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Virtue signalling


Alfrescian (Inf)
SPH is the worst, using its own media to publicise its virtuous work.
They could have done all these quietly without having to publicise them, couldn't they?

SPH among 74 organisations lauded for contributions to social causes​


It is the third year in a row that Singapore Press Holdings has been conferred the Champions of Good award. PHOTO: ST FILE

Goh Yan Han

NOV 19, 2020

SINGAPORE - Media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) was among more than 70 organisations lauded for making a social impact that went beyond corporate social responsibility initiatives.
It is the third year in a row that SPH has been conferred the Champions of Good award.
The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) also gave the award to a total of 74 organisations on Thursday (Nov 19).
In a video posted on Facebook, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said: "All companies hope for good times, but true champions make time for good. If there is a silver lining from this crisis, it is how the pandemic has strengthened our sense of common purpose as a nation and brought out the best from each one of us.
"Many companies have stepped forward during this crisis to support vulnerable members of our society and rallied their staff and stakeholders to support these causes."
SPH chief executive Ng Yat Chung said: "As a socially responsible company, we believe in giving back to the community. We are honoured that SPH has been recognised as a Champion of Good.
"It is a strong affirmation of the impact of our corporate giving and how volunteerism is embedded in our company's culture. I am proud of the work of our staff volunteers, who have rallied good causes and care for the vulnerable in our community."

Champions of Good was launched in 2017 as a national recognition framework under the Company of Good, an arm of the NVPC.
It recognises organisations that are exemplary in doing good and have multiplied the positive impact by engaging their partners and stakeholders in collaborations.

As at 2020, there have been 97 unique recipients of the Champions of Good award.
Some of the 2020 award winners include Barclays, Maybank Singapore, TSMP Law Corporation and Pan Pacific Hotels Group.
NVPC chairman Mildred Tan said: "By looking beyond conventional business goals, these Champions of Good have displayed resilience and adaptability in their fight to overcome the economic downturn and are setting the precedent in robust corporate citizenship for other stakeholders and industry peers to follow."
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Alfrescian (Inf)

SPH Foundation donates $300,000 to support seniors, disadvantaged families, students​


The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation joins other companies that have stepped up their giving in recent months to help the less fortunate. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Clement Yong

JUN 1, 2020

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Foundation is donating $300,000 to the Community Chest to support seniors, disadvantaged families and the disabled, among others, as the coronavirus crisis enters its fifth month since the first case was reported here on Jan 23.
It joins other companies that have stepped up their giving in recent months to help the less fortunate cope with Singapore's worst economic crisis in nearly two decades, even as the country looks forward to a phased reopening from Tuesday (June 2).
The donation is part of SPH Foundation's annual charity giving, which usually takes place around August but has been brought forward this year in recognition of the need for earlier aid amid tougher economic conditions.
Dr Lee Boon Yang, chairman of SPH and SPH Foundation, said the act reflects the company's firm belief in helping the vulnerable.
"Helping the vulnerable is what we firmly believe in during good and challenging times. As the company adapts to the evolving and protracted health and economic crisis, we will not lose sight of those in our community who are hard hit by the situation," he said.
SPH and its publications have made an active effort in recent months to support the community in multiple ways, including through collaborative, multimedia mediums that seek to both spread cheer and raise money.
The Straits Times, SPH's flagship publication, partnered local artists in the "Stay at Home, Singapore" video to raise $205,458 for the ST School Pocket Money Fund and The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, while spreading the stay-home message at a time when doing so was crucial to containing community spread.

In February, SPH's Chinese Media Group raised $300,000 through its two-hour livestreamed show - which featured local singers and celebrities such as Joanna Dong, Jack Neo and Sharon Au - dedicated to healthcare workers at the forefront of the country's medical efforts.
The sum, together with an additional donation of $15,000 by SPH, was then gifted to the Singapore Red Cross for its coronavirus initiatives.

Mr Philip Tan, chairman of the Community Chest, recognised this "wide range of initiatives", and said the latest donation will help social service agencies continue serving the vulnerable at a time when social programmes, as well as fund-raising activities, have been disrupted by Covid-19.


