He wants to help peo­ple give lo­cally

The New Paper - - NEWS - KOK YUFENG

Good­will am­bas­sador helps Sin­ga­pore Red Cross raise $500,000

Since be­com­ing a good­will am­bas­sador for the Sin­ga­pore Red Cross (SRC) this year, sea­soned fund-raiser Richard Giam, 44, has been putting his ex­per­tise to good use.

The founder of fund-rais­ing ad­vi­sory firm Rain­mak­erz, who has more than a decade of ex­pe­ri­ence rais­ing funds and man­ag­ing do­na­tion pro­grammes, has helped the SRC raise over half a mil­lion dol­lars in do­na­tions so far.

Mr Giam joined the cause af­ter a meet­ing with the SRC chief ex­ec­u­tive Ben­jamin Wil­liam and a visit to the Red Cross Home for the Dis­abled (RCHD) in Jan­uary.

He told The New Pa­per: “When I was ap­proached by SRC and I got to know its pro­grammes and ser­vices more, I was con­vinced about the good work it was do­ing.”

Mr Giam said the visit to the RCHD, which houses about 200 se­verely dis­abled res­i­dents, moved him.

He said: “Most of the res­i­dents could not speak be­cause of mul­ti­ple dis­abil­i­ties... When I saw them, I felt that we are so much more for­tu­nate.”

To help raise funds for the RCHD, a group of ex-Na­tional Po­lice Cadet Corp cadet in­spec­tors will be or­gan­is­ing a char­ity walk on Nov 17.

Called Project Blue Star, the 5.3km walk will start and end at the RCHD in Lengkok Bahru.

It hopes to get 150 par­tic­i­pants and aims to raise $100,000.

Mr Giam said that in the past, he had al­ways thought that the SRC’s main goal was to help with over­seas hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts, which is a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion.

He added: “Peo­ple don’t re­ally know the Red Cross’ lo­cal pro­grammes, so the giv­ing was not strong. I felt that this was a gap I wanted to go in and fill.”

Be­ing the son of hawk­ers and one of five chil­dren, Mr Giam said he un­der­stood what it was like to come from a hum­ble back­ground.

When he was younger, he helped out at his par­ents’ zi char stall ev­ery day and paid his own way through univer­sity.

Mr Giam said: “I know that ev­ery dol­lar counts. Ev­ery gift and ev­ery (bit of) sup­port helps. That is why I feel pas­sion­ate about do­ing this.”

He has also do­nated about $10,000 to the SRC, in­clud­ing the pro­ceeds from a book he pub­lished last month.

Ti­tled Fundrais­ing Among The Gi­ants, the book doc­u­ments his thoughts and ex­pe­ri­ences rais­ing funds from high net worth in­di­vid­u­als.

Mr Giam said: “I want to share with peo­ple how I do fund-rais­ing be­cause at the end of the day, I want the char­ity sec­tor and the fund-rais­ing sec­tor to ben­e­fit from this.”

yufengk@sph.com.sg

TNP PHOTO: TI­MOTHY DAVID

Mr Richard Giam do­nated about $10,000 to the Sin­ga­pore Red Cross, in­clud­ing pro­ceeds from a book he pub­lished last month.

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