Campaign brightens up lives
This year's Operation Santa Claus will again brighten up the lives of those in need during the festive season.
Organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, the charity drive has managed to raise more than HK$104 million in cash, goods and services since it was launched two decades ago.
Eleven schools have pledged their support for the campaign this year. They have come up with creative fund-raising projects and activities to help the less fortunate.
Eighteen groups dedicated to the well-being of young people, children, the elderly and the disabled have been selected as beneficiaries from nearly 100 applications.
Many of them are committed to the welfare and betterment of young people and children.
We take a look at the beneficiaries and how some of them plan to use the donations.
KELY Support Group
Kids Everywhere Like You (KELY) is a bilingual peer support group that was established in 1991 by young people to deal with drug and alcohol problems.
Wish: To raise young peoples' drug awareness by building leadership skills that will support them to become positive role models and pass on anti-drug messages to their peers.
Chi Heng Foundation
Set up in 1998, the Foundation is a Hong Kong registered non-governmental organisation that provides education and support to AIDS-affected children and conducts HIV prevention programmes in mainland China.
Wish: To build, furnish and stock reading rooms for six primary and junior high schools in poor villages with high HIV prevalence in central China.
Little Life Warrior Society
Established in 2002 by a group of medical staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital along with cancer patients and their families, the Society has over 550 members and promotes information sharing between families, survivors and medical staff.
Wish: To help children with cancer to fight their battle for life. The project will give patients and their families tools to help enhance their confidence, build their knowledge and provide psychological support.
Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation
Established in 1993, the Foundation offers Hong Kong's young people a broad range of non-competitive arts experiences.
Wish: To develop a series of puppet-making workshops and performances for children in need. The project will be conducted in collaboration with various organizations in Hong Kong and aims to positively channel the children's inner feelings to communicate in a positive manner.
Playright Children's Play Association
Established in Hong Kong in 1987, the Association seeks to enrich the life of every child through play.
Wish: To provide psychosocial care to children in hospitals. With the Association's play service, children learn to face their treatment and hospitalisation more positively, with reduced anxiety and cooperating with the medical staff.
Since the 1985, Christian Action has promoted the welfare of the poor and disadvantaged, including refugees, through education, vocational training, health, and social services and recreation.
Wish: To provide basic support to migrant families in Hong Kong - including shelter, education, homework and language support - as well as giving psychological assistance to the whole family.
Children's Thalassaemia Foundation
Set-up in 1993, the Foundation works to improve clinical care, medical research and public awareness of the potentially fatal blood disorder thalassaemia.
Wish: To reduce mortality among thalassaemia patients, through the provision of the newly-validated method of magnetic resonance. Thalassaemia is an inherited disorder and the project will benefit patients who require life-long monthly blood transfusions to survive.
The Society was set up in 1979 and is dedicated to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
Wish: To empower people with severe disabilities to overcome the daily difficulties they face by offering appropriate assistance through technology and training.
The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
The Federation has been serving young people for over 40 years with support that includes counselling, outreach, leadership training, and employment support for young people at risk.
Wish: The Tin Yuet Youth SPOT project intends to develop the potential of over 500 disadvantaged young people in Tin Shui Wai by exposing them to new opportunities. It aims to establish a mutual support network, volunteer services for deprived people, and a medium for sharing of positive experiences.
Other beneficiaries this year
Against Child Abuse
Set up in 1979, Against Child Abuse (ACA) was formed when a 10-year-old girl was severely abused. Today, ACA is the only non-governmental organisation specialising in child protection in Hong Kong.
Children's Heart Foundation
Founded by a group of concerned parents and volunteers in 1994, the Foundation is devoted to supporting children suffering from congenital heart disease.
Christian Family Service Centre - Lai Chi Centre
Established in 1954 to help refugees, the Service provides support in the community, including child care, family services, rehabilitation and support for the elderly.
Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres
The Federation, established in 1981, is a non-governmental organisation providing broad-based empowerment services for women through its centres in Sham Shui Po and Tai Po.
United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service
Since 1972 the Service has provided health education, promotion and preventive health care to the community.
Haven of Hope Christian Service
Established in 2005, the Sister Annie Skau Nursing Home provides holistic immediate and long-term care to the elderly.
Senior Citizen Home Safety Association
Founded in 1996 as a community response to the tragic deaths, after cold weather, of more than 100 old people living alone, the Association serves the elderly in Hong Kong.
Riding for the Disabled Association
Founded in 1975 by the then Governor's wife, Lady MacLehose, the Association provides riding instruction and other activities associated with riding with to people with disabilities.
St James' Settlement
St James' Settlement is a multi-service welfare organisation established in Wan Chai in 1949.