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 2013, it had raised more than HK$211 million for over 190 charitable projects.
Tactical Unit police pop along to a charitable mission for Santa
Tactical unit officers swap guns for rubber bands in fun-and-games day to help Operation Santa Claus
Officers in the police tactical unit, who usually use real guns when they practice shooting, recently had to face a new challenge - hitting balloons with rubber bands.
The annual half-day of fun and games at the unit's headquarters in Fanling on Wednesday was part of their team-building training.
But it also enabled the officers, who serve the Hong Kong community through various operations and deployments, to participate in a different kind of mission - Operation Santa Claus (OSC).
"Everyone in the unit gets involved in physical exercise and team-building activities to raise funds for a good cause," said the unit's commandant, Jacob Cheung Tak-keung. "It's very meaningful."
He has taken part in the OSC event since the early 1990s. Activities in those days included running in the hills of Pat Sin Leng, along with the Royal Air Force.
The officers competed on Wednesday as part of four teams: one made up of instructors from the training base, two of officers under training and one comprising the special duties unit, normally based at headquarters.
The losers in each of six games had to pay a "penalty", meaning donating more money, and could also make extra donations to get an edge in the games.
In the Redman Rumble game, one representative from each team wore a protective suit covered in balloons and both sides battled it out, trying to pop each other's inflated targets. But through extra donations, they got extra balloons attached.
In another contest, a rowing machine workout became part of a relay race. Officers rowed till their faces changed colour while their team members cheered them on, keeping an eye on the competition's progress via a video screen.
"The rowing game boosted the atmosphere to the max," said junior inspector Wong Siu-cheung, 27. "It's great to have a relaxing day of games while giving to charity."
The event raised over HK$80,000 for OSC, which will go to 18 beneficiaries that help underprivileged children, the elderly, disabled people and others in need.
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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com