SOURCE: South China Morning Post

South China Morning Post

January 20, 2011 23:44 ET

Operation Santa Claus Smashes Fundraising Target With a $13.37m Haul

HONG KONG--(Marketwire - January 20, 2011) - Bells were ringing and joy abounded today as the South China Morning Post and RTHK announced the $13,372,928 booty that was raised by their annual Operation Santa Claus charity fundraiser.

Now in its 23rd year, Operation Santa Claus (OSC) has raised over HK$150 million to support over 100 different charities in Hong Kong since its inception in 1988.

The latest fundraising total was announced during a Closing Ceremony lunch for beneficiaries and donors. At the ceremony, broadcast live on RTHK, The Secretary for Justice, the Hon. Wong Yan-lung and the wife of the Chief Executive, Selina Tsang, Honorary Patron of Operation Santa Claus, delivered the final announcement of the sum raised.

Congratulating those that made the campaign a great success, the justice minister said, "There are two things that Operation Santa Claus reminds me of. The first is operation, because it means action, not just talk. Secondly, in the early nineties, I was a volunteer among homeless people in the Kowloon area. At that time, a charity that motivated me... also bore the name 'operation,' an organization that helped children with facial deformities."

With an original target of HK$10.6 million to support 14 charities and 2 social enterprises projects, the campaign launched on 16th November 2010 with prominent daily coverage in the South China Morning Post and RTHK to give the charities a valuable forum to raise awareness of -- and funds for -- their meaningful community initiatives.

Winning the award for the top corporate fund-raiser was Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with a total of HK$1.73m. In all, 88 corporations, 36 schools, 15 clubs and associations and thousands of individuals took part in this year's fundraising efforts for Operation Santa Claus. 

The participating schools ranged from kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools and colleges to universities. Over half a million dollars was raised and received from this channel alone. Project Director Ms. Deon Lai commented, "It's a vital channel for us, but most importantly, youngsters are getting actively involved in fundraising and thinking selflessly about others; using their creativity and teamwork to organize various events including charity walks, casual wear day, famine camp, sing-a-thons, etc."

Ms. Lai continues: "In 2010, we developed a new initiative, called the 'OSC University Ambassador Programme' with the aim of mobilizing 16 ambassador students from 8 local universities to design their own fundraising initiatives. We also involved them in our corporate donor events so that they had a chance to learn from and gain valuable exposure to professional institutions."

Director of Marketing for South China Morning Post, Ms. Anne Wong, said, "Operation Santa Claus is close to the hearts of our readers. Every year, during the festive season, long term supporters of the charity and new groups get together and brainstorm new and fun ways to raise money to support those less fortunate than they are. We see an amazing rally of support from companies and individuals. That's why we call it 'The Heart of a Hong Kong Christmas' -- because Hong Kong people show they have an incredible heart when it comes to raising money for Operation Santa Claus."

About South China Morning Post
SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) is a leading newspaper and magazine publisher in Asia. Its flagship publication, South China Morning Post, is Hong Kong's world renowned English language newspaper and has the city's most affluent and influential readership. First published in 1903, the newspaper has developed an enviable reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. Available in print, iPad and online through scmp.com and e-reader editions, South China Morning Post reaches a global audience with daily breaking news, insightful analysis and opinion, multimedia articles and interactive forums. Striving to maintain the highest standards among the world's quality newspapers, the South China Morning Post receives constant international recognition. It received 60 awards in 2010 for excellence in editorial, marketing and technical capability. Other publication titles of the Group include the Sunday Morning Post, the Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar and CosmoGirl! magazines. For more information, please visit us at www.scmp.com