Wanted: 2,500 people. Must be able to donate at least HK$50 for a very good cause. Guests and visitors at the Kowloon Shangri-La may have noticed that inside its lobby entrance stands a crystalline bead curtain with little Christmas wish-cards. It is a 'tree of hope'. For Operation Santa Claus this year, the hotel's resident manager, Jens Corder, thought something different was needed to encourage people to make donations in these desperate financial times. He hit on the idea of a four-dimensional tree. 'It literally started out as an abstract structure - just the beads dangling down, there is no real pattern or meaning to it yet,' he said when the tree was launched on Monday. 'But as people make wishes and tie their wishes to the beads, then the tree will start to take shape. Eventually the wishes will line up and you will have a silhouette or an outline of a tree. That's why we call it the tree of hope,' said Mr Corder, an Australian who has been in the post for six months. The hotel made the first donation of HK$5,000 to kick off its drive and presented the cheque to the organisers of the OSC, the South China Morning Post and RTHK. 'I think we need at least 2,500 wishes,' said Mr Corder. All proceeds will go to OSC. The 21st annual OSC campaign hopes to provide aid to 13 groups in Hong Kong, among them children, youths at risk, the elderly, the mentally challenged, the sick, ethnic minorities and refugees. Mr Corder said that completion of the Shangri-La's tree would depend on how quickly people came forward to make their donations. Donors will be offerred a truffle as a token of appreciation. At the launch on Monday, the Singapore International School Choir was on hand to sing a medley of Christmas carols. One of the choir members, eight-year-old Yip Choi-wan, wrote: 'I wish to see Santa.' Asked about the performance, the Primary Three pupil said it was quite easy to learn Christmas carols. Fellow choir member, Rosslyn Sinclair, a seven-year-old only child, said: 'I wish for a younger sister.' Just below the tree of hope is an OSC box asking for donations. Part of the money raised this year will go to the Post's Homes for Hope project to help victims of the Sichuan earthquake rebuild their homes.