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.
Bakeries come together to donate surplus bread for elderly homes
Maxim's Cakes and Arome Bakery provide loaves of surplus bread to volunteers who distribute them to elderly care homes and others in need
Every evening, volunteers from several elderly care homes head off to nearby bakeries - but not for a snack. They have fallen into this routine because many bakery chain stores give them free surplus bread, which is served the next morning at breakfast for home residents. Maxim's Cakes and Arome Bakery, both members of Maxim's Group, have around 240 stores in Hong Kong, about half of which donate bread under the scheme, which began in 2009.
Around 40 non-profit groups have benefited, including three elderly care homes operated by the Helping Hand charity. The bread also goes to the homeless, low-income families, people with disabilities and others in need. Each store gives away between a few and a few dozen loaves and buns each day. Maxim's Group established its own volunteer team this year to help with collection and distribution.
This month, Maxim's volunteers paid a visit to one of the Helping Hand homes, Po Lam Jockey Club Housing for the Elderly, where they met their beneficiaries face to face, played games and handed out Christmas gifts to residents.
"I feel such warmth and satisfaction, knowing that the elderly people are not as lonely as I had imagined," said volunteer Margaret Lai Ka-man, a management trainee with Maxim's Group. "It is rewarding to learn from their positive and energetic attitude."
Helping Hand, which supports more than 800 needy elderly people in seven homes, is one of Operation Santa Claus' 18 beneficiaries this year. The holiday charity drive is jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.
Maxim's is raising funds for the appeal by donating part of its profits from store sales of turkey, the New Year dish poon choi, hot milk tea and cake.
Meanwhile, the OSC Santa's Silver Auction event ends on Monday evening, when RTHK Radio 3 will auction off over 20 big-ticket items to the public at Grappa's Cellar in Central. All proceeds will go to OSC.
HOW YOU CAN GIVE
- Donate online by 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 mail it to: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com