Organisations, booking platforms help S'poreans 'donate' SingapoRediscovers vouchers to charity

Some people have used their vouchers to redeem tickets to the Singapore Flyer (above) and other places, for those in need. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Several organisations and booking platforms have been working to help Singaporeans "donate" their SingapoRediscovers vouchers to the underprivileged since last month.

Some people have used their vouchers to redeem tickets to the Singapore Flyer and Night Safari, among other places, for those in need.

One of the organisations involved is social enterprise ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR), which is getting Singaporeans to sponsor trips to the Singapore Flyer for migrant workers.

"The idea started with one of our team leaders, Jocelyn Lim, who was thinking about an attraction to help the workers relax and how Singaporeans could use their vouchers to redeem rides for such an attraction," said IRR founder Dipa Swaminathan.

The idea was partly inspired by bus tour rides that IRR organised for migrants workers last month, which one of them described as "his happiest day in the entire year".

Ms Dipa said: "We surveyed a few workers and found the Flyer to be at the top of their list as it was something they could never afford."

An adult ticket costs $33.

Together with the Singapore Flyer and booking platform Klook, the social enterprise is planning visits that could start as early as Jan 31.

However, not all will be able to visit the attraction since there are 323,000 migrant workers living in dormitories as at Dec 14.

"Many workers have told us they are keenly interested but unfortunately not everyone can receive tickets... Buying 1,000 tickets means only some get to enjoy this experience," said Ms Dipa, 49.

Around 1,400 tickets have been pledged by Singaporeans as at Saturday. Some of these donors are overseas Singaporeans who are unable to use their vouchers before the expiry date of June 30.

"I know how tough it can be to be in a foreign country... I'm sure they want to go back to their family as much as I want to," said Hong Kong-based real estate broker Cherrin Loo.

"Although I can opt to redeem my vouchers for my son in Singapore, I think my $100 means more if I give them a day out to enjoy themselves."

Others donated out of gratitude to the migrant worker community.

"Since they are so crucial in building our country, they deserve to enjoy it," said brand communications lead Peter Lin, 38.

Booking platform has also launched its Pay It Forward initiative, comprising a series of campaigns that allow Singaporeans to donate products bought with their vouchers to beneficiary groups.

Support for the first campaign launched on Dec 1 outstripped's expectations.

In less than a week, its effort to sponsor 100 tickets to the Singapore Zoo for Boys' Town - a charity helping disadvantaged youth - met its target.

It has also obtained 220 tickets to the Night Safari for beneficiaries and their caregivers from Club Rainbow.

Charitable groups have welcomed the initiative.

"It will be an even more memorable experience for the children from low-income families who will be visiting Night Safari for the first time," said executive director of Club Rainbow Teo Siang Loong.

The remaining three platforms - Traveloka, GlobalTix and Changi Recommends - told The Sunday Times they had no similar plans at the moment.

In response to queries, the Singapore Tourism Board said it hopes other booking partners will introduce such initiatives.

Singaporeans are not allowed to donate their voucher entitlement but may use their vouchers to purchase tourism-related products to donate to others, it added.

Out of around three million Singaporeans eligible for the vouchers, more than 300,000 have collected them as at Jan 6.

Meaningful causes

1. Singapore Flyer tickets for migrant workers

In partnership with booking platform Klook and the Singapore Flyer, social enterprise Its Raining Raincoats will facilitate trips to the Singapore Flyer for these workers.

By topping up $5, Singaporeans can buy three tickets with each SingapoRediscovers Voucher.

Those interested can do so at this website.

2. Pay It Forward campaign

Booking platform has partnered social service groups such as Boys' Town and Club Rainbow to get Singaporeans to "pay" for visits to attractions for different beneficiary groups.

Those who want to help can visit this website.

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