Curious about what volunteerism and Time Auction events are all about? Meet our community who has shared their memorable experiences in their volunteering journey and meetings with our featured guests!
Meet Gilbert Ip!
Gilbert was born in 1993 in Guangzhou. He went to the UK to further his education at the age of 14, then went on to work in New York as a trader. Eventually, he felt the need to be closer to his family, and decided to move to Hong Kong.
Where it all began
When Gilbert first came back, he did not have many friends, so he thought that volunteering would be a good way to meet interesting people. His aspiration was to use the money he earned from his job to help build a school for the underprivileged. He encountered Time Auction through his friend Iris, who volunteers at Teach for Hong Kong.
His first Time Auction experience… and no turning back!
Gilbert’s first Time Auction event was meeting Mo Yee Lem, Former MD & Joint Head of Corporate Finance Group of UBS Investment Bank, Asia. He thinks that his participation with Time Auction helps him organize his time and focus on this effort, which reminds him that despite living in a prosperous city like Hong Kong, there are still many that live a less optimal existence. The other aspect of it is that he gets exposed to how an NGO is run, and introduces a new perspective into his thinking, through interactions with Time Auction’s very own Fion, Suetyi and Ivy.
He attends each Time Auction event with an open mind, hoping to learn from inspiring guests, who are so gracious in sharing and spending time with the participants. He also likes the diversity of speakers’ backgrounds. His most memorable event was their fifth anniversary “Time of Our Lives”. He is very complimentary of the great work that has been done so far by Time Auction and their team.
Gilbert’s volunteer journey
Gilbert thinks there are 2 types of volunteering; the first type is hands-on volunteer work like distributing supplies to elders, for example. The second type is more strategic and planning rather than operational. He is more inclined towards the latter. He cites that right now, he is working with LIP, and he is responsible for arranging African Arts at Baptist University.
He recalled volunteering once with an elderly home visit in Tai Koo. An elderly woman was living in a small, filthy flat in horrific conditions with his son. The kitchen and toilets were filthy and in very poor states. That image resonated with him for a long time, and constantly reminded him that whilst Hong Kong has many “unicorns and black swan” opportunities for people to succeed, or big topics like the environment swirl around our discussions, there are also many that living a basic life with daily simple struggles. He feels that he should be constantly giving back to those less fortunate than him.
It is all about the opportunity!
Gilbert cited that he won’t be where he is today without his parents’ decision to send him abroad to study, which opened up a lot of opportunities for him. He was fortunate enough to be given this. He feels that all kids should be given such opportunities to excel, and hence he continues to believe that his goal to build a school is intact.
Thank you Gilbert for volunteering 65 hours to charities and joining 6 Time Auction experiences!
To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website!
Interviewed & written by Cindy Chan | Edited by Giselle Lee