Alfrescian (Inf)

SPH Chinese Media Group raises $100k for Red Cross​

Award-winning songwriter and music producer Eric Ng (with guitar), singing last night with six of his students to show appreciation to front-line medical staff and communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Award-winning songwriter and music producer Eric Ng (with guitar), singing last night with six of his students to show appreciation to front-line medical staff and communities affected by the coronavirus outbreak. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Charmaine Ng

FEB 10, 2020,

More than $100,000 was raised for the Singapore Red Cross by the Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group (CMG) last night to support relief efforts for front-line medical staff and communities in China affected by the coronavirus.
The two-hour live show, telecast from 7pm on Facebook, was hosted by radio deejays from UFM 100.3 and 96.3 Hao FM, as well as a journalist from CMG Newshub.
Local film director Jack Neo and artist Sharon Au made appearances on the show, alongside celebrities Xiang Yun, Tay Ping Hui, Michelle Yim and Lawrence Wong expressing their support in video messages.
The show, which recorded a viewership of more than 150,000, also included performances by singer Joanna Dong, singer-songwriter Hong Junyang, getai celebrity and actress Liu Lingling, trio NEKO Highway, and pioneer xinyao singer Hong Shaoxuan.
Infectious disease specialist Leong Hoe Nam from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital also appeared on the show to answer frequently asked questions on the coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan in China.
Dr Leong provided tips on how to properly wear and dispose of a surgical mask after use.
He urged the public to exercise prudence in using surgical masks, so that there will be enough to go around. "As long as the mask is dry and clean, you can use it beyond just six hours," he said.

He also showed how a dirty surgical mask should be disposed of so that bacteria and viruses trapped by the mask do not infect others.
"Always wash your hands with soap before touching your face, including before taking off your mask," he said.

Ms Lee Huay Leng, head of CMG, said the live show was organised to show appreciation for front-line medical workers.
She added that the money raised will go towards helping front-line medical staff obtain personal protective equipment, among other things.
"Hopefully, Singapore will emerge stronger from this. We would like to thank all those who supported the live show and donated for their generosity."
Those who wish to rewatch the show can do so on the Facebook pages of the various CMG platforms: Zaobao.sg, Lianhe Wanbao, Shin Min Daily News, ThinkChina.sg, U-Weekly, as well as radio stations UFM100.3 and 96.3 Hao FM.


Alfrescian (Inf)

UOB and its commercial clients raise over $500k for charity through CNY fund-raiser​


UOB chief executive Wee Ee Cheong working on his bamboo craftwork as part of the bank's charity fund-raiser. PHOTO: UOB

Ng Keng Gene

FEB 9, 2021

SINGAPORE - UOB and its commercial banking clients raised more than $500,000 through the bank's annual Chinese New Year charity fund-raiser this year, it said on Monday (Feb 8).
The money raised will be channelled towards arts, children and education programmes in Singapore.
More than $250,000 was contributed by over 20 clients who participated in a series of bamboo art workshops, and matched dollar for dollar by the bank up to $250,000.
The bank said bamboo, a resilient and robust plant native to Asia, was chosen as it symbolises "the strength and cohesiveness of local communities in facing and overcoming Covid-19 challenges together".
The bank's clients learnt about traditional bamboo art and its use in furniture-making, and also carved and painted auspicious Chinese greetings on bamboo panels.
Wee Hur Holdings chairman Goh Yeow Lian was among the clients who attended the workshop.
He said: "The inability to hold physical fund-raisers will not stop us from contributing back to the community, especially towards those who are more vulnerable.

"During the session, I was again reminded of our community's committed efforts in facing the pandemic with resilience and unity. I am glad that UOB has presented an opportunity for us to do good this Lunar New Year in a safe, sustainable and meaningful way."
More than half of the $500,000 sum will go towards The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund to support children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds with school-related expenses.
UOB said the funds will enable children and youth to discover and nurture their talent in art as well as to help them through school.
The rest of the funds will go towards supporting education and local small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) innovation under the UOB-Singapore Management University Asian Enterprise Institute.
The bank said the financial support will provide enhanced learning for the institute's students and help local SMEs to strengthen their resiliency and capabilities as they navigate challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic.


Alfrescian (Inf)

UOB distributes 2,000 gifts to children from underprivileged backgrounds​


UOB, together with key partners Dairy Farm Singapore, Grab and Shopee, delivered gift boxes to beneficiaries. PHOTO: UOB

Sue-Ann Tan

DEC 24, 2020

SINGAPORE - Kids from underprivileged backgrounds have been receiving Christmas presents as part of a campaign by UOB to brighten up the festive season.
The scheme involves encouraging bank customers to buy presents from an online gift registry for children cared for by New Life Stories, a non-profit organisation that helps youngsters from vulnerable families, including those from low-income backgrounds and those whose parents are incarcerated.
UOB customers donated $56,200 as part of the 15-day campaign, an amount then dollar-matched by the bank, taking the total to $121,000, which in turn has bought around 2,000 presents.
Retailer Dairy Farm Singapore, tech company Grab and online retailer Shopee were key partners in the initiative.
Dairy Farm Singapore and Shopee provided gift items, ranging from grocery vouchers and family board games to children's books, at a special discount for UOB customers to buy and donate.
Grab provided dollar matching for Grab vouchers bought on the gift registry.
Ms Jacquelyn Tan, UOB's head of group personal financial services said: "It is heartwarming to see the 'kampong' spirit come to life through our 'Gift for Good' campaign.

