Awards for those who of­fer time and skills

Com­mu­nity Chest move from next year seeks to en­cour­age peo­ple to give more holis­ti­cally

The Straits Times - - HOME - Charissa Yong

For more than 30 years, Ms Su­san Ng has been an em­cee at Com­mu­nity Chest events – with­out be­ing paid.

The vet­eran pre­sen­ter first de­cided to help out af­ter she was in­tro­duced to the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 1984, in the course of her work.

“I be­lieve that you should give what you are able to give. If you have a tal­ent in some area, then the tal­ent is what you should do­nate,” said the 60-year-old, who works at Me­di­a­corp.

“The thought of charg­ing for my ser­vices never crossed my mind.”

More peo­ple like Ms Ng will soon be of­fi­cially recog­nised by the Com­mu­nity Chest, which raises funds for Sin­ga­pore’s so­cial ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions. From next year, it will give its an­nual awards to in­di­vid­u­als and groups that em­brace in­clu­sive em­ploy­ment prac­tices, and who con­trib­ute their time and skills to ben­e­fit the dis­ad­van­taged.

The move is meant to en­cour­age peo­ple to give more holis­ti­cally, do­nat­ing their time and skills in­stead of just their money.

“As the needs of our so­ci­ety evolve, we need to look at how money, time and op­por­tu­ni­ties can be given more mean­ing­fully and holis­ti­cally,” said Com­mu­nity Chest chair­man Phillip Tan yes­ter­day.

“The awards will not only be pre­sented to or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als based on mone­tary con­tri­bu­tions, but also to recog­nise ex­em­plary and holis­tic car­ing ef­forts by our part­ners,” he added.

He made the an­nounce­ment at the an­nual Com­mu­nity Chest Awards cer­e­mony held at the Is­tana.

A to­tal of 406 awards were pre­sented out to top donors, who gave close to $35 mil­lion in the 2016 fi­nan­cial year.

Pres­i­dent Hal­imah Ya­cob and Se­nior Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for So­cial and Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment Faishal Ibrahim pre­sented the top 56 awards at the cer­e­mony.

The Pres­i­dent is the pa­tron-in- chief of the Na­tional Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vice, which the Com­mu­nity Chest comes un­der.

Mr Tan also said the move is in line with the SG Cares na­tional vol­un­teerism move­ment, which aims to bring Sin­ga­pore­ans to­gether to help vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies.

The Com­mu­nity Chest has suc­cess­fully matched vol­un­teers from com­pa­nies and ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions with so­cial ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions through SG Cares, he said.

“This has en­cour­aged vol­un­teers to give their time mean­ing­fully on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, and en­sured that the sup­port they pro­vide to the so­cial ser­vice or­gan­i­sa­tions is sus­tained,” he added.

In an ear­lier cer­e­mony yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Min­is­ter for So­cial and Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment Des­mond Lee said the Com­mu­nity Chest was an im­por­tant av­enue through which peo­ple can give their time, tal­ents and re­sources to im­prove the lives of those around them.

He added: “Giv­ing can come in a va­ri­ety of forms”.

ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Pres­i­dent Hal­imah Ya­cob meet­ing mem­bers of the MINDS Lee Kong Chian Gar­dens School choir be­fore their per­for­mance at the Com­mu­nity Chest Awards cer­e­mony at the Is­tana yes­ter­day. She is the pa­tron-in-chief of the Na­tional Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vice, which the Com­mu­nity Chest comes un­der.

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