February 4, 2014 ~ "Hope for Happiness INC.

Spring 2014

Jen-Ai Lai

Schulich Leader at University of British Columbia

Please don’t look at me like that. No, I’m not just a university student here to swindle away your money and “invest” it in a night of frat-party fun. Sigh.

Obtaining donations as a small organization is hard. Credibility is everything. So, as I am sure you can imagine, after many months of hard work, research and countless phone calls, I was elated to post the following words on my social media:

<i>“February 4, 2014 ~ "Hope for Happiness INC."

Today, we received the official documents from Industry Canada~! Our charity is now an "Incorporated Canadian Non-Profit Organization!"

It has been a long journey to reach this point ever since 2010 when we first began dreaming and there are still thousands of miles to go...”</i>

But as much as being a small organization has its pitfalls, it also has its benefits. Since then, we have coordinated another successful fundraiser called “Toonie Week” and formed intimate ties with the outstanding volunteers who helped make it possible.

Currently, I am working on opening up a division of Hope for Happiness for UBC students to participate in. I am really excited about the prospect of working with a group of like-minded individuals to promote social justice and find innovative ways to mitigate poverty.

My colleague and I are also looking to start up a pilot project which connects local youth with youth in different countries and namely developing nations, through writing. The purpose of this project is to build cross-cultural connections between the next generations of different nations in order to foster tolerance and breakdown the longstanding barriers of prejudice and ignorance.

A while ago, a Sister told me, “Giving is a privilege because it is only the people who “have” things that can experience the pleasure of giving.” Her words struck me as a mirror image of the spirit of Mr. Schulich, who has given so much back to his society. I am hopeful that I can do the same through my charity and career, even if it is just a small token of my gratitude.

If you are interested in learning more about my organization, please visit: www.hopeforhappiness.com