promote the spirit of sharing and doing good. One year, Sarah visited Callum’s class to talk about the Christmas spirit, and the act of giving. She explained to the children that it’s not just about asking parents for money but about coming up with some way to earn or raise money for doing good. Callum’s class took her advice on board and all the children made or baked things to raise funds. In addition, some children did chores, one helped at his parents Christmas party, and others babysat. All their efforts culminated in a mini Christmas Bazaar and the money raised went towards buying Christmas gifts for Po Leung Kok children in need.
The MacKenzie children have learned to help others with an open heart by following their parents’ example. Both David and Sarah have been a part of numerous philanthropic endeavors. David has run several half marathons supporting Operation Smile. Sarah has been actively involved in the Chinese International School (CIS), Parent Teacher Association and was part of the committee to start a Community Outreach program at the school this year. She has also chaired the CIS Fair for 4 years, steadily transforming it into a ‘Zero-Waste’ event and created a community day during which secondary students share about the charities they support. To add to this, Sarah has worked with friends to organize a Daddy Daughter Ball that has benefitted a different Hong Kong charity every year for the last 10 years. This year, the event raised close to HK$70,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. Her last event in Hong Kong has been helping to organize a silent auction for the OneSky Charity Gala. Through this auction over HK$1 million in donations were raised for children in need.
Sarah and David’s actions have served to inspire their children. Both Taryn and Callum love helping people and over the years they have also engaged in many charitable projects. They have raised funds for charities through lemonade stands and participated in Brain Treks and Read to Feed Readathons for charity. They have also made things to sell and put together gift parcels for charities such as Angels for Children and Crossroads.
As a result of growing up with Twopresents and all of the other amazing charitable initiatives that they have been a part of, Taryn and Callum have learned that one of the most rewarding gifts is that of giving to others. As they grow into adulthood Sarah says she hopes this intrinsic sense of philanthropy continues to develop and mature and that they continue to give back to the community in exciting and creative ways.
HUGE thanks to this exceptional family from the Twopresents team. Their support has meant the world to our efforts to build awareness about sharing and giving back and has undoubtedly left a lasting mark on our city. Farewell MacKenzie Family, we wish you nothing but happiness as you begin a new journey in life and please know that Hong Kong will surely miss you and your incredible kindness!