125 needy households get $200 shopping credits each, thanks to donation drive targeting PAssion card members

Mdm Nor Maimon Binte Ismail interacting with Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at a Giant Hypermart in Tampines, on Nov 9, 2019. PHOTO: CHAN CHUN SING/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A total of 125 needy households were given $200 shopping credits each to shop at the Giant Hypermart in Tampines on Saturday (Nov 9).

The result of more than a year of preparation by the People's Association (PA), DBS and the Dairy Farm Group, the $25,000 in shopping credits were an accumulation from the PAssion Cares initiative, which began in July last year.

PAssion card members were encouraged to give back to the community by simply tapping their cards on card readers at various events, effectively making a donation to the underprivileged at no cost to themselves.

With each tap over the last year or so, 7.5 points were contributed to community projects, while another 7.5 points were credited to the member's card.

These points can then be used to offset purchases made at Cold Storage, Giant Hypermarts and Guardian Health & Beauty Stores, with 150 points worth $1 in these transactions.

The total credits given to the needy families were then the equivalent of 500,000 taps.

At the launch of the expansion of the project on Saturday, the PA said that because of the success of the project so far, more events where PAssion card members can tap their cards to do good will be organised next year.

Compared with the around 12,000 events held between July last year and last month, more than 15,000 events are expected to be organised in 2020, potentially securing more taps and so more credits for those in need.

"PA is heartened by the strong support," group director of the PA Jeanie Tan said.

"We can collectively harness the kampung spirit to encourage everyone in the community to help the less privileged meaningfully."

She hopes more corporate partners will step forward to work with the PA on programmes that have similar good intentions.

Mr Shee Tse Koon, the Singapore country head of DBS, said the project has allowed its 1.3 million cardholders to do their part in making Singapore a better place.

"We look forward to making a difference in people's lives through the PAssion Cares initiative, and encourage everyone to join in," he said.

There are about 1.7 million non-DBS PAssion card holders, which brings the total number of PAssion card holders to about three million, all of whom are eligible to participate in the initiative.

Mr Sam Kim, chief executive officer of the health and beauty section of Dairy Farm Group, hopes the project would have a knock-on effect on those not yet aware of or involved in it.

"With a large pool of PAssion card members at its base, this would encourage... the wider public to come forward to help members of the less fortunate in society," he said.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who is deputy chairman of the PA, also attended the event on Saturday.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.