Operation Santa Claus

More than 500 children, parents and teachers walk 4km in charity trek for Operation Santa Claus

Bake sale and a juggling act were also part of the festivities held by Discovery Mind Kindergarten

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 December, 2017, 6:24pm

More than 500 children, parents and teachers in Hong Kong turned Discovery Bay beach into a sea of festive red as they donned the colour for an annual 4km charity walk last month.

The participants were from a primary school and play centres under Discovery Mind Kindergarten. They were out in force to launch the 12th annual walk, held by the school, to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus, a charity campaign organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

Over 11 years, the school has raised a total of more than HK$1.4 million for the annual drive, winning the Top School Fund Raiser award for nine consecutive years. The amount for this year’s event is not confirmed yet as donations are still coming in, according to organisers.

Cheryl Woo, a parent who had taken part in the walk before, said she explained to her children what the effort was about.

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“I’ve told them that it’s not just a group walk to have fun because every step you take can help raise funds for those who are less fortunate, and I’ll encourage them to walk as much as they can,” she said.

Marching along for the second time was Daniela Righetto with her daughter Naima.

“We always want to make sure children are aware that there are people more in need than them,” she said. “So it’s important that they always join anything that has to do with charity or supporting others.”

First-timer Alex Francis said it was a great gathering for children. “I want them to know that doing things for other people matters, and that it’s a good thing to care and be responsible for others,” the parent said.

The walk, which took less than an hour to complete, ended at Siena Park where the children and other participants, all sporting red T-shirts in the spirit of Christmas, were greeted by a juggler who performed a show to mark the end of the charity trek.

Jane Wilson, head of the international section at Discovery Mind, said the walk was a success and the turnout this time was larger than last year’s.

“It is for a really good cause,” she said. “It doesn’t take up a lot of time and because of the generosity of Discovery Mind families, we have raised a lot of money in a short and enjoyable period.”

Wilson added that the feedback from families after the walk had been very positive and she believed that was why the event remained popular.

She said that although some children were still too young to understand the purpose of the walk, she was confident they would learn and have a better understanding of it in time.

“The importance of helping others, doing something that will be beneficial to others and to promote social awareness through a fun activity is what we hope the children will understand,” she said.

The school also held a bake sale at the park on the same day to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus.