Father Christmas’ appearance at Think International School in Hong Kong helps raise HK$30,000 for Operation Santa Claus

  • ‘We’re a small school with a big heart,’ says head of primary on school’s fundraising efforts
  • Think International School has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Operation Santa Claus over the years
Joyce Yip |

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Santa with Robert Burns (back right), Think International School’s head of primary, and pupils. Photo: Edmond So

Father Christmas made a special appearance at Think International School in Hong Kong last month to pose for photographs with students and raise money for a seasonal charity drive.

The photo op at the Kowloon Tong school was in support of Operation Santa Claus – an annual initiative held by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK since 1988.

Families of the students were also welcomed to join the after-school December shoot, with Father Christmas and pupils decked out in festive garb.

Robert Burns, Think International School’s head of primary. Photo: Edmond So

A partner for 12 years, the school has raised a total of more than HK$30,000 (US$3,850) for the charity, which supported 18 beneficiaries in 2021.

Though the pandemic has suspended traditional group activities such as watching movies at the cinema and staging plays at the nearby Caritas Community Hall, the school still retained its Christmas cheer with a musical production via Zoom and a day of festive-themed games. During the school suspension in 2020, the faculty hand-delivered gifts to all 170 students’ homes.

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Robert Burns, Think International School’s head of primary, was pleased to see good causes being supported again after the pandemic-related school suspensions in 2020.

“We understand the importance of local charities and to help people in Hong Kong,” he said. “Charity is a big part of our curriculum ... We actually market ourselves ‘hashtag a caring school’. We’re a small community school, a small school with a big heart.”

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The school, which teaches children aged three to 12, runs volunteer programmes across the year, often complemented by specific charity fundraising events.

These include a beach clean-up for Plastic Free Seas, a local environmental charity.

Late last year, the school also took part in Box of Hope, an annual project providing useful educational gifts to underprivileged children, by donating stationery, toys and toiletries.

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