A call-out to those doing their bit for charity ahead of Straits Times Causes Week

Children's Wishing Well's Fresh programme involves weekly supermarket trips and pairs volunteers with children from low-income or disadvantaged families. PHOTO: CHILDREN'S WISHING WELL

SINGAPORE - More people have been asking about volunteering for local charity Children's Wishing Well's Fresh programme in the past year after it was featured in The Straits Times Causes Week last December.

The article on the programme, which involves weekly supermarket trips and pairs volunteers with children from low-income or disadvantaged families, also included a video of one of the shopping trips, which has been a boon for the charity's outreach.

"It gives interested volunteers and corporates a very good overview of what the programme is," said the charity's chief executive officer, Ms Joanna Tan.

She added: "We loved the video and have been trying to get our volunteers to replicate similar videos for other programmes.

"The impact is not just the outreach at the point of the article, but the material generated has had continual use."

SPH Brightcove Video
Local charity Children's Wishing Well's Fresh programme organises weekly supermarket trips, where volunteers go grocery shopping with children from low-income or disadvantaged families.

There has also been more specific interest in volunteering for the Fresh programme among those who write in, said Ms Tan.

The programme resumed in August after stopping in April amid the circuit breaker, and volunteering slots have been filled till February next year so far.

During the pause, Children's Wishing Well came up with its Reach For The Stars programme, where interested individuals or corporates could "adopt" a family and donate a certain amount towards supermarket vouchers for these families for at least six months.

At one point, more than 50 families were benefiting from this programme. Currently, 48 families are still receiving the vouchers.

Causes Week shines a light on various individuals and groups, and shows how they are making a difference through their chosen causes.

Another charity that has seen a positive impact from being featured in Causes Week is Montfort Care, whose home-bathing service for bed-bound seniors saw a 30 to 40 per cent increase in calls from interested caregivers after the article was published.

"We also saw a slight increment in terms of donations on the giving.sg platform," said director of eldercare services Wang Yu Hsuan.

The charity has also come up with its own video about the service featuring some clients and caregivers.

"We saw the impact of the article, so we thought we would come up with something else that was visual to multiply the effect, so we created the video," said Ms Wang.

Remote video URL

Another charity Limitless, which provides mental health help to young people here, had about 20 to 30 interested volunteers write in the week it was featured in ST last December.

Most were taken on to help with social media, though a large number who were pegged to help out for events were unable to do so amid the Covid-19 pandemic that cancelled many events.

The social media team has been going strong, and the charity is now looking for accounting volunteers, said Limitless founder Asher Low.

He added: "More people have also approached Limitless (for help), and it's a good thing and bad thing - good thing being that more young people are getting the opportunity to get help, and more young people are gaining knowledge about places where they can get help for mental health issues.

"Its also a bad thing - meaning that this year has been very challenging for young people, and that more young people are struggling with their mental health."

Causes Week, which is into its ninth iteration, starts from Dec 20.

Anyone with a story or cause to share for the betterment of society can write in to stcauses@sph.com.sg by Dec 4 for consideration to be featured in The Straits Times.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.