Share a plate of char kway teow with a friend, and donate money to a good cause – that is how a group of social entrepreneurs hope to raise money for the needy with a project called The Hawker Sessions.
Started late last year, the event aims to bring members of the public together for a good meal at a hawker centre, while raising funds for the less fortunate.
Ms Solonia Teodros, founder of social-enterprise consultancy SolWorks which organises the event with real-estate developer The Bamboo Group, said she was inspired by how many in Singapore spend Friday night unwinding from work over drinks and meals with friends.
But instead of going to more expensive places, the money saved by hanging out at a hawker centre “could be put towards something meaningful, like helping a local family in need,” said Ms Teodros, who hails from the United States and has lived in Singapore for more than a decade.
Participants buy or take their own food to the hawker centre, and drop their donations into collection tins that are passed around during dinner.
They can also take part in a live auction during the event, or donate online afterwards through sggives.org. Past auction items included a villa stay in Phuket and foot massages.
The money goes to elderly patients identified by Tan Tock Seng Hospital as needing help with their medical and health-care expenses.
This year, The Hawker Sessions aims to raise about $5,600 to help with the provision of specific items to three beneficiaries, whose stories will be shared at The Hawker Sessions tonight.
As is the case with previous sessions, the identity of the beneficiaries will be kept anonymous to preserve their privacy. But details of their predicament and needs are shared with potential donors.
Ms Teodros said all the past three Hawker Sessions “exceeded expectations”.
The last session, held in August, raised more than twice the targeted amount of $3,100 from more than 100 attendees.
Interested participants can join in tonight at the fourth Hawker Sessions, which will be held at Maxwell Road Food Market from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
More details can be found on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/TheHawkerSessions