"We are grateful for the enthusiastic and generous support of our customers, colleagues and partners, which enabled us to make the children's Christmas a little brighter."
Mr Dale Preston, Dairy Farm Group director of customer insights for South-east Asia, said: "In today's challenging environment, it is now more important than ever to think about people who are less fortunate than ourselves."
New Life Stories executive director Saleemah Ismail added: "This year has been an unprecedented year for all of us, especially so for the less advantaged in our community. Many of our children have felt an increased sense of loneliness and isolation during this period which have increased their feelings of abandonment.
"Through this campaign, we hope that the children can enjoy the Christmas gifts of toys, books, and vouchers to lift their spirits and brighten up their year-end festivities."
UOB will also direct funds to the New Life Stories' early reader programme, which provides reading support at home for more than 300 children.
The programme also offers one-on-one counselling for the children to support their mental and emotional development.
This is UOB's third year of supporting the organisation.


Alfrescian (Inf)

SPH volunteers give out fortune bags to elderly residents in Toa Payoh ahead of CNY​


Madam Dass Rose (right) receiving fortune bags and oranges from SPH volunteer Tan Poh Ling and Mr Damien Ow from the SVC and Care Corner Senior Activity Centre, on Feb 9, 2021. ST PHOTO: YONG LI XUAN

Luqmanul Hakim Ismail

FEB 9, 2021

SINGAPORE - Madam Goh Choo Lee, a foster mother of three teenagers, received essential items, hongbao and oranges from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) staff volunteers on Tuesday (Feb 9), ahead of the Chinese New Year festivities.
The 80-year-old said: "The items came at a very good time. I am able to save money this Chinese New Year, as I don't need to buy things like coffee, rice and snacks."
Madam Goh was among 120 needy elderly residents living in the Toa Payoh estate who received the fortune bags, oranges and hongbao on Tuesday.
The bags included items like rice, vermicelli, instant coffee, toiletries, masks and hand sanitisers donated by sponsors and staff of SPH.
This donation drive to benefit the elderly ahead of the festive season is part of "SPH Cares with Bags of Love" - an annual event organised by the Staff Volunteers Club (SVC). The SVC partnered with Care Corner Senior Activity Centre in Toa Payoh this year.
It marks the third consecutive year that SPH has partnered with Care Corner Singapore, a non-profit organisation established in 1981, which provides social services to families in need, youths at risk, lonely seniors, and children from low-income families or with special needs.
Madam Dass Rose, 74, a part-time marketing officer who lives alone, was also a recipient of the fortune bags. She said that groceries can get expensive for her, given her financial situation, and was thankful for this donation of essentials.

Ms Tan Poh Ling, 43, was among 24 volunteers from the SVC who delivered the fortune bags. "I was nervous since this was my first activity with the club. But when I heard one of the elderly say how thankful she was to receive the bags from us, I felt glad and enlightened," she said.
The club started the annual initiative in 2016 with the goal of spreading joy and festive cheer to elderly people facing adversity. Before the circuit breaker last year, the volunteers helped organise a mini Chinese New Year celebration at the Care Corner Centre in Woodlands.
This year, the SVC planned to deliver the fortune bags to the elderly, as it was the safest option amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Chin Soo Fang, head of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility at SPH, said: "2020 was a challenging year for everyone. With the Chinese New Year approaching, we want to spread some festive cheer and uplift the spirits of our elderly friends in Toa Payoh. We hope this event will put a smile on their faces."


High Order Twit / Low SES subject
Throw the peasants a few morsels and make a big song and dance narrative about social responsibility and caring.


Alfrescian (Inf)

About 300 needy households in Limbang get festive packs ahead of CNY​

1 of 2

Each pack contains about $90 worth of food items, largely funded by North West CDC's philanthropic group, Club-100 @ North West and Guardian. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Ang Qing

JAN 22, 2022

SINGAPORE - For the past 10 years, Mr Tan Eng Hwa, 82, has cared for his wife, who uses a wheelchair and has three types of cancer.
Every day, Mr Tan bathes and cooks for Madam Li Geok, 80, and changes her diapers.
"It's my way of paying her back for everything she has done for me, especially since I went astray during the early years of our marriage," he told The Straits Times in Mandarin. "Sometimes life gets very tough, but this is love."
On Saturday (Jan 22), the couple of more than 60 years was among about 300 households living in public rental units in Limbang that received festive packs from the North West Community Development Council, as part of its WeCare @ North West - Service Weeks.
Since 2014, the annual distribution drive by the council and its partners takes place ahead of Chinese New Year. This year, more than 1,200 volunteers from corporate and community agencies participated in the exercise.
Each pack contains about $90 worth of food items, largely funded by North West CDC's philanthropic group, Club-100 @ North West and Guardian.
While receiving the pack that includes vitamins and a 5kg packet of rice, Mr Tan said: "It might be small, but every bit helps."

