Be Thankful, Grateful & Blessed —Afternoon Tea with Marie-Christine Lee, Founder of Sports for Hope Foundation
What would you do if money is not an issue? Would you relax and retire?
Marie-Christine Lee, the descendent of the prominent Lee Hysan property development family, hosted an afternoon tea at her weekend home for our volunteers who collectively contributed 103 hours to charity.
A goal-oriented and passionate woman, Marie constantly pushes herself through sports (she plays tennis 6 days a week, in addition to gym, cycling and swimming), entrepreneurial pursuits (founded her sports’ service company Sport Max and Or-Tea?) and philanthropy (through Sports for Hope Foundation which supports financially in need youths to pursue sports in HK).
From her three-day 400km cycling on the Silk Road in order to raise funds to kick start her charitable foundation called Sports for Hope Foundation in 2011, to the gracious arrangement of teas and cakes baked by her good friend’s teenage daughter, proceeds to help the lost loved ones in the recent Manchester attacks — we learned that life’s fulfilment comes from within — through giving, sharing and be content.
If you could have a billboard anywhere, what would you put on it?
“Three words — thankful, grateful and blessed.”
What’s one purchase under $1,000 that has significantly improved your life?
“Nature is our most beautiful priceless gift. I love the sea, the ocean, the beach. It stirs our heart, inspires our imagination and brings eternal joy to our soul.
It should be something that you shouldn’t need to pay — to get a good life. Every time I go to beaches, I will bring along a few recyclable bags to clean up the plastic bottles and other garbage. It’s a low cost activity which gives people enjoyment in a natural and a healthy environment.
I’ve recently watched a documentary called ‘A Plastic Ocean’ produced by an international team of adventurers, researchers and ocean ambassadors going around the globe to uncover the destructive nature of undecomposable plastic to the marine life and the ultimate harmful consequence to human health.”
What is the worst advice you’ve heard in your world?
“It bothers me when people tell me ‘you are from a silver- spooned upbringing, why do you need to work so hard?
Why do you need to work? why don’t you have a stress-free life? Why do you take on challenges? Why do you step out of your comfort zone?’
It’s the heart and soul that is the meaning of my life.”
Thank you Marie-Christine for your genuine sharing and the lovely afternoon tea, which has raised 103 volunteer hours to Room to Read, KELY Support Group, LAP Lifelong Animal Protection Charity, Society of Boys’ Centres and more. Also big thanks to everyone for joining us and volunteering!
For more inspiring experiences, visit Time Auction, a platform that rewards and encourages volunteerism.
A few messages from the volunteers:
Marie kindly invited us to one of her residence and offered us some fabulous tea and cakes. A very well structured meeting, Marie took the time to read all our comments — with detailed notes too! — and responded to individual questions with her passionate rigour. Marie has an engaging and humble persona, an established individual — diligent mother — sports addict — an entrepreneur with a big heart. All the best with her future endeavours.
Dear Marie-Christine, Thanks for sharing with us your story. It motivated me to push my boundaries as you never cease to do more for the society being a mother of 2. Please continue to do what you believe in and benefit more children who haven’t got the opportunity to explore their talents. Warmest, Stephanie
I was impressed with how prepared Marie was for our meeting, both in terms of answering questions that we had posed to her as part of our application, but also preparing food and beverages and organizing a seating chart. To me it showed that she put in effort and took this afternoon tea seriously. I enjoyed the story she shared about supporting the Chinese University student and the impact that has had on his community as he finds way to give back, and I enjoyed her story biking along the silk road and falling over as she neared the destination but just getting right back up and carrying on. Marie was personable and enthusiastic. I am also trying to start a Sports Foundation in HK, with a focus on women and girls. I liked what she shared that sports is a tool that arms us with life skills and mental health that we need in our daily lives. I wish I could have asked her more about the impact of sports on her own life — such as the skills she’s most valued from playing sports that she uses daily in her life — but sadly there wasn’t enough time. If there’s a chance to meet again, I would love to get more of her perspectives on how she thinks we can make sports more mainstream in our education system. Thank you.
This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium: https://timeauction.medium.com/thankful-grateful-be-blessed-afternoon-tea-with-marie-christine-lee-founder-of-sports-for-hope-cc61bdfabbb6