President’s Challenge 2013 launched with S$1.5m donation

President Tony Tan Keng Yam launched the President’s Challenge 2013 on Friday with a cheque of S$1.5 million from Keppel Care Foundation.

The money will help improve services and programmes at over 50 charities in Singapore.

Keppel Corporation has also pledged 5,000 hours of community service in Singapore.

Through its human resource talents, it’ll share experience and assist social enterprises nominated for the President Challenge’s Social Enterprise Award.

President Tan said he’s heartened that Keppel Corporation, a homegrown company that has become a global leader, has chosen to celebrate its 45th anniversary by giving back to society.

He hopes the President’s Challenge will continue to grow as a movement that encourages all Singaporeans to give back to the community.

Children-At-Risk-Empowerment Association (CARE) is one of the beneficiaries under the President’s Challenge 2013 charity drive.

Donations raised from the effort will help youths like Toh Jia Yi. Her mother abandoned her when she was born. And the 14-year-old’s father has a long-running illness, hence she was left to her grandparents to raise her.

An organisation like CARE has helped Jia Yi develop life skills through its lessons.

She said: “Before the CARE lesson was introduced, I was a very self-centred person and I thought the world was only about me. But after the CARE lessons, I became more willing to help others and more open-minded.”

In 2012, the President’s Challenge raised over S$12 million in donations that’s helped to support over 50 Voluntary Welfare Organisations, providing essential services for families, children, the disabled and the elderly.

President Tony Tan said: “The essence of President’s Challenge is about giving. Giving of our time, our knowledge, our expertise and our donations. Together, such giving can go a long way towards improving the lives of the less fortunate.”

The President’s Challenge 2013 will focus on making volunteering more meaningful, by matching the expertise of volunteers to the needs of organisations.