In the festive spirit of giving
The annual fund-raising campaign, Operation Santa Claus (OSC), was launched last night at the HSBC headquarters in Central. The guests included Leung Chun-ying, convenor of the Executive Council, Franklin Wong Wah-kay, director of broadcasting at RTHK, Reginald Chua, editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, and Canto-pop singer GEM.
Now in its 23rd year, OSC is co-organised and co-founded by the Post and RTHK.
Launched in 1988, OSC has raised more than HK$140 million in cash, goods and services for more than 100 local charities. Last year, with support from schools, individuals and companies, more than HK$12 million was raised and 13 charity groups benefited.
Proceeds from this year's campaign will go to 16 local charity organisations to help the elderly, needy families, the sick and people with mental and physical disabilities.
With support from OSC, Asbury Methodist Social Service hopes to set up a community speech training centre for local children.
Hong Kong Blind Union will receive funds from OSC to support five years of education and living expenses for 35 visually impaired students from rural areas in Guangdong.
OSC will also help Silence Association conduct sign language lessons for deaf people in a public housing complex.
St James' Settlement needs money to run a Social Recycling Depot in Kwai Fong to provide jobs for rag pickers.
Hong Kong Women Workers' Association will receive support from OSC to open a mini-store co-operative at Hong Kong College of Technology. It will provide jobs for middle-aged women from low-income families.
Chi Heng Foundation plans to use the money to offer training in counselling to more than 20 frontline staff who serve families with Aids-infected children in Henan province.
Against Child Abuse is looking for support from OSC to help families with members who are recovering from mental illness.
OSC will help The Samaritans organise a programme for teenagers to better understand themselves and develop a positive attitude towards life.
Rehabaid Society hopes to fund the 'Up Where We Belong' programme, which provides hi-tech equipment to enhance the learning efficiency of students with degenerative diseases.
Direction Association for the Handicapped hopes to run the LIFT Social Enterprise to provide jobs for wheelchair users.
OSC will support the Hong Kong Paediatric Rheumatism Association to provide medication and physiotherapy for children with the disorder and organise seminars for them and their families to enhance their understanding of the condition.
OSC will help Children's Thalassaemia Foundation to offer patients aged above 10 with the blood disorder state-of-the-art scans once every year from 2010 to 2012.
The Hong Kong Red Cross Hospital Special Schools, Operation Smile-China Medical Mission, Hong Kong Alzheimer's Disease Association and WWF Hong Kong are the other beneficiaries.
Schools are encouraged to come up with their own creative ways to raise funds. Last year 25 schools raised HK$521,258 for OSC. Discovery Mind Kindergarten topped the list with HK$115,000. This year, 16 student ambassadors from eight local universities will promote OSC at their campuses and organise fund-raising activities with their fellow students.
Schools that raise more than HK$5,000 will have their name printed on the OSC Christmas tree, which will be featured weekly in Young Post. The top fund-raiser will receive a certificate and be invited to attend the closing ceremony.
Set up school fund-raising events
Think about creative ways to raise funds - walkathons, singathons, sporting events and other competitions
Get your friends to participate in the HK$5 per student campaign
Don't forget to write and tell us what your school is doing
Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
Donate by cheque, payable to SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus, and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, HK
Donate by ATM or at any HSBC branch: a/c number 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus
Official receipts will be issued upon request for donations of HK$100 or more. Send the completed donation form with the original bank receipt and your name, address and phone number to 2680 8158