This year, one of the council's corporate partners, City Development Limited (CDL), has also chipped in with new home improvement items for nine households.
Mr Tan was among the beneficiaries, receiving a rice cooker and a bed to replace the one he picked up from the rubbish dump.
CDL senior vice-president Foo Chui Mui said the real estate development company has a culture of giving back to society and has supported the CDC's efforts in helping vulnerable residents living in the Limbang neighbourhood since 2016.

The enthusiasm shown by its employees to volunteer to distribute the festive packs this year has been overwhelming, she said.
She said: "Within half an hour of putting up the event on our intranet, we had a long list of people on the waiting list."
On Saturday, 33 employees joined the distribution of festive packs to residents in Limbang.
Up to 7,300 households living in public rental units in 14 divisions, including Admiralty, Canberra and Woodgrove, are expected to benefit from the exercise.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, gives a short speech before he and the volunteers distributed the care packs to the beneficiaries. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Joining the distribution exercise on Saturday was Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
He said: "We think it's something very meaningful, particularly during this pandemic when so many residents are going through difficult times.
"So over the past few years, we've been stepping up our efforts, whether it's through grocery distribution or providing financial assistance to needy residents, but it does make a difference when there is a human touch."
Next weekend, which will be the last weekend of the food drive, residents from Woodlands will get to select food items from a pop-up community store.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Washing machine and laptops among items distributed to needy households in North West District​


Adviser to Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Grassroots Organisations (Ulu Pandan) Christopher de Souza (centre) handing out a festive package to residents in a public rental flat in the North West District. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Siti Sarah

JAN 15, 2022

SINGAPORE- Madam Sufillah Pasarebu's daughter needed a laptop for two weeks of home-based learning after the 12-year-old had an eye operation in December last year to treat a degenerative condition.
The eye condition she was born with can lead to vision problems.
However, the 40-year-old housewife had limited funds to purchase a laptop for the older of her two children.
Her husband works as a freelance construction worker and is the sole breadwinner.
To her relief, she received a free new laptop as part of the home improvement programme under the WeCare @ North West - Service Weeks 2022 campaign.
The annual campaign also saw volunteers distribute festive packs to residents.
"Receiving the laptop was a big relief for me. It's also easier for my daughter as she can see things on the bigger screen clearer and better," said Madam Sufillah, whose younger girl is five years old.

Her family was among 68 households in six divisions in the north-west area provided with home improvements.
They reside in Chong Pang, Limbang, Marsiling, Nee Soon South, Sembawang Central and Ulu Pandan.
Mr Mustapha, who lives in Marsiling, had his faulty washing machine replaced with a new one.

The 74-year-old and his wife are unable to work due to their medical conditions and rely on monthly government assistance to get by.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign on Saturday (Jan 15), Mayor of North West District Alex Yam said that the needs of residents, not only in his district but also across Singapore, have evolved.
"Beyond the usual bread and butter assistance that we're used to in the past, such as providing groceries, financial support, those continue to be important but we're finding new areas where residents needs are."
Since its inception in 2014, the campaign run by the North West Community Development Council (CDC) has assisted more than 142,820 residents living in homes under the public rental scheme.
Madam Sufillah's family also received one of the 500 WeCare festive packs distributed to residents of the Ulu Pandan division on Saturday.

Madam Sufillah Pasarebu and her family (from left) Qasah Huzaifah, Qayla Hidayah and Mr Mohd Shahrazad with the items they customised for their festive package. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
The festive packs were distributed by Mr Yam, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Christopher de Souza and 60 corporate volunteers from Bigfoot Logistics, Singapore Airlines and Sunray Woodcraft Construction.
The packs included 12 healthier choice food necessities and three vitamin products donated by Guardian Health & Beauty.
Recipients were able to customise their own packs, either by choosing items via an online form, or by personally selecting them at a Store@Woodlands, a pop-up community store.
Distribution of the packs had started on Jan 14 and will continue to Jan 30.
A total of 7,300 needy households living under the public rental scheme in 14 divisions in the north-west area are slated to receive the packs.
The CDC in a release said seven corporate partners will support vulnerable residents with home improvement items.
They include Bigfoot Logistics, which will be providing 16 families in the Ulu Pandan area with home improvement items and also by helping to install household items.
Group chief executive of Big-Foot Group of Companies Mr Sanny, who goes by one name, said: "Participating in Service Weeks has not only enabled us to make a difference, but also gives us a sense of motivation to continue making meaningful contributions in the community."
Ms Ushalinee Benjamin, a 30-year-old who works for Bigfoot as a senior human resource executive, has been helping with the campaign as a volunteer since 2019.
"It's a good opportunity to learn about the other side of society and how you are blessed enough to be able to give back to the needy," she said.


