Kids give festive presents to peers who have less

VIDEO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Muhamad Hussain Shah, six, received Christmas gifts for the first time on Sunday.
Muhamad Hussain Shah, six, received Christmas gifts for the first time on Sunday.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Housewife Hasinah Ramlan, 28, does not usually celebrate Christmas, but her family of six were elated to receive gifts for the occasion for the first time yesterday.

Her daughter and three sons were among the 150 children celebrating Christmas at Henderson Community Club as beneficiaries of the Henderson-Dawson Citizens' Consultative Committee's We Love Learning programme.

The annual community party aims to foster the spirit of giving and provide an opportunity for children to make new friends.

Besides attending a storytelling session by Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira, beneficiaries received "boxes of joy" as part of an initiative by EtonHouse Community Fund.

The charity initiative encourages parents and their children to decorate shoeboxes and fill them with gifts for children of a similar age.

Mrs Gayatri Varma, 41, and her two children packed four boxes. It was 10-year-old Gauri's first time picking out gifts for another child.

"We bought some Smiggle stationery and put them in the boxes - everyone likes them," Gauri said, describing the pencils, erasers and pencil boxes she chose from the Australian brand.

"I think they are kind of cool, and it's nice and will be useful for other children," she said, adding that she enjoyed the process.

Mrs Varma, a housewife, said: "We encourage our children to realise that they are privileged and there are many others who may not have these opportunities. We want them to be aware that it is a good thing to give back to society."

Seow Bei Yi

WATCH THE VIDEO
Children singing Jingle Bells with Ms Pereira. http://str.sg/4diq

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2016, with the headline 'Kids give festive presents to peers who have less'. Print Edition | Subscribe