Small businesses in Singapore raise funds for Ukraine

Gardening enthusiast Jack Yam is organising a fund-raising workshop to teach people how to grow pea shoots. PHOTO: LEE CHANG LOONG

SINGAPORE - When Mr Jack Yam saw photographs of Ukrainian men saying goodbye to their children fleeing to safety as they stayed to defend their homeland, he felt the deep urge to help.

The 50-year-old father of three and gardening enthusiast decided to organise a fund-raising workshop to teach people how to grow pea shoots.

He was pleasantly surprised to see all 40 slots taken two days after announcing the workshop on Monday (March 7).

Initially, Mr Yam had aimed to raise $4,000 but has since raised his target to $8,000, after donations continued to pour in for his campaign, which will support the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) fund-raiser for Ukraine.

The Singaporean climbing instructor said: "I thought about these fathers hugging their children and families leaving their home with nothing but a backpack for survival. It really struck a chord when I thought about my three children."

He has two daughters aged 16 and 19 and a son aged 11.

Ms Vivian Lee, founder of Viv's Schoolhouse, was also spurred to start a fund-raiser after seeing images of Ukrainian families being displaced.

She has roped in 50 pre-schoolers to help starting this week. The children will be painting sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine. Their works of art will be sold for $50 each at Hotel Royal @ Queens, where the pre-school is located, with proceeds going to SRC.

Ms Lee said: "The children will be using non-traditional objects such as kitchen utensils (to paint), which is a reflection of the determination and resourcefulness Ukrainians have showed in trying times.

"Painting sunflowers is also our way of teaching the children that in difficult times, we can really turn only towards the sun and allow the dark shadows to fall behind."

For Ms Heng Hui Mei, 26, it was a video she saw online, depicting how Ukraine was surrounded by Russian forces from three directions, that prompted her to take action.

On March 2, the brand and business development manager decided to organise a bake sale selling brownies and cakes. She runs Little Beauties Bakes, a part-time baking business.

Ms Heng Hui Mei is organising a bake sale selling brownies and cakes. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

Orders will close on Sunday (March 13) and all proceeds will be donated to SRC for Ukraine.

Ms Heng said: "It struck me that people are dying there. You read about wars in history textbooks, this is not something that should happen in the modern age.

"It doesn't matter how far they are, I am in a position to help, I should help."

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Global companies with a presence in Singapore have also chipped in to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

Financial application Revolut has created an in-app donations function, with customers in Singapore having donated close to $40,000 as at Thursday (March 10).

DBS digibank and Foodpanda are also facilitating donations from their communities via their applications.

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