'Road trip' getting an early start this year
Mary Ann Benitez
The 'cheerful road trip' that is Operation Santa Claus will begin early for some of its long-term donors.
Corporations, schools and other organisations are helping to raise funds for this year's 13 beneficiaries.
Discovery Mind Kindergarten's charity walk to Siena Park in Discovery Bay is set for Saturday. A clown will greet children and parents at the end of the walk.
A garage sale will be held on November 29 at the University of Science and Technology. It was a good social event for the university, said Jean Hudson, a sale organiser.
Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) is gearing up for its annual golf day.
'It is a fun day out,' said Danielle Gernandt of marketing and communications. 'We take a group of golfers - staff and clients - out to a golf course in Shenzhen, bring sponsors in and the players make donations.'
At the Operation Santa Claus kick-off ceremony on Tuesday, director of broadcasting Franklin Wong Wah-kay said the operation had 'serious undertones - helping to better the lives of individuals and the community who are suffering in many ways. But it is a cheerful road trip'.
Several charities that will benefit from this year's drive serve needy children and youngsters, and others help people with illnesses - those living with HIV/Aids, children with heart defects and elderly people with end-stage kidney failure or dementia. Still others offer an ear to people on the verge of suicide or a temporary home for victims of abuse.
Some of the money raised will go to the South China Morning Post's Homes for Hope to help rebuild homes for victims of the Sichuan quake.