High Order Twit / Low SES subject
Whatever is gifted will easily be clawed back once higher GST kicks in.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Community Chest giving out over 8,000 festive bags to seniors, families in need​


Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli delivering a fu dai to Tampines resident Vijaya Kumari Suppiah. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Justin Ong
Political Correspondent

JAN 15, 2022

SINGAPORE - Ahead of Chinese New Year on Feb 1, the Community Chest will distribute over 8,100 festive bags to seniors and families in need.
More than 1,150 volunteers helped pack the "fu dai" (fortune bags in Mandarin) from Thursday (Jan 13) to Saturday. Each bag holds food and essential household items.
Into its ninth year, the initiative - co-organised with volunteer group Heartwarmers - was scaled up to distribute nearly 30 per cent more festive bags compared with the 6,700 last year.
"We recognise that while the wider community is adapting to live with Covid-19 in our midst, the struggle to cope amid uncertain times may prove harder for the groups of Singaporeans in need," said Mr Phillip Tan, chairman of the Community Chest - the fund-raising arm of the National Council of Social Service, which coordinates social service agencies in Singapore.
"As we move forward amid these unprecedented times, Community Chest recognises the need to step up its efforts in caring for those in need amongst us," added Mr Tan, who was speaking on Saturday at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
At the event, which marked the official start of when the fortune bags are distributed, he also announced that the Community Chest has raised over $2.8 million through this year's "fu dai" event.
The Community Chest needs over $50 million every year to fund more than 100 social service agencies and 200 programmes, which support over 41,000 individuals including children with special needs and adults with disabilities.

Donors this year include Singapore Exchange, which contributed $350,000, and SPH Foundation and NTUC FairPrice Foundation, which pitched in with $300,000 each.
Long-running partner Standard Chartered Bank also provided about 450 volunteers to help pack and deliver the bags.
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean was the guest of honour at the event.
Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli later led the distribution of festive bags to families in his Tampines constituency.
Also delivering bags to households in their constituencies were: Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in West Coast, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim in Nee Soon, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling in Punggol West, and Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development and Culture, Community and Youth Eric Chua in Tanjong Pagar.
MPs Joan Pereira, Shawn Huang, Ng Ling Ling and Xie Yao Quan were also involved in the distribution effort in their respective constituencies.
Aside from fund raising through the giving.sg platform, the public can also donate to Community Chest through a social media campaign, by posting a heart-shaped hand gesture with the hashtag #ShareJoyWithComChest.
Technology company Xilinx Asia Pacific has pledged to donate $100 to the Community Chest for every photo posted during this campaign, which runs till Feb 28.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Festive treats for 66 children from ST School Pocket Money Fund and Tokio Marine Life Insurance​


STSPMF beneficiaries (from left) Alisha, Humairah and Khalis Itoi with gifts from Tokio Marine Life Insurance representatives Steve Chen (back, left) and Sng Lian Hua. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Kevin Khoe
The Straits Times

DEC 7, 2021, 7:30 PM SGT

SINGAPORE - Sixty-six children who are receiving support from The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) will be getting early Christmas gifts of earphones, speakers and USB drives this week.
The children were also treated to an hour-long virtual clay-modelling class on Dec 1.
The treats were given to them by Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore, in support of STSPMF. The company also contributed $20,000 to the fund.
Ms Huang Yoong Yoong, head of marketing at Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore, said the virtual workshop was meant to encourage the children to stay safe at home and keep them occupied during the school holidays. The children learnt to make festive-themed clay magnets in three different designs - a reindeer, snowman and bear - at the workshop.
The gifts, Ms Huang added, can be used by the children in home-based learning.
"Initiatives like this are more important than ever in these Covid-19-afflicted times. The pandemic situation has brought uncertainty to everyone - especially less privileged families. We want to do our part to spread some festive cheer and let them know that they are not forgotten," she said.
Siblings Alisha Itoi Muhammad Iman, 14, Humairah Itoi Muhammad Iman, 13, and Khalis Itoi Muhammad Iman, nine, were thrilled to receive their presents from Tokio Marine representatives who visited their Hougang flat on Tuesday (Dec 7). The other children will receive their gifts by the end of this week.

"The gifts make this Christmas a special one," said Alisha.
Their mother, Madam Murni Mashul, 56, a housewife, added: "The initiative is a very positive one."


Alfrescian (Inf)
Whatever is gifted will easily be clawed back once higher GST kicks in.

