Minister Tan Chuan-Jin urges volunteerism among Singaporeans

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin has urged more Singaporeans to volunteer. He said that the act of giving is not just about making a difference to the beneficiaries, but also about learning to appreciate what one has.

He said: “It is really about building a greater Singapore, which isn’t just about (the) economy and the rest of the infrastructure itself, which is also important. But actually it’s about the heart and soul of the nation. And the only platform I can think of is in giving, and not just money and time but, more importantly, investing your lives in the lives of others.”

Mr Tan was speaking on Sunday (Sep 7) at an annual fund-raising event at The Intan, an award-winning Peranakan home museum.

About 100 guests enjoyed an evening of familiar songs performed by young local musicians. It was part of Project Intan, started by businessman Alvin Yapp in 2008 to raise funds for charity.

This year, Mr Yapp adopted the OCBC-TODAY Children’s Fund and he aims to raise S$150,000 for it. So far, the project has raised about S$110,000.

The OCBC-TODAY Children’s Fund was set up in October last year to help children from distressed families rebuild their lives through counselling, mentoring and therapy. It supports programmes offered by the Singapore Children’s Society.

TODAY, a MediaCorp publication, raises awareness of the fund and its programme through stories on the fund and its beneficiaries. OCBC will match S$1 for every S$2 donated by the public.

Mr Yapp said: “If we can make a difference in a child’s life, we are able to make a better society. The children are innocent. In 2008, we started with a very small group, we had to borrow chairs from our neighbours, borrow fans. It’s come to a stage where we have wonderful donors and supporters who have been with us over the last seven years.”

Source: CNA