Heart to Heart
Mahnaz Lee and Patti Ho share their philanthropic passion through the creation of a meaningful jewellery collection, writes Emilie Yabut-razon
he co-founders of the non-profit organisation Women Helping Women Hong Kong (WHWHK), Mahnaz Lee and Patti Ho, have partnered with fine jeweller Adler to present a special collection of jewellery for Mother’s Day. “We were looking for creative ways to raise funds for our cause and we thought jewellery would be a good way to do it,” says Lee, whose dedication to philanthropic causes extends to a number of charities related to women and children.
Lee’s good friend Ho, co-chair of WHWHK, is not a philanthropy newbie either. Adler’s managing director for Hong Kong since 1983, she has chaired and organised many fundraising events, including the Hong Kong Ballet Ball and the charity gala for the Hong Kong Hereditary and High Risk Breast Cancer Programme. In 2013 she qualified for mentorship training of underprivileged youth.
The pair believe their meeting was destined. They were introduced at an event seven years ago and got to talking about their visions. “While we were both involved with many charities, Patti and I wanted to do something truly from the heart… more handson,” says Lee. “It was like we connected.” WHWHK was soon born with the aim of assisting mothers and children facing domestic violence and abuse in Hong Kong. “We did a lot of research to determine which area of the community needed our help the most,” says Lee. “Starting a charity was a lot of work, but this is my passion now. I want to give back and also inspire others to help.”
In line with WHWHK’S celebration of Mother’s Day, Lee and Ho are presenting a special five-piece collection called Connecting Hearts, which includes a double ring, two cocktail rings and two pairs of earrings. Fashioned from white, yellow and pink gold, the pieces are set with diamonds, or a combination of pink sapphires and amethysts. “All stones are natural, unheated and set by hand by Adler’s craftsmen,” says Ho. “Each of the designs is initially available at 30 pieces.” The designs draw on WHWHK’S logo—eight interlinked hearts representing the special connection of women helping each other. The hearts form a lotus flower, which in Asian cultures symbolises renewal, and purity of body and mind.
“Women are the heart of the family,” says Ho. “With the hearts embracing, it personifies a harmonious family of WHWHK, and the lotus tells us how a beautiful flower can grow from the mud. WHWHK helps provide women a chance to shine, to blossom to the best of their abilities.” The pieces, competitively priced from HK$26,500 to HK$39,000, will be available at Adler’s boutique in Prince’s Building from May 6–29, with 15 per cent of proceeds going to WHWHK.
The organisation—whose members and ambassadors include Shirley Kuan, Shirley Hiranand, Candy Lo, Winnie Young and Cissy Wang—partners with Harmony House, the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society and Caritas to fund initiatives that help abused women and children. WHWHK fundraising events include an International Women’s Day gathering and the annual charity ball, which will be held on November 14.
To volunteer or donate, go to WHWHK’S Connecting Hearts ring in yellow gold with diamonds (right) and double ring with pink sapphires and amethysts (below) by Adler jewellery