Non-profit SingYouth Hub sets up new box shop to benefit welfare organisations

From left: Ms Sophee Tan, Founder and Executive Director of SingYouth Hub, Dr Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sharity mascot and Mr Hauw Kheng Lip, general manager (Marketing) from UOL,
From left: Ms Sophee Tan, Founder and Executive Director of SingYouth Hub, Dr Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Sharity mascot and Mr Hauw Kheng Lip, general manager (Marketing) from UOL, at the launch of the Craftpreneurs of SG box shop on Jan 6, 2017. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - With their small compartments rented out to different parties selling items such as mobile phone accessories and toys, box shops are now a common sight in malls across Singapore.

The Craftpreneurs of SG, a new box shop opened on Friday (Jan 6) at OneKM mall in Tanjong Katong, is a little different.

Run by non-profit organisation SingYouth Hub,its compartments are occupied by items made by the volunteers and beneficiaries of various voluntary welfare organisations (VWO) including the Cat Welfare Society, the Singapore Environment Council and the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society.

Prices start from $1 for items such as tote bags and photo frames and proceeds go to the respective organisations. The most expensive item, a mosaic tiled bottle made by a beneficiary of the Friends of the Disabled Society, goes for $120.

SingYouth Hub, which aims to engage more young people in community work, had previously used pushcarts as a platform to fundraise for various causes. The organisation has about 300 volunteers, most of whom are students from secondary schools and various tertiary.

Its founder and executive director, Ms Sophee Tan, said the 42sqm space will also be used to run handicraft workshops run by VWOs and as a means of outreach to young people.

"We hope we can use the shop to increase our volunteer pool," she said.

A spokesman for the Community Chest, which is selling soft toys of its pink elephant mascot Sharity at the shop, said she hoped the initiative would be an effective means of fundraising for the various VWOs.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Maliki Osman, who was at the event, said he hoped the shop would help promote volunteerism.

Said Dr Maliki, who is also the Mayor for the South East District: "I hope my residents will come here and ask themselves what they can do to help other Singaporeans."