Toying around with a practical idea

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 December, 2011, 12:00am


There are plenty of good Christmas gift ideas that do not have to cost an arm and a leg, and Sino Group has taught children how to create toys with cast-off materials.

Several staff volunteers from the group took time off work to teach a group of children how to make a reindeer on wheels by reusing cardboard boxes originally used to carry printer paper.

The thirteen children, aged five to eight, came from Asbury Methodist Social Service - a beneficiary of Operation Santa Claus last year.

The gift idea was inspired by a popular and locally bred animated character, Din-Dong - a resourceful and frugal cat who seeks creative ways to enjoy luxuries without shelling out a cent. The Din-Dong books and animation series are created by local artists Pam Hung Man-ting and John Chan Yu-fung.

Sino Group has set up a special Din-Dong exhibition at the Olympian City mall in Tai Kok Tsui, where the activity with the children took place on Wednesday. 'We are so happy to have such a big space and exposure to showcase our work,' Hung said.

Daryl Ng, executive director of Sino Group, said the activity and event fulfilled the property developer's objectives in community service - promoting environmentalism, making art accessible to all and caring for children. 'A lot of these artists may not have the resources to show their artwork, so we give them space as a platform,' Ng said, while visiting the children during their activity. 'We provide curatorial support, including exhibition design, set-up and publicity, and also initiate educational outreach activities to promote their works to more people.'

Shoppers can donate HK$20 and have their picture taken with Din-Dong to use as a holiday e-card, with proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus.

It is the seventh year Sino Group has supported the appeal, and Ng said he was impressed by how the operation could mobilise so many corporations to raise funds together.

'There is so much to do for the Hong Kong community. As the responsible corporate citizen that we hope we can be, we just have to keep on doing [this]. We just can't stop.'

Since the middle of this year Sino Group has allowed staff to take a day off to participate in community service, and some used this opportunity to volunteer on Wednesday. The number of employees taking part in volunteer programmes has tripled from last year to more than 1,000.

For the twelfth time, about 240 volunteers visited 500 underprivileged families during the Mid-Autumn Festival to distribute mooncakes, lanterns and seasonal fruits. This month, volunteers also visited families in Kowloon to hand out fleece blankets.

Meanwhile, Cruciani Bracelet will be selling its Dragon bracelet for HK$150, from today until Sunday, on the second floor of Pacific Place, with all proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus. The appeal, jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, is raising money for 16 Hong Kong charities.

How you can give

Donate online by credit card at

Donations can be made at ATMs or at any branch of HSBC: account number 502-676299-001 for SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS

You can make a donation 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, Hong Kong

Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt with your name, address and phone number to the address above.

Contact us via e-mail at, telephone 2680 8159 or visit us online at