The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It's a special time of the year when families host reunions, and enjoy mooncakes together under the full moon. But the food is not the main focus; connecting, sharing and caring for each other is what counts. For this year’s celebrations, Hactl did its bit to spread love and festive joy staging a moon-themed workshop for parents and children of underprivileged families in Sham Shui Po, at which they were encouraged to use their imaginations to create individual collages, that would later feature in the design and packaging of Hactl’s Mid-Autumn Festival gifts to its customers and employees.
Financial inequality has long been a significant issue in Hong Kong. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the number of poor children in Hong Kong had risen to 275,000 by 2020. Through a series of intervention policies such as the cash payout, Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, and education benefits, the government has successfully reduced this number to 86,000; but the issue remains a concern.
Today, many children are still living with their families in tiny, subdivided units less than 200 square feet in size. Such overcrowding can significantly impact a child’s well-being and development.
Poverty reduction requires the support of both the government and the business sector in Hong Kong. So, as a local enterprise with its foundations firmly in the city, Hactl has committed itself to supporting this cause. In mid-2022, Hactl arranged an event for the collection and donation of children’s picture books and storybooks for children from under-privileged families in Sham Shui Po.
Many Hactl staff participated. Sean, from Operations department, handpicked and donated more than 20 books, assisted by his daughter. “Many children come from families that are less privileged. That’s why I always encourage my daughter to share what she has with those in need,” he explains. “I asked her to choose the books she liked and wanted to share with other kids — and not the ones she didn’t like. That’s the essence of sharing, isn’t it?”
Maggie, from Hactl’s Engineering and Facilities Services department, also donated a dozen books. As a mother of two, she understands the importance of reading and learning in children’s development. She often buys books for her little ones, and wanted to spread the joy of reading to other children. She saw the event as a great opportunity to make the most of her collection.
“My kids are growing up really fast. They won’t read the same books more than a few times. Most are still in good condition, and it would be a waste to just throw them away. So, I suggested we share them with kids who are in need. It’s both environmentally friendly and supports a good cause,” says Maggie.
Hactl eventually collected more than 300 children’s books. Participants welcomed the opportunity to support the good cause and hoped more people would join in helping those in need, so children could open up their imaginations through reading.
Besides the book donations event, Hactl also hosted a moon-themed workshop for children from underprivileged families as the Mid-Autumn Festival approached. The children were invited into a thrilling adventure through the telling of fantasy stories about the moon.
As the story unfolded, dozens of children were taken on an emotional roller coaster, shouting in astonishment at times and laughing with joy.
Inspired by the fantasy stories, parents and their children worked together to express their imagination and create adorable cartoon collages. The children roamed freely in the world of art and created innocent-looking cartoon characters, the “Moon Occupants”. Each of these symbolised a different positive quality, such as “Courage”, “Curiosity”, “Flexibility”, and “Hope”. By subsequently incorporating these characters into the design and packaging of its Mid-Autumn Festival gifts, Hactl shared the joy and efforts behind these children’s creations with its clients and staff.
The Mid-Autumn gift boxes showcased the children’s creativity and, more importantly, Hactl’s dedication to environmental protection and supportive care for the underprivileged in society. Inside the boxes were traditional mooncakes made by social enterprise, Mustard Seed Bakery, established by St. James' Settlement. The bakery creates employment opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities or recovering from mental illness. The boxes also contained Chinese tea selected by small local shops. Hactl took this opportunity to support social enterprises and small businesses in Hong Kong.
In line with Hactl’s zero waste policy, the wooden gift boxes were designed to be transformed into dainty night lights, emitting a warm yellow light to reflect the changing of the waning moon to the full moon. Each box also came with a recipe for French toast that could be made from any left-over mooncakes, so avoiding food waste.
Embellishing its gifts with the fruits of the children’s imaginations, Hactl wanted to spread the positive traits of courage, curiosity, flexibility, and hope to everybody.