The increase in GST is a golden opportunity for the government, town councils, organisations and businesses to showcase their generosity by dishing out vouchers, goodie bags, hampers, grants, financial aid etc.
Not to be missed.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Ngee Ann Kongsi donates $1m to support needy ITE students with their daily necessities​


Institute of Technical Education chief executive Low Khah Gek (left) receiving the donation from Mr Jamie Teo, vice-president and chairman of Ngee Ann Kongsi's donation and charity sub-committee. PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF TECHNICAL EDUCATION/FACEBOOK

Ng Wei Kai

NOV 24, 2021

SINGAPORE - Underprivileged students at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will receive more financial help through a $1 million donation, Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) announced on Tuesday (Nov 23).
The sum will be distributed over the next five years, starting from 2022, and will benefit about 222 students each year, ITE said.
They will receive a monthly allowance of $150 to help with daily meals, commuting and learning materials.
Applications are open to full-time students in any Nitec or Higher Nitec course whose households have a per capita income of not more than $690, or a combined household income of $2,750 or less.
They must also display good conduct and have a positive attitude towards their studies, ITE said.
ITE and the Teochew social welfare organisation inked the agreement on Tuesday (Nov 23).
Mr Jamie Teo, vice-president and chairman of NAK's donation and charity sub-committee, said the donation is in line with the organisation's efforts to deepen and broaden its support for Singapore's education sector.

He said: "This includes support for more Singaporeans beyond the Teochew community."
This is the third donation NAK has made to ITE, following a similar $1 million donation in 2012 that benefited 450 students.
Since 2018, the top three ITE graduates each year also receive the Ngee Ann Kongsi Gold Medal, which comes with a $6,000 cash award each.
NAK has committed to giving this award till 2027.

Mr Shakthivelan Suvendrum Suppiah, 17, a first-year Higher Nitec student taking a course in cyber and network security, said receiving financial assistance from NAK this year means he does not have to work part-time while studying. He qualified for the programme in October.
He said the money has helped him do "normal things" like getting meals with his friends without having to ask his parents for cash, which is tight in his household. His father works a security guard and his mother is a housewife.
Mr Shakthivelan also plans to set aside about a third of the $150 he receives each month for investment.
He said: "My father just turned 60 and I want to be able to support my parents very soon, so I'm very grateful to NAK and ITE for helping me out like this."


High Order Twit / Low SES subject
"It's a good opportunity to learn about the other side of society and how you are blessed enough to be able to give back to the needy," she said.


How the hell can all these fat fucks be considered to be "needy"??

If there is anything they do need it's slimming course vouchers. https://finestservices.com.sg/halley-body-slimming-clinic/

The last thing on earth they should be provided with is more food especially stuff like kokocrunch with is laden with sugar and will exacerbate the diabetes epidemic which is already rife in the Malay community.


Screen Shot 2022-02-10 at 6.42.40 PM.png


Alfrescian (Inf)
If you have to invite the press and a VIP, you know that the motive is not just altrustic.

Ngee Ann Kongsi's $2.94m donation to IPS over three years​


Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam (centre) was the guest of honour at the cheque presentation ceremony. PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES

Luke Pachymuthu
Senior Correspondent

DEC 8, 2021

SINGAPORE - Low-income families who need some cash to pay the rent, medical bills or school fees can steer clear of illegal moneylenders and borrow from a community lending pilot programme from early next year.
The social policy experiment, which does not give out financial aid nor microloans, is one of several projects to be funded by a $2.94 million donation from non-profit organisation Ngee Ann Kongsi to the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
The initiative, to be launched in 2022, will be administered by the recently established IPS Policy Lab, and will involve the think-tank working with Beyond Social Services and the Yishun branch of the Singapore Children's Society Family Service Centre (FSC).
"The initiative aims to address gaps in current social programmes that affect the everyday Singaporean," said IPS, adding that this was the single largest donation to the think-tank since its founding in 1988.
"While the Government continues to make efforts to support our communities, the IPS Policy Lab seeks to innovate new ideas that are not currently implemented in Singapore."
IPS Policy Lab head Freddy Hong said that the funding for the pilot will be around $100,000.
"This experiment seeks to lend money as a last resort, so that it can tide them (the borrowers) over, and what we want to encourage is they actively seek to repay the loan," he added.

At the same time, his team will gather empirical data to better understand when a borrower is able to repay the loan and when they cannot.
The experiment will run over 1½ years, Mr Hong said.
Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, who was the guest of honour at the cheque presentation ceremony on Tuesday (Dec 7), reaffirmed the importance of IPS' work in policymaking and the role of philanthropic organisations such as Ngee Ann Kongsi.

