Operation Santa Claus
Jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK since 1988, Operation Santa Claus is one of the largest charitable donation drives in Hong Kong. By November 2012, It had raised more than HK$170 million for over 150 charitable projects.
Operation Santa Claus: The home that looks after loving hearts
Parents of children who have had heart surgery have a haven to rest and relax
After a day looking after her 21-month-old daughter in Queen Mary Hospital, Pok Fu Lam, Janice Choi Mei-fan hands over to her husband for the next shift and goes for a shower and a rest.
But instead of facing an hour-long trip home, Choi, the mother of a baby born with a rare heart disease, goes to a comfortable flat next door to the hospital.
The 11-bed home, run by the Children's Heart Foundation, provides accommodation for parents of children in hospital with congenital heart diseases.
Choi's daughter, Kandy Lee Cheuk-ying, was diagnosed last month with a rare congenital defect where the veins that carry oxygenated blood to the heart fail to connect up properly. She has now had surgery to correct the problem.
The procedure requires a month-long hospital stay and many follow-up sessions.
"We have been facing a lot of pressure since Cheuk-ying had to stay in the hospital," Choi said. "My husband and I have to take turns taking care of her day and night. Transport would have been a problem."
The home will have to move to Wah Fu Estate next year when the hospital's redevelopment project starts. Operation Santa Claus, a charity campaign organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, will be raising funds to support the home.
Social workers at the home look after the parents' emotional needs, and it also provides a platform for parents to support each other.
"I have been very worried and very tired. It's really convenient that I could shower and rest at the home," Choi said.
About 90 per cent of congenital heart diseases are now curable but surgery has become more complicated and requires longer hospital stays, said Dr Adolphus Chau Kai-tung, chief of the paediatric cardiology department at the hospital and vice-chairman of the foundation.
HOW YOU CAN GIVE
● Donate online with your credit card at osc.scmp.com
● Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd – Operation Santa Claus)
● You can donate with a cheque payable to “SCMP Charities Ltd – Operation Santa Claus” and post it to Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
● 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 above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail email@example.com with any inquiries, or visit osc.scmp.com