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Cathay Pacific’s ‘Change for Good’ hits HK$100 million mark as programme celebrates 20th anniversary

09 Aug 2010

The Cathay Pacific/UNICEF “Change for Good” inflight fundraising programme celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2010. Since the programme was launched, more than HK$100 million has been collected to support UNICEF’s programmes helping underprivileged children in more than 150 developing countries around the world.

To highlight the anniversary and the significant sum raised through “Change for Good”, a programme which collects spare change in foreign currencies from Cathay Pacific passengers, a 20th anniversary roadshow and charity sale is being staged in various Hong Kong shopping malls over the next two months.

The roadshow kicked off at Festival Walk today with a launch event hosted by Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Tony Tyler and Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF Chairman Louis Loong. Also present was popular local singer Miriam Yeung, who also acts as UNICEF Regional Ambassador (East Asia and Pacific).

Cathay Pacific and UNICEF used the event to launch a new “Change for Good” promotional video featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Leon Lai together with Miriam Yeung which could be viewed here. The video will be shown inflight from September. A newly designed donation envelope was also introduced during the ceremony.

Speaking at the event, Tony Tyler said: “The programme has been a tremendous success, and the HK$100 million collected is a great sum of money that has helped to improve a lot of young lives. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all the passengers who have supported the programme over the past two decades. We at Cathay Pacific are very proud of “Change for Good”, and I hope we can continue to bring change for another two decades.”

UNICEF’s Louis Loong said: “The continued success of 'Change for Good' is due to the ongoing support and commitment of everyone at Cathay Pacific, passengers who donate their spare change, as well as volunteers who help sort the collected coins.”

Miriam Yeung was later joined on stage by a number of Cathay Pacific staff volunteers who took part in UNICEF field trips to Ethiopia and Kenya earlier this year, and they shared with the public their experiences of seeing at first-hand how passengers’ donations are put to good use. Both Miriam and the staff volunteers urged the public to continue to support the “Change for Good” programme. "Small amounts of coins really add up to an impressive annual total, helping the lives of underprivileged children in a significant way,” Miriam said.

Also present at the event was UNICEF Head of Media and External Relation Units Indrias Getachew, who gave a brief introduction to UNICEF’s work in Ethiopia and other African countries, including children’s education, improving water and sanitation, and cash transfer projects.

In 2009, more than HK$9.5 million was collected through the inflight fundraising programme. Most of the money goes to support UNICEF’s projects worldwide, while an average of one month’s proceeds from the programme will go to the Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank – an initiative set up in 1996 to improve the mobility of Hong Kong children suffering from severe neuromuscular diseases.

Schedule of “Change for Good” 20th Anniversary Roadshow and Charity Sale

1) 9-15 Aug (Mon-Sun) Venue: Festival Walk (Area D, Level G) Photo Exhibition: 9-15 Aug (Mon-Sun) Charity Sale: 13-15 Aug (Fri-Sun) 2:00pm-4:30pm

2) 30 Aug - 5 Sept (Mon-Sun) Venue: Harbour City (Gateway A1 – near Agnes b Delices) Photo Exhibition: 30 Aug–5 Sept (Mon-Sun) Charity Sale: 3-5 Sept (Fri-Sun) 2:00pm-4:30pm

3) 6-8 Sept (Mon-Wed) Venue: Times Square (Covered Piazza) Photo Exhibition only

4) 9-12 Sept (Thur-Sun) Venue: Citygate (B1, outside Great) Photo Exhibition: 9-12 Sept (Thurs-Sun) Charity Sale: 10-12 Sept (Fri-Sun) 2:00pm-4:30pm

5) 20-26 Sept (Mon-Sun) Venue: CityPlaza (East Bridge) Photo Exhibition: 20-26 Sept (Mon-Sun) Charity Sale: 24-26 Sept (Fri-Sun) 2:00pm-4:30pm

More details can be found at here.

About the Cathay Pacific/UNICEF “Change for Good” Inflight Fundraising Programme

• Since 1991, Cathay Pacific and UNICEF have been organising the “Change for Good” inflight fundraising programme, designed to use travellers’ leftover foreign currency to help underprivileged children in more than150 developing countries.

• On 1 July 1991, Cathay Pacific flight attendants began distributing “Change for Good” donation envelopes on all the airline’s long-haul flights. In 1994, the fundraising appeal was extended to all routes in the Cathay Pacific network.

• To mark the 50th anniversary of Cathay Pacific and UNICEF in 1996, both parties signed a pioneering “Corporate Partnership for Children”, committing to work together to promote the protection, survival and development of children worldwide.

• The Cathay Pacific Wheelchair Bank was also set up in the same year. Working with the Faculty of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Prince of Wales Hospital, the Bank aims at raising funds to provide specially adapted wheelchairs for children with severe neuromuscular diseases.

• From 1999 onwards, an average of one month’s proceeds from the inflight fundraising programme will be allocated to the Bank annually. To date, more than HK$9.5 million has been donated to support the Wheelchair Bank.

• To mark the 20th anniversary of “Change for Good” in 2010, a series of roadshows and charity sale is being organised in various Hong Kong shopping malls to gain the support of the public.

• At the same time, a brand new “Change for Good” promotional video featuring UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Leon Lai and UNICEF Regional Ambassador (East Asia and Pacific) Miriam Yeung, has been produced, and will show on Cathay Pacific flights from September. A newly designed donation envelope has also been introduced.

• To date, the airline has raised more than HK$100 million through the Change for Good programme, helping to improve the lives of underprivileged children around the world.