"It is impossible for Government alone to make sense of all the issues, see all the different perspectives, let alone have all the answers," he said.
Mr Hong said that another IPS Policy Lab experiment in the pipeline is a pilot to help households cut debt, adding that details are still being worked out.
Ngee Ann's donation will be disbursed annually over three years, from 2021 to 2023.
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Besides the loan scheme, the money will also be used to set up the Ngee Ann Kongsi Community Fellowship, where two candidates will be selected each year to implement a community-based participatory research project.
The first two candidates are Mr Lee Unsu and Ms Ng Bee Leng.
Mr Lee, who was most recently a director of eatery Coconut Club, will work with with Beyond Social Services to conduct research and help to establish a worker-owned cooperative called Be Cooperative, aimed at building autonomy and resilience among families from low-income neighbourhoods.
Ms Ng, a veteran social worker and director of community development and corporate support at AMKFSC Community Services, hopes to see Singapore as a society where ground-up solutions are co-created with and by the community.
The donation will also support IPS' flagship conference, Singapore Perspectives.
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IPS said next year's series will explore how Singapore can further actualise the vision to extend beyond the physical and embrace new digitally enabled financial, economic and social spaces.
It added: "Importantly, we will seek to answer the question: How can we continue to succeed as a global city and city-state in the 21st century?"
The money will also allow IPS to run two more The Ngee Ann Kongsi-IPS Citizens' Panel Series.
Since 2017, the think-tank has convened several citizens' panels on topics such as work-life harmony, recycling and diabetes.
The first citizens' panel series next year will focus on improving the mental well-being among youth in Singapore. It will be conducted with student participants from Republic Polytechnic.
Mr Jamie Teo, Ngee Ann Kongsi's vice-president and chairman of the donation and charity sub-committee, said: "We believe that our intended funding will empower IPS with the resources to examine issues and develop solutions that add value to public policy."


Alfrescian (Inf)
The same Fairprice that overstates the weight on its food labelling and attribute it to human error, honest mistake.
Fairprice's "charitable" acts are funded by overcharging Sinkies.

Community food initiative provides fresh produce to 200 low-income families in Marine Terrace​

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Eligible residents collecting groceries at the new Food for Good Community Fridge @ Marine Terrace on Sept 23, 2021. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG


The initiative, by FairPrice Foundation, will provide free fruits, vegetables, milk and meat to low-income families in the area. ST

Malavika Menon

SEP 23, 2021

SINGAPORE - Travelling to a supermarket is a difficult chore for Marine Parade resident Shariffa Abdul Gafoo.
The 70-year-old widow, who lives alone, has a knee condition that affects her mobility and makes it hard for her to commute to her nearest supermarket a few bus stops away. Thanks to a new community food initiative in her estate, she can now pick up groceries a few blocks from her home.
Launched on Thursday (Sept 23), the new FairPrice Food for Good Community Fridge @ Marine Terrace initiative was kick-started by FairPrice Foundation, which sponsored two new chillers and will be providing free fruit, vegetables, milk and meat worth $100,000 to 200 low-income families in the area for a year.
The products will be supplied every week from the FairPrice stores in the area, which include FairPrice Finest @ Katong and FairPrice Finest @ Marine Parade.
Madam Shariffa, who collected fruit and vegetables during the launch event, said: "As I do not have children and my family members live in other estates, it has been difficult for me to travel by myself and bring back heavy bags of groceries. This initiative is helpful because I can get fresh fruit and vegetables close to my home without worrying about the expenses as well."
Under the scheme, fresh produce will be delivered to Block 20 Marine Terrace on Saturdays, and a distribution drive conducted between 2pm and 4pm.
The walls and pillars of the block were adorned with art pieces created by students and teachers from Nanyang Girls' High School. They feature illustrations of fruits and vegetables as well as people bonding over food. These illustrations also offer residents in the area health tips and directions to the community fridges.

The initiative is in line with FairPrice's Food Waste Reduction drive, which aims to minimise waste from unsold but edible food. Under the scheme, all such food from the two FairPrice shops in the area will be donated to the community fridges.
During the distribution drive on Thursday, Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng and FairPrice Group chief executive officer Seah Kian Peng gave out produce to about 90 residents.
Mr Seah noted the impact of the pandemic on low-income families, which has brought about financial challenges that affect their ability to buy groceries.
"With the Food for Good Community Fridge Initiative, FairPrice hopes the weekly food distributions will provide some relief for them and, at the same time, foster the spirit of giving and sharing within our communities," he said.

Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng (left) and FairPrice Group CEO Seah Kian Peng (centre) helping to distribute groceries to residents on Sept 23, 2021. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Dr Tan noted how measures such as the expansion of the progressive wage model to more sectors and the local qualifying salary could give greater support to lower-wage workers in Singapore.
Speaking about the initiative, he said: "We hope that with this, we will continue to raise awareness on the plight of low-income families, in terms of making sure that they have sufficient fresh food.
"With the social support in place, we want to reach out to as many Singaporeans in need as possible."


