BB gift project needs more volunteer drivers

BB gift project needs more volunteer drivers

One of Singapore’s biggest and oldest year-end charity projects is facing a dire shortage of volunteers for the festive season.

The Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift (BBSG) project hopes to deliver 7,400 food hampers to the homes of beneficiaries this year – but there are not enough volunteer drivers to get them to the needy on time before Christmas.

While 182 drivers with cars have delivered hampers to close to 1,500 addresses, 318 more are needed in order to deliver the rest.

The annual Christmas charity project, now in its 28th year, collects and distributes donated food to disadvantaged individuals.

The public can also buy presents for beneficiaries who have listed specific items on their Christmas wish list, such as schoolbags and ovens.

Mr Deon Lim, 35, who is self-employed, has been volunteering with the BBSG project for the past six years. He will deliver hampers to the homes of the needy on Dec 20 with a group of 10 to 20 friends from 8am to late at night.

“It is very meaningful to be giving donations to the beneficiaries themselves directly,” he said. “They told us how much they appreciated being able to have something for the festive season, especially when they usually can’t afford to buy anything.”

BBSG hopes to help 40,551 beneficiaries this year, including a record 5,445 elderly people.

Companies including Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) have come on board to help fulfil the Christmas wishes of beneficiaries.

Yesterday, 40 SPH employees organised a Christmas party for more than 200 beneficiaries and their caregivers from the Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association (Care Singapore).

Children and teenagers enjoyed games and a magic show and received presents under the BBSG project, which SPH is supporting for the 10th time. Three hundred wishes – including requests for backpacks, footballs and household items such as fans and mattresses – were granted. The items were worth about $20,000 in total.

Gifts will also be delivered to the Care Community Services Society and MightyKids, Families and Community programme under the Life Community Services Society.

For more information or to register as a volunteer, call the BBSG hotline (1800-227-4273) or visit the www.bbshare.sg website.

Source: The Straits Times

Walking, cooking and eating for a cause

Participants and volunteers can look forward to quite a treat at the finish line of this year’s Project Happy Feet Slipper Race.

The fifth instalment of the annual charity event will take place for the first time at Palawan Beach, Sentosa, on Nov 14. In addition to this year’s race, organiser Project Happy Feet (PHF) will be bringing back its popular Chefs For A Cause (CFAC) event on the same day in a landmark double-event special. Said chef Jimmy Chok of JC Concepts, who initiated the project in 2009: “CFAC has always been about local chefs coming together to support children-related causes and because we are very grateful to be able to do what we love (which is cooking), we want to use that to give back to society and help empower our future generations. ”

Chok is referring to 20 local chefs, including himself, Benjamin Tan from The White Rabbit, Robin Ho from The Prive Group, Pang Kok Keong from the Sugar Daddy Group and Forest Leong from the Forest Cooking School, who will cook up a storm for an expected crowd of 3,000 participants in an open carnival at Sentosa’s Port of Lost Wonder. This is an increase from last year’s 13 participating chefs. They will be assisted by culinary students from Temasek Polytechnic in a bid to delight guests with their signature dishes, which include bak chor mee pasta, kong bak burgers and sweet desserts such as kaya ice cream with baguette rusk and gula melaka cremeux.

The first edition of CFAC, held six years ago with support from Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel, was in aid of MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) and Project Happy Feet’s beneficiaries. Led by Chok, 10 notable local chefs whipped up a three-course meal for 600 underprivileged children, who were served by 100 staff members of Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel and Project Happy Feet volunteers. The same chefs also lent four of their own recipes to put together the Recipes From The Heart cookbook, produced with support from Miele, which helped raise more than S$82,000.

The target for this year’s joint initiative is to raise S$250,000 to support education-related initiatives in both Singapore and Cambodia. The race itself is also a reminder of why the organisers and volunteers do what they do. The walking route of 2.4km is aimed at allowing participants to “briefly experience the life of a child in Cambodia, who usually walks at least 3km a day to get to school”, said a statement. Many make the journey bare-foot, as they do not have enough money for slippers.

That said, 80 per cent of the proceeds from the two events will be channelled to The Community Chest’s Special Education Financial Assistance Scheme, which provides financial assistance to needy students from special education schools run by 20 voluntary welfare organisations. The remaining 20 per cent of the proceeds will go to This Life Cambodia’s Lower Secondary School Development Programme. This Life Cambodia is a not-for-profit, non-government community development organisation.

