249 lauded for contributions to the Community Chest

President Halimah Yacob and Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee talking to students from the Association for Persons with Special Needs, one of the beneficiaries of the Community Chest, at the awards event at the Istana yesterday.
President Halimah Yacob and Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee talking to students from the Association for Persons with Special Needs, one of the beneficiaries of the Community Chest, at the awards event at the Istana yesterday. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Initiative also launched to honour 20 for their increased fundraising, engagement efforts

A total of 249 top donors and partners were recognised for their contributions to the Community Chest last night.

The Community Chest Awards ceremony at the Istana also marked the launch of the Step Up 200 initiative, which honours 20 organisations and individual donors for their increased fundraising and engagement efforts to rally the community in giving.

Last year, the Community Chest raised $54.2 million for 80 social service agencies.

United Overseas Bank (UOB) took home the highest accolade of the night - the Pinnacle Award - which recognises an organisation for being exemplary in holistic caring, and is a role model in the giving of donations, volunteerism or making non-monetary contributions, as well as inclusive employment.

Its UOB Scan Hub, the nerve centre for the digitisation and archival of customer documents, employs 23 persons with disabilities from the Autism Resource Centre, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, and SPD.

Other award recipients included CapitaLand, Heartwarmers, Changi Airport Group, SMRT and Resorts World Sentosa.

"We are encouraged to see many partners stepping up to pursue giving beyond monetary donations. Some have integrated inclusive business practices in their hiring, while others use their skills and talent to make a difference in the lives of others," said Community Chest chairman Phillip Tan.

 
 

President Halimah Yacob, patron-in-chief of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), attended the awards ceremony which was hosted by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, patron of the NCSS.

Thirteen students from the Association for Persons with Special Needs, one of the beneficiaries of the Community Chest, were taught by local chefs, including Ms Violet Oon and Mr Daniel Tay, to prepare desserts for the occasion.

"It was not difficult at all. I really like to learn a lot," said student Siti Fatimah, 32, whose ambition is to become a baker.

Donations from the 20 organisations and individual donors under the Step Up 200 initiative are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Bicentennial Community Fund for up to 20 per cent of the funds raised from April 1 to March 31 next year.

One of the donors was Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which raised $426,000, 22 per cent more than the previous year's donations.

It reached out to the public and its business partners for donations through the Double the Love campaign, where SPH matched public donations dollar-for-dollar up to $350,000. It also opened its 35th Anniversary Charity Concert to social service users.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline '249 lauded for contributions to the Community Chest'. Print Edition | Subscribe