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  • Aug 2, 2014
  • Updated: 7:48am

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.

NewsHong Kong

Morgan Stanley's democratic fundraiser brings in record HK$3.2 million

Morgan Stanley employees cast votes to choose which charity to support then dig deep to hear their bosses singing, and buy homemade treats

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 4:46am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 4:46am

Global bank Morgan Stanley's use of a "democratic voting system" to select their charity beneficiaries has raised a record-breaking HK$3.2 million for Operation Santa Claus this year.

Each of the firm's employees voted to choose the bank's core beneficiary, and a series of fun festive activities were held this month to raise funds.

"We want people to be emotionally invested in the charities, so we do it in a democratic way," the firm's Asia-Pacific Co-CEO, William Strong, said.

The core beneficiary chosen was the Rainbow Project, an organisation that provides therapy to autistic children from lowincome families.

Morgan Stanley has been raising funds for the organisation through Operation Santa Claus, a charity campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

The HK$3.2 million the firm raised this year far exceeded the HK$2.5 million they raised last year as the top fundraiser. It is also the largest sum of a single donation that Operation Santa Claus has raised in its 26 years.

The donations came mainly from the firm's employees pledging for some 120 directors to take part in a choir performance.

They sang Christmas classics like Deck the Halls and O Come All Ye Faithful at the Elements mall last Thursday. With them on stage were children from the Rainbow Project, the Society for the Protection of Children, and some directors' children.

"We've been blessed with so much. There are those who have more difficult times, and we are pleased to donate," Strong said.

A main part of the donation also came from a week-long auction of home-baked treats. Staff brought in desserts they baked each day and their colleagues put in bids for them online.

"It creates a healthy competition," Strong said. "Morgan Stanley doesn't like to lose … so we bid pretty hard for the cookies, cakes and pies. That really raised a lot of extra money that in prior years we did not have."

The most expensive cake? A lemon meringue, which went for HK$24,000.

The Rainbow Project's services were stopped last year because of a lack of funding.

"We're very excited to kick it off again," Morgan Stanley's Asia-Pacific head of philanthropy, Caroline Wong, said.


How you can give

  • 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 osc@scmp.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com


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Hooray for Morgan Stanley! Another great children’s Christmas charity is www.BeAnElf.org. It recruits volunteers for the US Postal Service’s Operation Santa, in which the public is invited to read letters to Santa from kids asking for "a warm coat" or "new shoes for my older brother." The site lists the 17 US postal branches participating, mostly in large cities.
Although the charity is seeking donations to pay its bills and fund more gifts to kids, the home page motivates potential volunteers by saying, “There’s no middle man or charity, when you volunteer in this way. It’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child. You’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.” Merry Christmas!


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