Last night, Selina Tsang Pow Siu-Mei, wife of the chief executive, Franklin Wong Wah-kay, Director of Broadcasting, Reginald Chua, editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, and singer Kary Ng launched Operation Santa Claus (OSC) at Cyberport.
Now in its 22nd year, OSC is an annual charity campaign co-founded by the Post and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK). Proceeds this year will go to 13 local charity organisations to help the elderly, children and young people in crisis, victims of drug abuse, the ill and people with physical or mental disabilities.
The Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service is seeking OSC funding to carry out its Stand by U project, which aims to help children between the ages of six and 12 whose parents are suffering or rehabilitating from mental illness.
'Our project aims to help these families re-enter society and live a more positive life,' said Chan Sau-kam, senior service co-ordinator for the service.
Working with OSC for the fourth year, End Child Sexual Abuse is looking to continue education seminars that teach students to protect themselves. Stella Ho, executive director, said funds raised will be used to support education seminars for upper primary students.
Operation Dawn is seeking funding to provide facilities for rehabilitating drug users to help them integrate with society.
Funding will be used to provide life-guard training and bakery workshops for the men and dance workshops for the women, who will perform at the OSC closing ceremony.
Surinder Punjya, executive director of Nesbitt Centre, an organisation that provides services for English-speaking young people with mental disabilities, said the centre plans to open a coffee shop at St John's Cathedral. The young people will be trained to work there.
The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation is seeking funding for 'The C Word' project, which aims to help young people with cancer by holding a visual arts exhibition under the guidance of performance artist and writer Rae Leung, who suffers from cancer.
Environmental charity WWF is seeking funding for its Marine Detective project, which aims to educate underprivileged youngsters about sustainable development.
The programme will offer 20 half-day tours to the Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre for 600 children and their parents.
'In Hong Kong, less privileged families are somewhat confined to the districts they live in and have little chance to go to the beach and interact with nature,' said Ellen Shek Ching-wan, manager of the WWF Hoi Ha Marine Life Centre.
'I hope this project will let children learn about marine conservation and marine life in Hong Kong. It's a valuable experience for them.'
Little Life Warriors Society aims to promote better communication between child sufferers of cancer and hopes the OSC can fund its Little Life Warriors: Growing Stronger, Going Further project.
'Most of the money will go to the daily operations of the Home of the Little Life Warriors, which is a place for young cancer patients to hang out,' said Dr Shing Ming-kong, the society's honorary chairman.
He added that the home organises recreational and educational activities for children with cancer, such as camps, field trips and tuition classes.
Since its launch in 1988, OSC has raised more than HK$129 million in cash, goods and services for more than 90 local charities. Last year, it raised HK$11 million.
Schools that raise more than HK$5,000 this year will have their school name printed on the OSC Christmas tree, which will be featured weekly in the Young Post. The top fund-raiser will be presented with a certificate and invited to attend the closing ceremony.
‧ Set up school fund-raising events
‧ Think about creative ways to raise funds - walkathons, singathons, sporting events and other competitions
‧ Get your friends to participate in the HK$5 per student campaign
‧ Don't forget to write and tell us what your school is doing
‧ Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
‧ Donate by cheque, payable to SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus, and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, HK
‧ Donate by ATM or at any HSBC branches: a/c number 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus
Official receipts will be issued upon request for donations of HK$100 or more.
Send the completed donation form with the original bank receipt and your name, address and phone number to 2680 8158.
This year's beneficiaries
Baptist Oi Kwan Social Services The group, which offers a range of social services, is seeking funds for Stand by U, a mental health promotion project for children aged six to 12 (above) who have parents suffering from mental illness
End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation The foundation aims to protect youngsters aged under 18 from sexual abuse, and is seeking help for its Sexual Abuse Preventive Programme for Upper Primary School Students
Operation Dawn Hong Kong's first Christian drug treatment and rehabilitation centre is seeking funding for its Skills Training Project, which helps former drug users return to society
Suicide Prevention Services The outreach group, founded in 1995, needs funding for its programme aimed at preventing suicide among the elderly by promoting positive thinking and mental health
Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation The non-profit organisation is seeking funding for its "C Word" project, which reflects the experiences of young adults with cancer
Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Elderly Home The religious organisation runs two homes for the elderly and is seeking help to improve safety and to make day-to-day care of the elderly easier for the helpers, volunteers and staff
WWF HK The independent arm of the WWF global body is seeking funding for its Marine Detective project, which aims to educate underprivileged children and their parents about the ocean
Autism Partnership The organisation, founded in 2007, requires funding to replace worn-out materials and improve facilities at the Autism Partnership School
Families of SMA Charitable Trust Assisting sufferers of spinal muscular atrophy, the trust needs help with its home-based rehabilitation project that provides physiotherapy, occupational therapy and life-saving equipment to patients
Nesbitt Centre The centre provides English-speaking programmes for disabled adults and is seeking funding for a coffee shop social enterprise on the grounds of St John's Cathedral
Po Leung Kuk The social services group, founded in 1878, needs help to buy a 16-seat minibus to transport handicapped children from low-income families (above) to and from the Yuen Long Early Learning Centre
IDEAL The Intellectually Disabled Education and Advocacy League, formed for people with intellectual disabilities, their parents and volunteers in 1989, needs funding for an educational cyber cafe
Little Life Warriors Society The mutual aid organisation needs help to continue assisting young cancer patients (below) and survivors in Hong Kong and to conduct more outreach services on the mainland