SINGAPORE - For the past seven months, Ms Krishnavani Theresa Bose and her two young children have not slept comfortably because the only fan in their one-room rental flat is faulty.
The 46-year-old, who is a childcare teacher and the sole breadwinner of the family, longed for a new fan so that her two sons, aged five and seven, can rest comfortably at home.
She said: "My children were asking me for a new fan because they were feeling hot and can't sleep well."
After expressing her wish to a Filos Community Services social worker, who conveyed it to the Boys' Brigade, Ms Theresa's desire will soon be fulfilled.
She is one of 44,167 beneficiaries from the Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift (BBSG) project this year. This is the highest number of beneficiaries on record.
Last year, the project had 43,421 beneficiaries, and there were 43,276 the year before.
The annual Christmas charity project, which is in its 34th year, was officially launched on Saturday (Nov 20) at Heartbeat @ Bedok.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was guest of honour, said: "Covid-19 continues to weigh on us, upending the way we live, work and play. Among our friends and neighbours, there are those who need support. When the community steps forward to help with their needs, this can mean a lot."
He commended the Boys' Brigade for remaining fervent in its fund-raising efforts and putting the welfare of volunteers and beneficiaries first, despite the evolving challenges of pandemic and endemic living.
Mr Heng and sponsor representatives also packed a few BBSG hampers and presented them to the beneficiaries.
Each of the hampers contained a 5kg bag of rice, biscuits, instant noodles, beverages such as coffee and adult milk powder, and halal canned food.
Beneficiaries were identified by government agencies and are from government-funded ComCare programmes, social service agencies and low-income families in the KidStart programme.
Retiree Tan Kok Lan, 69, who received a BBSG hamper on Saturday, was grateful for the donation.
She said in Mandarin: "I felt happy. When I eat the food that I received today, I will remember the love and warmth from the donors and their efforts."
BBSG organising committee chair Henry Tan said: "There remains a critical need to help the less privileged in our community, especially in times of uncertainty and hardship."
Those who wish to make a cash donation can do so online via PayNow and Giving.sg till Dec 31, or at AXS stations from Friday till the end of the year.
They can also order food hampers through FairPrice Online, which will be delivered to 25,664 beneficiaries from the social service agencies. The hampers are valued at $20, $50 and $80.
Mr Tan said: "We hope that the public will join us in our donation and delivery drives to spread the spirit of joy, giving and love to all our beneficiaries in this season of giving... Together, we can make a difference to many who need our help."