Donations surpass HK$10m as generosity defies gloom
Chloe Lai and Jennifer Cheng
Generous Hongkongers have defied the economic gloom to raise more than HK$10 million to help needy people through Operation Santa Claus.
The money, raised by scores of individuals and organisations since mid-November, will help thousands of people in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
The annual Christmas campaign, organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, has raised more than HK$150 million since its launch in 1988.
A record 27 major donors took part this year. Of them, eight were new to Operation Santa Claus.
This year's biggest corporate fund-raiser was Morgan Stanley. The bank raised a record HK$2.45 million in one week by sponsoring senior executives to perform in a choir.
Other key donors included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which raised HK$1.65 million through its golf day and mini-golf day, and UBS, which handed over HK$1.6 million gathered from employees and the donation of a part of its commissions from trading on December 16.
Other fund-raising events included Santa's Sports Day at Ma On Shan Sports Ground, a five-a-side football competition at the University of Hong Kong's Stanley Ho playing fields and the annual Wing Ding Squash Tournament at the Hong Kong Football Club.
'Hitting the HK$10 million mark at a time of economic uncertainty is a huge achievement,' the Post's acting editor, Cliff Buddle, said. 'Once again, Hong Kong people have shown their generosity and willingness to support excellent causes.
'This is a campaign which brings the community together, with so many people - young and old alike - giving their time and money in order to really make a difference. I would like to thank everyone who participated or donated. The news that so much money has been raised is a great way to start the new year.'
Hugh Chiverton, head of RTHK's Radio 3, said: 'It's been a great year for Operation Santa Claus - one of the best ever. We're all looking forward to seeing the final total, especially as it's topped HK$10 million.
'Apart from the money there are more and people joining in. It's wonderful that we had eight new major donors in 2011. The fund-raising events have been great fun and at the same time we've heard very moving stories about the people who will benefit from the incredible generosity of Hongkongers this year - from newborn babies in impoverished areas of China to old people in local hospitals.'
This year's major fund-raisers were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital Asia, Clifford Chance, CITIC Bank International, Credit Suisse, Cruciani Bracelet, Deacons, Fancl, the five-a-side football tournament, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, JP Morgan, Li & Fung (1906) Foundation, Macquarie Group, Manulife, Maxim's Caterers, Morgan Stanley, Coutts, Rothschild, Segantii Capital, Sino Group, Swire Group Charitable Trust, Swire Properties, Turner International, UBS, Wellcome, Wing Ding Squash Tournament and ZeShan (Hong Kong) Foundation.
The 19 major school donors were the American International School, Beacon Hill School and PTA, Clearwater Bay School, Community College of City University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Creative Secondary School, Diocesan Boys' School, Diocesan Girls' School, Discovery Mind Kindergarten, German Swiss International School, Hong Kong International School, Kiangsu & Chekiang Primary School (International Section), Korean International School, Marymount Secondary School, Methodist College, Shung Tak Catholic English College, South Island School, St Mark's School and Victoria (Ho Man Tin) International Nursery.
Special thanks also go to the children of High West, Pok Fu Lam, Kowloon Cricket Club, the Police Tactical Unit, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Santa Hash, Katterwall and Linklaters.
Also among the businesses and individuals who named Operation Santa Claus as the beneficiary of fund-raising events were Great Food Hall, the Kowloon Shangri-La hotel, m.a.x. concepts and Maxim's MX, Sino Group of Hotels and Superb Talent.
Coverage of the campaign ends today but the appeal will continue until January 18, so there is still plenty of time to make a donation.
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