WITH only 42 days to go until Christmas, the push to bring some cheer to the needy during the festive season is in full swing. Charity campaigns include a toy drive by international removals firm Asian Express, and Operation Santa Claus, jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK's Radio 3. The toy drive is Asian Express' first and is being held in an effort to provide gifts for needy children during the holiday season. But the firm urgently needs your help. The company is appealing to the public for more donations because, as of Friday, it had received only 98 responses to the drive. Its goal is to collect enough toys to fill 1,500 boxes. The toys will be donated to the Social Welfare Department and 15 local charities, including the Duchess of Kent Hospital, Oxfam and Playright. The removals company will even provide boxes, delivered to donors' doors, and arrange a pick-up service for residents in selected areas on Hong Kong Island. 'All donors need to do is put any number of toys inside the boxes we deliver. We will collect the boxes and do the rest,' said toy drive chairman Jody Banister. The company has also sent out 16,000 leaflets to residents in Repulse Bay, the Peak, Stanley, Pokfulam and Mid-Levels, encouraging residents to donate new or used toys in good condition. 'We are restricted to scheduled pick-up times,' Ms Banister said. Meanwhile, chefs at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile cooked up what they believed was the longest pastry roll in the world - and then promptly sold pieces to hungry customers for charity. The 418-metre treat, which took four days to make, was baked in aid of Operation Santa Claus. One of the 12 dim sum chefs at the hotel, Leung Shing, 46, who has 28 years' experience in this type of cuisine, said the roll consisted of lotus paste encased in a sweet short-crust pastry. Mr Leung said the pastry was made by mixing the flour, butter, eggs and sugar together. It was rolled out into a rectangular shape about 46 cm long, 2.5 cm wide and 2.5 cm thick. A total of 1,050 pieces were finally made to form the mammoth 545-kilogram golden pastry. Portions were sold at three pieces for $20 with $100,000 expected to be raised for the annual charity drive. Although the pastry may be the longest in the world, the fund-raisers are not prepared to submit it to the New Guinness Book Of Records. 'We are too busy co-ordinating the charity programme this year,' said Sharon Ballack, the director of public relations and advertising at the Holiday Inn Golden Mile. According to the New Guinness Book of Records, the world's largest cake weighed 58.08 tonnes and the longest banana split was 7.32 kilometres . . . but there is no record of the largest or longest pastry in the world. Residents of areas outside Asian Express' specified pick-up points who wish to donate toys can take them to the firm's Tsim Sha Tsui office. For further information call Jody on 893-1000.