Tap Ez-Link cards on advertisements to donate; Govt to match welfare donations

Naval Base Primary School pupils tap their ez-link cards during the launch of Community Chest’'s latest public education and fund-raising campaign at Orchard MRT station on Nov 29, 2013. Members of the public who come across billboard advertise
Naval Base Primary School pupils tap their ez-link cards during the launch of Community Chest’'s latest public education and fund-raising campaign at Orchard MRT station on Nov 29, 2013. Members of the public who come across billboard advertisements at MRT stations and wish to donate on the spot can tap their ez-link card on the poster and a dollar will be deducted immediately. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Donating to charity is now as simple as tapping your ez-link card.

Members of the public who come across billboard advertisements at MRT stations and wish to donate on the spot can tap their ez-link card on the poster and a dollar will be deducted immediately.

The Community Chest - Singapore's main charity fundraiser - made the first step in this direction on Friday by introducing the cash-free donation option at five MRT stations- Orchard, Somerset, Tiong Bahru, Yishun and Bishan. The campaign is expected to last a year. Those who wish to make larger donations can use their smartphones to scan the QR code on the posters.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing launched this first fundraising initiative under a new Care and Share movement on Friday. Under this movement, the Government will match dollar to dollar the funds raised by Community Chest and voluntary welfare organisations from December to the end of next year to help them upgrade their services to meet rising needs in the social service sector in 2015 and beyond.

"As we grow economically and become a more secure society, we also like to have a balanced portfolio where socially we also grow to become a more cohesive society," said Mr Chan. The money can be used to fund new programmes, training and development of new facilities.

The Care and Share Movement, launched in the lead-up to Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations in 2015, aims to encourage Singaporeans and organisations to give more of their time and money to help the needy. Community Chest, the fund-raising arm of the National Council of Social Service, needs some $85 million this year to help over 300,000 beneficiaries from 83 charities.