Schools tap into Christmas spirit ofgiving

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 December, 2007, 12:00am

On December 20, queues were found inside Diocesan Girls' School (DGS). Passers-by may have been surprised by the scene, but parents and students from the school knew this was their only chance in the year to buy souvenirs tailor-made by the Form Four to Form Seven students.

Every year, DGS sells a series of items with the school's logo in the Mini-Bazaar. These products include folders, bags, umbrellas and even slippers; anything used in daily life.

According to Annie Lee, deputy headmistress of DGS, these goods were designed by different school clubs and classes.

Although the bazaar started at around 11.00am, parents and students queued in front of the stalls much earlier. Right after the bell rang, the queues started to move.

In less than 30 minutes, all the goods were cleared.

Whoever failed to grab their favourite items would not be disappointed because they had a chance to win these goodies in the lucky draw, which cost HK$5 for each ticket.

Mrs Lee said the schools had prepared at least 5,000 tickets for the lucky draw, with the grand prize being a jumbo Christmas pack including every item sold at the bazaar.

She said the funds raised in the lucky draw stall would be donated to Operation Santa Claus (OSC), while the rest earned from the sale of the items would go to different NGOs, as well as to sponsor children from mainland China and Africa.

Another school, Victoria Shanghai Academy (Secondary Section), in their second year supporting OSC, started their 'A gift to the world' campaign on December 19.

Teacher Clara Tai Ka-wah, co-ordinator of the event, said students were encouraged to donate gifts for OSC.

'Students who received stuffed toys as Christmas gifts may not feel special because they have 20 at home already but, for children without any stuffed toys, these gifts will make them very happy,' Ms Tai said.

Other gifts included stationery like colour pens and notebooks. Ms Tai said most of them were new and almost 90 per cent were nicely wrapped.

On the collection day, students put the gifts under the Christmas tree.

To make sure the gifts were distributed efficiently, students needed to indicate whether the gift was suitable for boys or girls and for which age group. 'Joining this activity helps students to develop a sense of giving to the world, and helps them to learn more about people with different needs,' Ms Tai said.

American International School also supported OSC with their annual Winter Celebration on December 14.

Students from different grades raised funds though activities such as the Spare Change Day, International Bake Sale and Book Club. The highlight of the programme was the musical Fee, Fi Fo Fum performed by elementary school students. The following week on December 21, a Red/ Green Day was held. Students donated HK$20 to wear to school whatever they wanted in these two colours.

The events raised about HK$10,000 for OSC.