Operation Santa Claus

Laughter is the best medicine as doctors and staff at Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital raise HK$1 million in charity drive

  • Medical staff don aprons to try their hand at tortilla challenge, among other fun and games to mark end of month-long campaign
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 10:02am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 3:43pm

More than 2,000 doctors, nurses and medical staff took part in a month-long campaign at the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital in Happy Valley, raising over HK$1 million for charity and proving that laughter is still the best medicine.

The drive is an annual event under Operation Santa Claus, the fundraiser jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.

On December 17, the campaign ended with a Christmas party as participants gathered for festive cheer and to mark the end of their fundraising efforts.

The celebration, staged at their workplace, featured game booths, a charity sale, a buffet lunch and various competitions.

One of the most popular contests was the tortilla tournament, with the theme “super chef with love”.

Five contestants, who had been sponsored by colleagues and friends to show off their flair for cooking, wore aprons and rolled up their sleeves to make the dish.

They topped pancakes with different ingredients and “secret” sauces while sharing their culinary experiences with spectators.

[Participants] served up not only a delicious dish but also a large helping of happiness
Dr Joseph Chan

Manbo Man Bo-lin, director of nursing services at the hospital, walked away with the most creative and best taste award.

“I don’t cook so often,” she said. “I made tortillas specially for this competition.” She added of her winning recipe: “It should be made with fresh ingredients. And it would be great to have more greens as fillings.”

Dr Ava Kwong Hoi-wai, who won a commendation for bringing in the largest donation, said the competition gave her an opportunity to also try her hand at making the dish for her daughter.

The hospital’s deputy medical superintendent, Dr Joseph Chan Woon-tong, said contenders and other colleagues enjoyed the contest.

“[Participants] served up not only a delicious dish but also a large helping of happiness,” he said.

In addition to the party, the hospital organised a month-long workout marathon for staff under the theme “let’s move one minute for charity”, starting in November. Funds were raised for every minute of exercise done.

“We encourage colleagues to do some exercise after work for their health while supporting a worthy cause,” Chan said.

“It’s important that everyone can play a part in the campaign.”

How you can give:

Donate online by credit card at

Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd Operation Santa Claus)

Donate with a cheque payable to “SCMP Charities Ltd – Operation Santa Claus” and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, South China Morning Post, 19/F, Tower One, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay

Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call +852 2680 8159 or email [email protected] with any inquiries, or visit us online