Entertainment at the CFAC event will be provided by local hip-hop collective Grizzle Grind Crew’s Charles ENERO and LINEATH, and local singer-songwriter Jill-Marie Thomas, who will also be performing the 2015’s Project Happy Feet theme song that she wrote. DON MENDOZA

Registration for the race is S$52 per person (inclusive of admin fee) and S$52 (comprising S$50 coupon value and admin fee) for the CFAC event. Both must be made online at http://www.projecthappyfeet.org/cfac2015/.

Source: TODAY

Cleaning for a good cause

Cleaning for a good cause

More than 150 motorcycles swept into the Eunos Crescent and Joo Seng Road estates yesterday morning and the riders dismounted to help springclean 50 rental flats in the area.

In all, 350 participants took part in this year’s Wheels of Love (WOL) event, an annual charity event involving bike enthusiasts. They were from 13 motorcycle clubs in Singapore.

Clinic nurse manager Kelly Ho, the founder of Sheriders Chapter, a motorcycle club for female motorcyclists, brought eight other members as well as her teenage son to help out.

Ms Ho, who is in her 30s, said: “It wasn’t very hard to get the ladies to join because they are doing a good deed.”

For over an hour yesterday, the volunteers cleaned 50 rental flats ranging from one-room to three-room flats.

The charity event, which is sponsored by motorcycle spare parts company Chong Aik International, chose 50 units this year because of SG50.

New efforts have been implemented every year such as helping out at the Jamiyah Children’s Home in 2013 and painting selected residential units in Taman Jurong last year.

The event has grown in size over the years since it started in 2011. From only 15 motorcycles then, it had 150 yesterday.

HELPING OTHERS

Mr Nathaniel Tay, 30, who founded the WOL in 2011 as part of riding group Course Security Singapore’s activities, said: “There are not many charity rides in Singapore and I feel that there’s a need to help our country before helping others.”

The area’s Member of Parliament Fatimah Lateef, the event’s guest of honour, added: “This event is an excellent platform to bring people together, show their love of riding and also do good.”

IT programme manager Billy Ng, 53, joined WOL for the first time this year.

The member of motorcycle club Team 27 said: “It felt really good to help the elderly clean their homes… My team helped a Muslim couple just now and ensured that their home will be clean for their Hari Raya celebrations.”

Mr Ng stopped riding 30 years ago but decided to re-enter the scene as age was catching up and he still wanted to own his dream Harley Davidson motorcycle.

He intends to take his 12-year-old son and wife to help out for WOL next year.

Madam Ng Hiong Kew, 67 was all smiles and laughter after seeing that her one-room flat was spick and span.

She said in Mandarin: “After my knee operation, I can’t walk well and take a very long time to clean up so I am really grateful that they (volunteers) came over to help me out.”

Source: The New Paper

Handcycling 50 hours non-stop for charity

Handcycling 50 hours non-stop for charity

There was a time when Dr William Tan did not think he would see Singapore turn 50, but he did.

The 58-year-old Paralympics athlete was diagnosed in 2009 with end-stage leukaemia and given only nine to 12 months to live.

Instead, Dr Tan marked both Singapore’s jubilee and his sixth year as a cancer survivor yesterday by beginning a feat of endurance – handcycling non-stop for 50 hours.

By handcycling on the Temasek Junior College (TJC) track from 3pm yesterday to 5pm tomorrow, he aims to raise $50,000 for needy children. The funds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the Rotary Club of Bugis Junction’s Children in Need Fund, and Care Corner Orphanage Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Dr Tan said this is the longest continuous duration he has handcycled since his bone marrow transplant. “It’s a tall order,” he said.

Half the targeted amount had been raised when Dr Tan took to the track yesterday afternoon, paced by around 30 TJC students.

For the first few hours, he also towed pre-schoolers behind him in a child chariot. Fifty five-year-olds, most from pre-school Carpe Diem Young Hearts, took turns riding it.

The pre-school is donating $50 for each child who gets a ride.

Come rain or shine, Dr Tan will attempt the 50 hours without food or sleep, surviving solely on electrolyte drinks and taking only short toilet breaks. He expects to make about 30,000 circuits of the 400m track.

He started training in January last year, clocking an average of 160km a week in his handcycle.

Dr Tan will also be thinking of his mother, 92, who was hospitalised two weeks ago after choking on her dinner: “Fifty hours is a long time to reflect on things. I guess I’ll be thinking of her a lot, and the tough times she had raising me along with six siblings, as well as of Singapore’s journey – one year for every hour.”

To donate, e-mail the event’s organising chairman Paul Heng at paulhenght@gmail.com or go online at simplygiving.com/drwilliamtan

Source: The Straits Times