More than 35,000 people get hampers and gifts from Boys' Brigade charity drive

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans have risen to the occasion to donate enough food items in time to bring some Christmas cheer to more than 35,000 beneficiaries under the annual Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift campaign.

About 70 per cent of the food hampers have been delivered to beneficiaries so far, said the uniformed group at the project's closing ceremony on Wednesday.

One of the country's biggest charity projects, the donation drive distributes food items that are donated by members of the public to disadvantaged individuals. It also fulfils specific Christmas wishes for the less privileged, such as toys, adult diapers and home electrical appliances.

Though the large-scale project has been running for the last 26 years, the group decided to make some changes this year.

It changed the mix of items in the hampers to suit the needs of the beneficiaries better. For example, adult milk powder is included in the hamper this year so that the beneficiaries can have more essential nutrients, such as calcium and potassium, in their diet as many of them are elderly. A number of them also do not cook often so more snacks such as biscuits were added for them to eat conveniently when they get hungry.

It also made a way for overseas Singaporeans to do their part for the needy here. This year, they could use their credit card to purchase the food hampers through NTUC Fairprice's online shopping site.

The food items that came in from the public via gift boxes at 13 NTUC FairPrice supermarkets islandwide or through NTUC FairPrice's website over the past month were then packed and delivered by more than 3,500 Boy's Brigade members. Nearly 1,000 members of the public also helped to donate and deliver items to the beneficiaries.

While the donation boxes are no longer available, members of the public can still donate food and household hampers valued at $30 and $50 via NTUC FairPrice's online portal.

Mr Lui Chong Chee, chairman of the project's organising committee: "While we have achieved our target, the project has not ended. We sincerely hope that more will join us on our journey to deliver the food hampers, so that our beneficiaries can receive their gifts as soon as possible."