“I am very happy. I seldom have the chance to take part in an activity like this,” said 10-year-old workshop-participant Charlotte Law Ho-ching, communicating with the Post with the help of hearing aids and a sign-language interpreter from SLCO.
“It’s fun,” said the girl with a radiant smile on her face and festive reindeer-antler decorations on her head. “We all laughed when a schoolmate put icing on his face.”
The workshop was supported by 18 volunteers, cheerily clad in Santa Claus hats, from Nina Hospitality, including three pastry chefs.
One of them demonstrated how to make a cupcake while the sign-language interpreter translated his verbal instructions.
Each child was helped by one volunteer and they communicated by speech and simple signs, as the youngsters were equipped with hearing aids and backed by the interpreter and four SLCO-arranged teachers for the deaf.
At the end of the workshop, the hotel served a Christmas lunch to the children and gave each of them a box of palmiers from the hotel’s patisserie to take home.
This is the eighth year Nina Hospitality has supported OSC.
“We look at Operation Santa Claus as an essential part of us giving back to the community,” said Simon Manning, Nina Hospitality’s managing director and one of the volunteers.
“We are delighted to help the community and give back to the community by helping children.
“We believe that it’s an essential activity for companies throughout the community to give back in a meaningful way. So for us being a hotel group, meaningful is bringing people into our hotel to have some fun and celebrate, and then do an activity.
“We can see that they are all enjoying it.”
Manning said Nina Hospitality put a premium on community involvement and volunteering in line with the values of its parent Chinachem Group, which also backed OSC.
“We encourage all our employees to volunteer in a number of causes. We offered all our employees the opportunity to come and help, and we are completely oversubscribed today. We asked for 16 volunteers and we had over 30 [applicants],” he said.
“It’s very good for our employees to know that their job is not just about working but also giving back to the community at the same time.”
That struck a chord with volunteer Kylie Ng, the company’s group marketing communications manager.
“I feel a sense of satisfaction seeing the children enjoying themselves,” she said.
“Giving and sharing is important. It makes the world a better place. I feel fortunate having a chance to help with meaningful events like this. It makes my life more meaningful.”
Nina Hospitality worked with OSC and SLCO to run a similar workshop in Nina Hotel Island South for another group of deaf children on December 9.