Seven-year-old Jimmy Fung Yu-pan gently touches flowers he has just picked, arranging them so they look perfect. “I was looking for the pretty ones,” he says, explaining the process of putting together a small bouquet, and clarifying he was eyeing “the ones with bright colours, especially yellow and orange”. Asked where he might put his new plant when he got home, the child answers eagerly “the bathroom”, because that is where his mother keeps all her plants. “It’s the room with the most natural sunlight!” she quickly chimes in. Jimmy is one of several children from the Hong Kong Children in Need Foundation, along with their families, who were invited to the Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel earlier this month for a Christmas workshop. The event was organised maintaining social-distancing regulations brought in by authorities amid the pandemic. It was part of a collaboration between Operation Santa Claus (OSC) and Sino Hotel Group, which runs the beachside facility. OSC is an annual fundraising event co-organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK since 1988. There are 19 beneficiaries for this year’s edition, including the Hong Kong Children in Need Foundation. The foundation, established in 2019, offers children aged three to 12 from underprivileged families exposure beyond the classroom. It also runs parent-based workshops to help them navigate the challenges of raising children. Morgan Stanley sets record by raising HK$5 million for Operation Santa Claus The children were first invited to roam around the hotel’s Butterflies and Herbs Garden to pick flowers and plants, which they could then arrange into a small hamper. After that, they made their way over to the Gold Coast Farm – an organic estate on the hotel’s premises – where staff gave them a tour of all the fruits and vegetables available. The families left with plump eggplants in tow. Santa Claus also made an appearance, allowing photo opportunities for parents. Finally, the families were presented with buffet vouchers for Cafe Lagoon by the hotel’s general manager Robert Hon Pang-ching, who invited them to dine there once it was safe again to do so. “Gold Coast Hotel has always believed in green living, which is reflected in many aspects of our hotel,” Hon said. “This is why we wanted to continue this message of ‘connecting with nature’ during Christmas.” Credit Suisse takes on the mantle of charity in year of hardship He added that charity work was particularly important this year amid Covid-19, and hoped the families taking part in the event would welcome the relief of spending time outdoors after being cooped up at home due to the pandemic. For more than a decade, apart from making monetary contributions, Sino Hotel has also been inviting dozens of children to Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel for parties and events such as gingerbread-making workshops. Hon said it was unfortunate these activities could not be carried out this year due to the social-distancing measures, but looked forward to organising similar events when things could return to normal.