Operation Santa Claus

Operation Santa Claus raises more than HK$15 million for charities

The donation drive wraps up looking back at 30 years of giving, collecting more than HK$260 million for more than 250 groups since its beginning

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 9:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 January, 2018, 11:33pm

More than HK$15 million was raised for the needy in the 30th instalment of Operation Santa Claus, the annual fundraiser jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and government broadcaster RTHK.

Reaching out to 14 charities in Hong Kong, including groups that offer support for at-risk students and the elderly, the annual campaign culminated in the festive closing gala in Central on Tuesday night.

This came after around 80 fundraising events were held across the city under the theme of “changing lives for good” throughout a 65-day period from mid-November 2017 to mid-January 2018, collecting HK$15,154,186 (US$1.94 million).

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The charity drive raised HK$16 million for 23 charities in the previous instalment.

Revellers including representatives of donors and beneficiaries celebrated Operation Santa Claus 2017 amid performances by a team of opera singers led by tenor Tomos Griffiths at the campaign’s closing ceremony. Operation Santa Claus 2017 Ambassador Gin Lee filled the occasion with warmth by singing You’ve Got a Friend.

Leung Ka-Wing, head of broadcasting at RTHK, described the charity campaign as a “home-grown success story”. “Over the last three decades, we have raised more than HK$260 million to support more than 250 charities,” he said. “Thousands of lives have been improved as a result.”

Gary Liu, CEO of the Post, said: “I’m inspired by the city, by the passion that you guys all have to serve the needy.”

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Donors commended for their generous contributions included Morgan Stanley, which donated HK$3.5 million to become the top corporate fundraiser, and UBS, which raised HK$2.2 million.

The Discovery Mind earned the accolade of top school fundraiser by raising HK$110,000.

The “Most Creative Fundraiser Award” went to law firm Clifford Chance, which organised the annual staff charity quiz “1920s Jazz Age”, raising HK$150,000.

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The International College Hong Kong was presented with the “Most Creative School” award for its efforts in organising charitable activities, including a Christmas funfair.

Operation Santa Claus supported NGOs working in the areas of children and youth, community, elderly, and medical issues.

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Among the organisations benefiting are the KELY Support Group, which works to ensure at-risk young Hong Kong people stay away from drugs, Rehabaid Society, which provides rehabilitation services for the elderly and disabled, and the Playright Children’s Play Association, which provides child-centred play services for hospitalised children.