Coffee lovers are being urged to stir themselves into action and contribute to charity when they stop off for their lattes and cappuccinos. Pacific Coffee has placed collection boxes in 35 of its Hong Kong shops to collect money for the causes of Operation Santa Claus. The company, which has supported the campaign for many years, said it had set itself the target of collecting at least $100,000 from customers. 'Let's hope it is more,' says Rob Maylor, chief operating officer of Pacific Coffee. 'We are doing this because the disadvantaged in Hong Kong need all the help they can get, especially in these tough times. 'It's just a small way of giving something back to the community. We only wish we could do more for the beneficiaries, as there are some heart-breaking cases.' There are 12 beneficiaries of Operation Santa Claus this year, each with their own wishes. One of them, the Hong Chi Association for the mentally handicapped, has already had its wish for a 10-tonne truck granted by Jardine Matheson, leaving 11 beneficiaries still hoping and waiting. These include a talented young web designer with a neuro-muscular disease who needs a faster computer to help shorten the period of pain that work causes him, and a charity that funds the education of Aids orphans in China. So far, $1,505,140 has been collected for the appeal. Of this amount, $5,500 came from a group of women who call themselves 'Cheers'. The women, who meet as an informal club, raised the money with an Indian New Year's party for their children, in October. Cheers president Vinita Balani said they decided to donate half the proceeds of the event, called Cheers Diwali 2003, after reading about the children's charities asking for help through Operation Santa Claus. 'Our children worked so hard in putting on a show for the party, we thought it appropriate that the money raised go to charities for children,' she said. The remaining half went to the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children.