Community Chest to recognise more people and companies who donate their time and skills

President Halimah Yacob meeting performers from Minds Lee Kong Chian Gardens School Choir prior to their performance at Community Chest Awards at the Istana. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Minds Lee Kong Chian Gardens School Choir performing at Community Chest Awards at the Istana. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - For more than 30 years, Ms Susan Ng has been an emcee at Community Chest events - for free.

The veteran presenter first decided to help out after she was introduced to the organisation in 1984 in the course of her work.

"I believe that you should give what you're able to give. If you have a talent in some area, then the talent is what you should donate," said the 60-year-old. "The thought of charging for my services never crossed my mind."

More people like Ms Ng will soon be officially recognised by the Community Chest, which raises funds for Singapore's social service organisations.

From next year (2018), it will start giving its annual awards to individuals and groups which embrace inclusive employment practices, as well as contribute their time and skills to benefit the disadvantaged.

The move is meant to encourage people to give more holistically, donating their time and skills instead of just their money.

"As the needs of our society evolve, we need to look at how money, time and opportunities can be given more meaningfully and holistically," said Community Chest chairman Phillip Tan on Friday (Oct 13).

"The Awards will not only be presented to organisations and individuals based on monetary contributions, but also to recognise exemplary and holistic caring efforts by our partners," he added.

He made the announcement at the annual Community Chest Awards ceremony, held at the Istana. A total of 406 awards were given out to top donors who gave close to $35 million in the 2016 financial year.

President Halimah Yacob and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim presented the top 56 awards at the ceremony. The President is the patron-in-chief of the National Council of Social Service, which the Community Chest comes under.

Mr Tan also said the move is in line with the SG Cares national volunteerism movement, which aims to bring Singaporeans together to help vulnerable individuals and families.

The Community Chest has successfully matched volunteers from companies and education institutions with social service organisations through SG Cares, he said.

"This has encouraged volunteers to give their time meaningfully on a regular basis and ensured that the support they provide to the social service organisations are sustained," he said.

In an earlier ceremony on Friday afternoon, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said Community Chest was an important avenue through which people can give their time, talent and resources to improve the lives of those around them.

He added: "Giving can come in a variety of forms."

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