A creative way to spread some cheer
Staff from Maxim's Group rolled up their sleeves this Christmas to create 150 multicoloured sand bottles to give to members of the Boys' Brigade Hong Kong - a beneficiary of Operation Santa Claus (OSC) this year.
Making art, like the ornamental sand bottles, is an essential part of the community service aims of Maxim's Group, the city's largest catering firm, said Michael Wu, its chairman and managing director.
'Business is an art and science, it is about numbers, but more importantly, it is about creating new trends and concepts, and so we like to foster this notion of creativity among our staff,' he said.
The 150 sand bottles created by enthusiastic staff volunteers were given to the Boys' Brigade - and any extra bottles delivered to other beneficiaries chosen by the firm.
This is the fourth year that Maxim's Group has supported OSC.
'We always try to use this opportunity to give back in a small way to people in the community who don't get to celebrate Christmas like we do,' Wu said.
'We really enjoy using OSC as a platform every year, and we try to do something different. We not only want to donate money, but also try to involve our customers and staff.'
Customers can get involved by purchasing a turkey at the firm's m.a.x. concepts restaurants. The company will make a HK$10 donation to OSC for every turkey it sells. Maxim's MX will also donate HK$1 for each milk tea sold. Both offers will continue until tomorrow.
'Maxim's Group is very visible, we serve over 600,000 customers a day,' said Wu. 'We can touch so many people so I think it's important for us, in this role, to be responsible to our community.'
For many years, staff volunteers from Maxim's Group have visited homes to distribute mooncakes and Christmas cakes to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.
The caterer also tries to give back to the community by being environmentally friendly. 'We try to use as little plastic as possible and more biodegradable materials,' Wu said.
Operation Santa Claus, jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, has supported more than 100 charities since it was founded in 1988.
This year it is raising money for 16 Hong Kong charities.
When this year's Operation Santa campaign was launched last month, Cliff Buddle, the Post's acting-editor-in-chief, said: 'This is a special time of year. It is a time of giving and of goodwill to all, and it is an opportunity for us to join together to support very good causes.
'The 16 beneficiaries this year are doing very valuable work in the community and they deserve support. The money raised will really make a difference.
'I hope our readers and corporate donors will, once again, show their great generosity and send the figure raised by this year's Operation Santa Claus soaring.'
How you can give
Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 2680 8159 or visit us online at osc.scmp.com