209 Singapore voluntary welfare organisations join fund-raising and volunteerism movement

SINGAPORE - More than 200 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) have joined the Care and Share Movement, a nationwide drive to encourage donations and volunteerism in the run-up to Singapore's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2015.

For these groups, this means that every dollar they collect as part of the movement will be matched by the Government. In January, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that $250 million had been set aside by the Government to match donations to social service organisations dollar for dollar this year.

On Friday, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) gave an update on the number of VWOs coming on board. Together with Community Chest, the fund-raising arm of the NCSS, the 209 VWOs involved will organise 870 fund-raising and volunteerism projects this year to "optimise" the $250 million matching grant from the Government, the council added.

Community Chest chairman Phillip Tan said he was "very pleased" with the strong support from the VWOs. He added: "We also urge corporations, foundations and individuals to come forward to contribute to the movement and help VWOs to raise capabilities and provide social service programmes to better serve needy and less fortunate Singaporeans."

Yong-En Care Centre is one of the participating VWOs.

Its executive director William Chua said: "The dollar-for-dollar government matching... is good news for us as it means that every dollar we raise can now have double the impact. As such, we must work with our volunteers to organise meaningful fund-raising activities to try to raise as much as possible this year."

A new project which Community Chest will be raising funds for under the movement is a space which encourages more interaction between the disabled and the rest of the community. To be set up by SG Enable, which provides services for peopled with disabilities, the site at Redhill Road will also provide the disabled more support services in training and employment.

For more information on the Care and Share Movement, go to www.careandshare.sg

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