Alfrescian (Inf)
Joan Pereira wearing cheongsam. Cultural appropriation?

160 lone elderly residents of Henderson-Dawson receive CNY bento sets​


MP Joan Pereira delivers a bento set and other goodies to a resident in Bukit Merah View on Jan 31, 2022. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
John Elijah Gan

JAN 31, 2022

SINGAPORE - Madam Sng Chye Hong, 84, broke into a wide smile as she received a bento set and Chinese New Year (CNY) food items on Monday (Jan 31), the eve of CNY.
The Bukit Merah View resident has lived in the estate for more than 30 years, alone.
She is among the 160 lone elderly residents in Henderson-Dawson division that Henderson-Dawson Citizens' Consultative Committee (CCC) reaches out to every year for a CNY reunion lunch.
For elderly residents like Madam Sng, these community lunches are a happy occasion, as they usually do not have any family members to celebrate CNY with.
On Monday, Ms Joan Pereira, adviser to Tanjong Pagar GRC's Henderson-Dawson Grassroots Organisations (GROs), joined more than 45 volunteers in distributing the bento sets, with safe distancing measures in place.
"We have been holding reunion lunches for the socially isolated elderly for more than 10 years... Despite the current Covid-19 situation, we hope to continue giving them the love and comfort from the Henderson-Dawson community through these lunch sets," she said.
Ms Pereira also highlighted the sustained contributions made by the members of the Henderson-Dawson CCC and volunteers of Henderson-Dawson GROs during this Covid-19 period.

One of them is Madam Leong Moi Heng, 72, who on top of helping to organise this yearly reunion lunch, also cooks and distributes food to her fellow elderly residents weekly.
The vice-chairman of Henderson-Dawson CCC has been living in Bukit Merah View since 1973 and has grown familiar with many of the elderly residents.
"I enjoy cooking and have the time, so this is something I can contribute to this community," said Madam Leong.
She added: "Organising these reunion lunches are some of my most memorable moments... The residents were so happy singing karaoke, watching performances, and having a CNY reunion lunch together with others."


Alfrescian (Inf)
The journalists were instructed by their employer Singapore Press Holdings to cover the event. No ifs and buts.

About 9,300 Singapore households receive gift bags ahead of Chinese New Year​

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Beneficiaries, accompanied by volunteers in red or orange tops, filled their own goodie bags at the North West CDC event. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Beneficiaries choosing from a range of over 50 categories of items at the community minimart on Jan 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Beneficiaries were accompanied by volunteers as they selected their preferred items at the community minimart on Jan 29, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG


Ng Wei Kai

JAN 30, 2022

SINGAPORE - More than 700 people living in Housing Board rental flats received gift bags on Saturday (Jan 29) as part of district-based programmes that will see about 9,300 gift bags distributed ahead of Chinese New Year next week.
In two separate events organised by North West and South West community development councils (CDC), volunteers from various organisations, including Sage Counselling Centre and Select Group, gave out food and other daily essentials to residents.
In Woodlands, residents got to pick and choose 12 items to fill their bags under an event that is a collaboration between the North West CDC and Woodlands grassroots organisations.
The event was held outside Store@Woodlands at Block 852 Woodlands Street 83, where an initiative by the Woodlands branch of the PAP Community Foundation allows residents to pick nine items for free every month.
At the event, residents filled their own goodie bags, choosing from a range of over 50 categories of items, which included cereals, milk powder, and household products such as toilet paper.
Retiree John Lee, 64, who lives in the nearby rental block 806, told The Straits Times in Mandarin that being given such a choice is ideal. Mr Lee, who has lived there with his sister since 2018, said this system helps him get the things he really needs, like vitamin C tablets.
MP Mariam Jaafar, who represents the Woodlands ward in Sembawang GRC and was involved in the establishment of the community minimart project, was at the event.

She told The Straits Times that it is important to give people the dignity of choice.
"Sometimes you get the sense that people feel people (who need assistance with necessities) should just take whatever they are given, but I've never believed that. Being able to choose your things makes you feel a lot better and reduces wastage," she said.
Saturday's event was the last in a series of giveaways across the North West CDC, which saw about 7,300 families receive gift bags.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee, who was speaking at a similar event organised by South West CDC in Boon Lay on Saturday morning, addressed the state of social services surrounding rental flats in Singapore.
He said: "In the future, rental housing will come with the assurance of coordinated social support."
As at 2020, about 52,000 households lived in rental flats under various HDB rental schemes, of which about 50,000 households fell under the Public Rental Scheme.
In Boon Lay, Sage Counselling Centre - which provides counselling services to the elderly - worked with volunteers from various organisations including the CDC and Nanyang Technological University to pack and distribute about 2,000 bags containing items such as rice and surgical masks to residents in one or two-room flats in the area.