My Dollar Story campaign shows spreading kindness can start with as little as $1

(From left)  Chairman of Character & Leadership Academy Chua Seng Lee,  Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and executive director of Character & Leadership Academy and co-founder of
(From left) Chairman of Character & Leadership Academy Chua Seng Lee, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and executive director of Character & Leadership Academy and co-founder of My Dollar Story campaign Delane Lim at the launch of My Dollar Story on June 6.PHOTO: CHARACTER & LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

SINGAPORE - Though one dollar is not a huge sum, it can spark a memorable act of kindness.

Serangoon Garden Secondary 2 student Kymberly Lim, 14, plans to use a dollar to buy a drink for the cleaners who keep her HDB block clean, to show her appreciation for them.

Though people don't realise it, cleaners do an important job, she said.

"If Singapore didn't have cleaners, it wouldn't (be) what people call a 'green city'."

Kymberly is one of many who will take part in the My Dollar Story campaign, launched officially on Thursday (June 6) at Serangoon Garden Secondary School by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.

Organised by Character & Leadership Academy (CLA) and CROWD, a marketing and communications solutions company, the nationwide social campaign aims to remind people that it does not take much to be kind: kindness can be shown through simple gestures in our daily lives.

"No act of kindness is too small - even if it may feel like a drop in the ocean, we must remember that every drop creates a ripple," said Associate Professor Faishal.

 
 
 

The ripple effects of the acts of kindness form the backbone of My Dollar Story, which encourages the spirit of "paying-it-forward" among the youth.

CLA's executive director Delane Lim has pledged $10,000 to the cause and people can go to the My Dollar Story Facebook page to ask for a dollar to carry out their acts of kindness.

People are also encouraged to contribute their own dollar and perform a kind gesture with it.

The launch of My Dollar Story took place at the annual Character & Leadership Symposium organised by CLA, which was attended by more than 200 educators, students and youth workers.

At the symposium, Prof Faishal also spoke of the importance of disconnecting from technology and forging meaningful human connections.

"The onus remains on us to actively reach out to our family members, friends and peers personally to build meaningful connections and create memories," he said.

The importance of spending time to connect with others was also stressed by Mr Chua Seng Lee, CLA's chairman. "If we learn to invest time (in other people), that will set a very good foundation for communication, for relationship building."