Another HK$1m rolls in for Operation Santa Claus
Hongkongers are still giving generously. Donations of almost HK$1 million since Operation Santa Claus 2011 officially wrapped up have taken the total raised to HK$17.5 million.
'Hong Kong people have shown incredible generosity despite the economic gloom,' said Wang Xiangwei, editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post.
'We were already impressed with the final amount raised from the campaign - now we have another million dollars to help the needy. It's unprecedented.'
The campaign's closing ceremony was held earlier than usual because of an early Lunar New Year, but the donations kept rolling in, said Bryan Curtis, head of English programme services at RTHK.
'This is the icing on the cake,' said Curtis. 'We were tickled with HK$16.5 million ... the additional HK$1 million is a sweet surprise.
'Unlike Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, I am optimistic about 2012. This really speaks to the resilience of the Hong Kong community at a time when the rest of the world is grappling with economic difficulties.'
Jointly organised by the Post and RTHK, Operation Santa Claus has supported more than 100 charities since it was founded in 1988. This year it has raised money for 16 Hong Kong charities.
The additional HK$1 million will go entirely towards the 16 beneficiaries, but each will submit a second proposal spelling out how they will use the additional money to expand or extend their project.
The beneficiaries will receive their promised amount in a first allocation next month. The additional money will be given in April or May.
'With the 25th anniversary of Operation Santa Claus coming up [this year], we have a few surprises and I am confident we will set another record,' Curtis said.