Community Spotlight: Karen Yiu, Entrepreneur
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 Karen Yiu!
Karen joined the advertising industry after graduation. After contributing in the customer marketing field for more than a decade, she decided to step out of her comfort zone and start her own business 4 years ago. Her company operates as a franchise with other partners, focusing on the anti-aging beauty industry. On top of running her business, she volunteered with Food Angel, Hong Chi Association and World Vision.
Karen’s Volunteer Journey
Karen first volunteered with Food Angel once a month. She prepared lunch boxes for elderly homes and community centres, where the food was cooked with remaining ingredients donated from restaurants and markets.
After switching her work environment, Karen began to serve in the Hong Chi Association where she was given the opportunity to take care of mentally disabled adults who were mostly orphans. The change of her role from an employee to a self-employed worker was a significant turning point for her. It allowed her to realize her aspiration and enjoy flexible working hours.
She decided to take advantage of this flexibility to volunteer and bring young adults from the Hong Chi Association to explore a world unknown to them and help them blend into society. It was Karen’s first time to have such close interaction with the mentally disabled and built a deep bond with them. The experience altered her initial perception which was the same as society’s that they were challenging to get along with and heavily relied on external support. To her amazement, she spotted that they mastered a high level of self-discipline, abidance to rules and life skills. They may have certain limitations in expressing their feelings and thoughts to the outside world, but with persevered patience, love and care they can be understood.
Society’s deep-rooted mindset attributed to the discrimination against these young adults. Karen appealed that they should be treated with fairness and equality as everyone else. Special attention was unnecessary, redundant and unfair to both parties. In contrast, society should accept and join hands to welcome these young adults inclusively as they bravely stepped into the community and lived their own lives. Apart from banishing the traditional views towards these youngsters, Karen pointed out that she was repeatedly impressed by their sincere smile and heartening touch which reminded her of the simplicity of the world that everyone once shared and was at the edge of vanishing.
What did Karen learn from Time Auction Experiences?
Karen first joined Time Auction with her friends’ recommendation. She attended the Time Auction event with Alex Fong, Actor & Singer, and Colin Grant, Founder of The Pure Group, who both shared relatable experiences.
At the dinner with Colin Grant, he shared business management skills. Karen recalled that Colin emphasized the significance of the members in the group. He mentioned that it was essential to establish their sense of belonging to the company community to ensure a healthy relationship, fostering positive growth in the business environment. Members of the group are the true assets of the company.
“Make your members proud.” — Colin Grant, Co-Founder of The Pure Group
Colin also added that motivation was a critical factor leading to achievement. It served as a timely reminder for Karen who just started her own business and was recruiting new members and expanding her community. One of her motivators was joining a marathon and it drove her to optimize the robustness in operation and maintain her level of confidence in the face of myriads of obstacles.
Karen personally enjoyed participating in the Time Auction events. She believed the idea of using volunteer hours to bid for the opportunity to meet up with mentors was superb in the sense that it added value to the services. Not only did society benefit as a whole, but the volunteers also gained and learnt simultaneously.
Thank you so much to Karen for contributing 20 volunteer hours and participating in 2 of our events!
To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website!
Interviewed & written by Gloria Ip| Edited by Fleur Hui