Li & Fung Group's staff flexed their muscles and used their creativity to make the group's first year as a major donor to Operation Santa Claus a huge success by raising HK$180,000.
Wong Kai-man, director of the Li & Fung (1906) Foundation, the group's charity, said the group supported OSC because the campaign encouraged staff to volunteer to help others and become familiar with their struggles. He said the foundation would match all donations made by staff.
'We not only want to help our community by donating money, but we also want to engage our staff,' Wong said. 'And participating in OSC fulfils both of our objectives.'
In the first corporate sports day organised for OSC, Li & Fung staff formed six teams - the most out of the nine participating corporations - and took home the award for most supportive company. The team comprising staff from Toys 'R' Us - part of the Li & Fung Group - was first runner-up in the four rounds of games.
Johnny Lam Tze-lok, senior operations training officer for Toys 'R' Us, took the lead in recruiting his colleagues to join the sports day team. 'Our colleagues are young and agile, so we were very interested in taking part,' he said. 'We were not there to win, but to have fun and raise money for charity.'
Wong said many of the foundation's community initiatives were closely related to Li & Fung's line of work, and could therefore make good use of staff expertise in implementing effective and innovative improvements in Hong Kong. For example, volunteers had been using their construction skills to restore the wooden walkways of stilt houses in Tai O to make them safer for the elderly.
The Li & Fung (1906) Foundation focuses on disaster relief, community building, supporting social enterprises, business-related clean environment alternatives and entrepreneurship development. This year, the foundation also adopted a three-year initiative to support children and young people, and a major group-wide project will be targeting children in China and Cambodia.
'It is not the first time we've given to children and youth,' Wong said. 'In the past, we have built primary schools in Vietnam and Cambodia, and we support some English teaching programmes in Hong Kong.'
Wong said in the future, the foundation might organise trips for the staff to meet the children they had been sponsoring.
Deneille Dewar, of the corporate communications and design team at Li & Fung Trading, came up with an idea of collecting books that colleagues no longer wanted to give to those without access to books.
'We all have books in our homes that we are not reading or our children have outgrown,' she said. 'Donating these books is a small gesture on our part, yet significant to a child who may otherwise not have access to reading materials. This campaign was a great way to engage colleagues across the group to give back and support a child on their life journey.'
By the end of the Christmas period more than 1,250 books had been donated. Staff sorted them into different reading levels and the logistics team will deliver them to the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Caritas Hong Kong, The Crossroads Foundation and Oxfam, who will pass them to beneficiaries.
Jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, Operation Santa Claus this year raised money for 16 Hong Kong charities. The final amount raised will be announced in the Post on January 19.
How you can give
Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
Donations can be made at ATMs or at any branch of HSBC: account number 502-676299-001
for SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS
You can make a donation by cheque, payable to 'SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS' and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong
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 address above.
Contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone 2680 8159 or visit us online at osc.scmp.com