All hands for charity

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 December, 2008, 12:00am

Now in its 21st year, Operation Santa Claus encourages schools to come up with innovative ways to raise funds for local charities.

This year, St Mark's and Diocesan Girls' School have been particularly active.

'We raised HK$49,205 this year,' said Manuel Man Wing-ho, a St Mark's Form Six student and key organiser of the school's OSC events.

He said the school had been working on five activities since late last month.

Manuel, together with 16 classmates, came up with activities such as the sale of candy-grams, a soccer tournament, a dodgeball competition, a talent show and a 'famine camp' to raise money.

'Teachers and students were invited to order bags of candies from us to send out as gifts to people in the school,' said Manuel.

'The response was great. We received more than 2,000 orders.

'After deducting the cost of the candies, the rest of the money will go to OSC.'

For events like the soccer tournament, dodgeball competition and talent show, funds were mostly been raised by participants.

They had to collect a certain amount of money in order to take part, said Manuel.

In co-operation with World Vision, St Mark's School also organised a famine camp.

'Every participant donated a minimum of HK$80,' said Manuel. 'They did not eat from 6pm to noon the next day.'

Manuel said the participants took part in seminars hosted by World Vision during the overnight camp.

Rebecca Lee Yee-man, World Vision public education officer, said St Mark's School asked the organisation to conduct seminars on global poverty and famine.

Ms Lee said students gained insight into poverty and famine after taking part in the workshops, which incorporated videos, photos and games.

Meanwhile, Diocesan Girls' School set up a mini-bazaar to raise money for OSC, inviting more than 6,000 parents and alumni to visit 86 stalls on Monday.

'Some of the products, such as umbrellas, notebooks, lunch bags and calendars, were designed by the students,' said head girl Phoebe Ko Yan-long. She said the students worked in teams to design products, find manufacturers and oversee quality control. They did everything possible to ensure the products would sell well.

'Without team spirit, the event wouldn't have been a success,' Phoebe said.