SINGAPORE - The Boys' Brigade (BB) has moved the main donation box for its annual Share-A-Gift charity drive online.
The new 'virtual box' links to NTUC Fairprice's website, where donations will be channelled towards food hampers for beneficiaries.
Now in its 30th year, the end of year project by the BB, a Christian organisation, focuses on fulfilling the "wishes" of those who have less than others.
In total, a record-breaking 42,296 beneficiaries from voluntary welfare organisations and government-funded Community Care Endowment Fund (ComCare) programmes will receive gifts this year, with 32,900 getting food hampers and 9,396 with specific wishes to be fulfilled.
The digital donation box, on www.bbshare.sg, was launched because the BB found that many people visited their website to find out more about the project and how to fulfil wishes, and this made contributions easier.
More than 6,000 wishes this year have come from elderly beneficiaries - a steady increase from over 4,000 in 2014.
Many have simple wants, like Madam Yap Hong Keow, a 68-year-old retired factory worker, who wishes for a rice cooker this year.
The first-time beneficiary, who is married with no children, hopes for a bigger appliance so she can cook for her two brothers. They are coming from Malaysia for the new year.
The project, lasting until Dec 31, was launched by BB patron and guest of honour President Halimah Yacob at a opening ceremony carnival at Unity Secondary School on Tuesday (Nov 21), to a 400-strong crowd of BB boys, their families and beneficiaries.
She also launched the Virtual Box.
To fulfil specific wishes from individuals, like Madam Yap's, people can browse through over 9,000 wish tags on any of the six wish trees at NTUC Fairprice outlets in Ang Mo Kio, Jurong Point, Nex Mall, Singapore Sports Hub, Jem Mall and the Warehouse Club in Joo Koon.
They will find wishes, such as the one from Mr Osman Shah Mohd Kassim, 69, who owns just one pair of sandals and would like a pair of shoes.
The public can pick any wish tag off the trees , buy the item wished for, and hand it to the BB students manning the outlet. The gifts and food hampers will be presented by students in the uniformed group and their families between Dec 4 and 29.
There will also be 12 donation boxes for food, which the BB will organise and pack into hampers for beneficiaries. Six will be next to the wish trees, and the other six at NTUC Fairprice outlets in Bukit Timah Plaza, Junction 8, Thomson Plaza, Bedok Mall, Tampines Mall and Toa Payoh HDB Hub.
The donation boxes and wish trees go on from Nov 21 to Dec 18and online monetary donations end Dec 31.
"This Christmas...we want to bring more than food hampers and a smile," said Mr Lui. "We want to let (the beneficiaries) know that there is hope in their future."