With his wife, Sally, Jim Thompson supports countless charitable efforts at home and abroad, including working with the Cambodian government to found schools in Phnom Penh following the expansion of his logistics group, Crown Worldwide, to the capital city.
“Our focus is on children and education. We’ve built schools and libraries in Cambodia to give kids access to education. I think that’s the greatest tool they can have as they try to build their lives as adults. At the other end of the spectrum, we also support the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care because I feel the need to help the terminally ill leave the world with dignity is very important. I also chair the Asian Youth Orchestra, which brings young Asian musicians from many countries together. The gap between rich and poor is dramatic in Hong Kong, but I believe Hongkongers are very generous and a great amount of money is raised from the wealthy by charitable organisations. That said, it’s tough to ask people for money on a constant basis and many people are asked to donate to more causes than they could ever support. I try to make a case for the cause that donors will understand and appreciate. There are many generous people that support our charities year after year—they’re Hong Kong’s heroes. For younger people with little money, I encourage them to volunteer. I know I cannot fund the cures of the diseases of the world, but I will do what I can manage. There is a real joy to helping others less fortunate than you.”