Range of groups giving targeted help to those who need it

An elderly woman on a wheelchair along a covered walkway in Toa Payoh.
An elderly woman on a wheelchair along a covered walkway in Toa Payoh.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mrs Sudeepa Nair for her views (Time to be more strategic - and empathetic - in helping the needy, Sept 19).

We are heartened that so many Singaporeans generously come forward to give their energy, time and resources to serve society.

We agree with Mrs Nair that a bigger impact will be made if our society were to channel this spirit to more purposeful giving that better meets the needs of those in our community.

As a society, we can be more purposeful in our volunteering, so that it is transformative for both givers and receivers.

There are many examples in the community that we can learn from, such as the collaboration between Lions Befrienders and Pantropic Online.

With an increasing demand for medical escorts, Lions Befrienders worked with Pantropic to design a process for their employees to befriend seniors, take them to their medical appointments and provide them with a source of socio-emotional support.

More purposeful giving requires partnerships among different stakeholders.

For example, the National Council of Social Service has worked with social service agencies to develop a Volunteer Management Framework that enables better matching of volunteers to the needs in the community.

The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) supports corporates that wish to engage in impactful corporate giving.

NVPC provides corporates with information on the needs in society, and matches them to social service agencies or other community organisations to form sustainable, needs-based partnerships.

As part of the SG Cares movement, a series of SG Cares Community Network sessions took place across HDB towns recently to strengthen purposeful giving.

The sessions involved government agencies, community organisations and volunteer groups coming together to discuss areas for collaboration to better serve the community.

The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth has also facilitated community-based SG Cares Volunteer Centres to help grow the volunteer pool, strengthen volunteer management capabilities, and match volunteers to the needs of the local community.

Therefore, we assure Mrs Nair that there are ongoing efforts by different stakeholders in the community to guide those who wish to give more purposefully.

To find out where or how to give, the public is encouraged to download the SG Cares app.

All of us can play a part in building a caring Singapore.

Ang Hak Seng (Dr)

Deputy Secretary (SG Cares)

Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2019, with the headline 'Range of groups giving targeted help to those who need it'. Subscribe