For the 30th anniversary of Operation Santa Claus (OSC), the annual charity campaign co-organised by South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong, a new initiative was set up specifically for secondary school students. Fun4Funds Challenge asks participants to plan and execute a four-week-long fundraising campaign, and compete against other schools to see which raises the most money.
Last month, students from 10 local secondary schools pitched their ideas at RTHK.Young Post spoke to three of the teams about their campaign and their progress so far.
Tin Ka Ping Secondary School’s Team, 4D Style, wants to support underprivileged children in the city. Their fundraising target is HK$6,000.
Tracy Lau Sin-yau, 15, said her involvement has helped her gain a new set of skills. “Since we want to help as many people as we can, I learned the importance of being proactive. During our introductory presentation, we gained experience of presenting to a large audience,” said Tracy, adding “We were surprised the judges liked our pitch.”
Successor, another team from Tin Ka Ping, have set their sights on a HK$10,000 goal. Like Team 4D Style, they also want to help Hong Kong’s underprivileged children.
“We understand what is essential when children are growing up. Family support is really important. Without it, children feel lonely and lack self-esteem, so, we want to help children get the support they deserve,” said Christine Yuen Siu-ching, 16.
Each team has come up with inventive ways of raising money – from Christmas carols and food stalls to raffle tickets and Christmas cards.
STFA Tam Pak Yu College’s Team, Beauties and the Beasts, wanted their campaign to feature new and exciting ideas.
“As well as traditional events, we have a video competition where teachers have to dress up in costumes and sing. We also have a DIY stall, where [people] can make their own bracelets,” said team leader, Martin Lam-fung, 16.
The team wants to raise HK$10,000 to help homeless dogs in the city, and are on the way to reaching their target having already raised an impressive HK$2,000.
Martin said that it was difficult getting his schoolmates excited about the event.
“They haven’t participated as much as we would have liked,” he admitted.
“We want to promote the event even more. We plan to announce during morning assemblies that there will be prize giveaways for those who donate or take part in activities, so that our schoolmates can be more involved,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kowloon True Light School’s Team, Alien Cause, wants the money they raise to go towards charities which support survivors of assault. The team spoke of the importance of being unique.
“You need to give people an incentive to donate and help out. Your campaign needs to be interesting so that it stands out from the crowd. It’s good to engage with people on social media,” said Kris Li, 16, the team’s leader. She also admitted that “having so much to do in so little time is especially challenging”.
Despite their challenges, the students all said they would take part again. As well as gaining valuable skills, having positive impact on people is gratifying.
“It’s great to know that we can help Hong Kong’s communities,” said 15-year-old Polly Ho Wing-yan of Team 4D Style.
“I’ve also made new friends and challenged myself to try something different.”
For more information on how you can help, visit the Operation Santa Claus website.