Gift of essential items for 150 with special needs

SINGAPORE - New mobility aids, furniture and electrical appliances are among the gifts that 150 persons with special needs will be receiving in the coming months, thanks to $100,000 raised through a North East District programme.

The North East Community Development Council and NTUC FairPrice Foundation joined hands for a third year to organise the Wish Upon a Silver Star project, which started in 2013 and is now in its final year.

Volunteers fold origami stars to raise funds for the project - every 10 origami stars receives a $1 sponsorship from the two organisers.

Over the past two years, the project has helped 400 underprivileged elderly and young families living in the North East District.

This year, 78 organisations including schools, voluntary welfare groups and grassroots organisations came together to fold more than a million origami stars.

The money raised will be used to buy essential items for 150 beneficiaries from organisations such as the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds). Each of them will receive about $670 worth of items.

Yesterday, seven individuals from Minds received items such as a microwave oven and a standing fan from Serangoon Grassroots Organisations adviser Chan Hui Yuh.

Among them was 19-year-old Jimson Chin, a student from Minds who won a rice cooker.

"I am happy to bring the rice cooker home for my mother," he said.

Ms Chan said it is heartening to see people from the community coming together to support those who are in need.

"It is these acts of compassion that help us grow and become an even stronger and more caring community," she said.