Operation Santa Claus brings more charity cheer at time for giving
Annual campaign shows there are deserving Hong Kong causes that remain in need, and the public is keen to give both in terms of money and time
This city has an enviable reputation for charitable redistribution, with Jockey Club surpluses from its legal gambling monopoly funding billions in contributions each year to worthy causes. So it may seem there must be few deserving causes that remain in need, and Hongkongers need no excuse for keeping their hands in their pockets and their time to themselves.
Far from it, as we have been reminded once again by the result of the 30th Operation Santa Claus (OSC), the annual charity fundraiser organised by the Post and the government broadcaster RTHK which concluded this week.
Hongkongers rose to the occasion again. The HK$15,154,186 raised in two months from mid-November to mid-January brought the cumulative total raised by Operation Santa Claus to more than HK$260 million for a total of more than 250 charities, or an average of a million dollars-plus each. Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing was not exaggerating when he announced that OSC has improved thousands of lives.
The campaign supports NGOs across the spectrum of society, working in the areas of children and youth affairs, community, elderly and medicine. Under the theme of “changing lives for good”, about 80 fundraising events across the city enabled the campaign to reach out to 14 charities, including groups that support students seen at risk of being led astray by drugs, and rehabilitation services for the elderly and disabled.
Representatives of donors, which include corporations and schools, and beneficiaries celebrated the achievement at a gala closing ceremony in Central.
OSC harnesses the meaning of Christmas to bring the community together in a spirit of giving, regardless of faith or celebration of the religious event.
It is a reminder that it is a time for thinking of others, not only the less fortunate, but also those more fortunate who give unselfishly to help those in need. In that respect, what also sets it apart is that it nurtures the cultural diversity of our community, one of its strengths, with support for NGOs that represent ethnic minorities.