Christmas arrives early for charity recipients

Above left: Ms Janis Wong, a teacher at the Singapore School for the Deaf, helping students during a cajon drumming workshop conducted by social enterprise Beat'abox at the Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift media conference. Above right: Joyce Ong and Raja
Above: Ms Janis Wong, a teacher at the Singapore School for the Deaf, helping students during a cajon drumming workshop conducted by social enterprise Beat'abox at the Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift media conference. PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE
Above: Joyce Ong and Raja Elisa Amanda, 14, with their gifts.
Above: Joyce Ong and Raja Elisa Amanda, 14, with their gifts.PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE

Boys' Brigade issues early call for donors and volunteers to sponsor, deliver gifts

Joyce Ong, an 18-year-old student at Mountbatten Vocational School, loves listening to pop music by Korean and Taiwanese singers. But recently, she has not been able to enjoy her favourite songs while she commutes as her headphones were damaged and she could not afford to replace them.

Yesterday, she received an early Christmas present - a new pair of headphones, a wish that has been fulfilled in advance by the Boys' Brigade's Share-a-Gift (BBSG) campaign, one of Singapore's biggest year-end charity projects.

"It makes the journey to work much more enjoyable," said Joyce, who is from a single-parent family and has been on an internship with Siloso Beach Resort in Sentosa since April.

The campaign, one of Singapore's biggest year-end charity projects, is in its 29th year. It collects and distributes donated food items to disadvantaged individuals, and members of the public can also fulfil Christmas wishes for specific items like school bags or adult diapers.

This year, it is seeking donations and volunteers to sponsor and deliver gifts to 38,317 needy individuals, including 5,051 elderly beneficiaries. The campaign will kick off on Nov 25 and run till Dec 19.

The Boys' Brigade's Share-a-Gift campaign is calling for donations and volunteers to sponsor and deliver gifts to 38,317 needy individuals, including 5,051 elderly beneficiaries. It will kick off on Nov 25 and run till Dec 19.

Organisers hope that by spreading awareness about the project in advance, more volunteers and donors will be able to come forward early, avoiding a last-minute rush to meet targets. Last year, a shortage of more than 300 volunteers prompted renewed calls for help in early December.

"We want to drum up enthusiasm early on to get donations early. Every year, it's a challenge (to meet our targets). But we have faith that the public will continue to want to contribute," said Mr Lui Chong Chee, the organising committee chairman for this year's BBSG, at a media conference yesterday.

Twenty young people also received gifts sponsored by life insurance company Prudential Singapore at the event. They are from Mountbatten Vocational School, which provides training for students with disabilities, and the Singapore School for the Deaf.

There are 12 collection sites for general donations like rice and canned food that will be placed in hampers and delivered to beneficiaries, including seven where members of the public can sponsor items for specific wishes. These locations include NTUC FairPrice outlets at Toa Payoh HDB Hub and Tampines Mall.

Donors can also contribute by purchasing special donation hampers at www.fairprice.com.sg.

For more information or to register as a volunteer, call the BBSG hotline on 1800-227-4273 from Nov 25 onwards or visit www.bbshare.sg.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'Christmas arrives early for charity recipients'. Print Edition | Subscribe