Covid-19 has decimated the 2020 events calendar – or the number of participants in those that have not been postponed or cancelled. The Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament and the Oxfam Trailwalker are iconic casualties. Operation Santa Claus (OSC) may be low profile by comparison. But it speaks volumes for the generosity amid adversity that sets Hong Kong apart that this annual themed charity is stepping up to the mark once again – pandemic or no pandemic. Under the banner “Caring Community, Caring Christmas”, 19 charities and groups stand to benefit from the 33rd annual OSC co-organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK. They are a snapshot of the often overlooked needy and challenged in our community. They range from a charity to help members of ethnic minority groups trapped in debt, to the underprivileged elderly with sight problems to youngsters with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A time of economic hardship may not seem the right occasion to appeal for donations, but anyone discouraged by that does not really know Hong Kong. In the past, it has been during hard times such as these that contributors to OSC have confounded expectations by being very generous. That is a heartening thought now. The economic impact of Covid-19 has been uneven, with some people better cushioned and others bearing direct hardship. Sadly, many of the grass roots and underprivileged of society have been the worst affected. Charities that come to their aid have also faced difficulties. For PathFinders, which supports vulnerable children born to migrant mothers, OSC is a lifeline because it had to cancel its own fundraising day due to social-distancing restrictions. Catherine Dannaoui, of HandsOn Hong Kong, which helps deliver meal packages to the needy, said 2020 had been “incredibly challenging”. Some fundraising has been moved online, with a number of corporate donors holding virtual events. In raising HK$316 million for more than 287 charitable projects since 1988, OSC has overcome many obstacles. The 33rd campaign promises to be no exception.