Operation Santa Claus

AIA Group employees put their best foot forward for charity

  • About 120 staff run a total of 800km to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2018, 10:02am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 December, 2018, 10:02am

AIA Group staff ran a cumulative 800km to raise funds for a good cause last Friday, with proceeds going to the Operation Santa Claus charity drive, jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and government broadcaster RTHK.

About 120 employees from the Asia-based insurance company descended on the Happy Valley Racecourse in sneakers and sportswear for the group’s sixth annual run – the event’s largest turnout yet.

Armed with sponsorship pledges, which would be matched by AIA, they aimed to raise HK$200,000 (US$25,560) to benefit 13 Hong Kong charities.

“The real benefit is when you see and hear the stories about how [this contribution] really does give people a better life,” said Garth Jones, AIA Group chief financial officer, recalling how past years’ donations had helped those in need in Hong Kong. “That is really meaningful.”

Christmas market kicks off, raising funds for Operation Santa Claus drive

For participants, the event was also a way to come together over a core part of the company culture.

“Our company is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle, so it’s good to come out here and get together with people from all the different departments and do something active,” said Cheung Wai-Ching from the risk management department, who planned to run seven or eight 1.38km laps.

Jones said he hoped the number of employees taking part would continue to grow, generating more sponsorship for Operation Santa Claus. The project has raised more than HK$275 million (US$35 million) for local charities over the past 30 years.

“It’s easy to give money, but what actually shows your real commitment is when you give your time, because it is so precious these days.” he said. “I’m really proud that we have so many people at AIA coming down to do this. It really shows what’s important to them.”