SINGAPORE - Instead of spending Saturday (Oct 13) playing with his toys at his home in Bukit Batok, six-year-old Hon Hock Rong was hard at work selling keychains in Pasir Ris.
He was taking part in a fun fair at Downtown East, organised by Star Learners Child Care, to raise funds for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and Business Times Budding Artist Fund.
Hock Rong, whose father is a software engineer, said: "I wanted to do this to help those who don't have enough money."
Prepared by the childcare teachers, the wooden key chains came with a painting kit, and were in the shape of "everyday heroes" - the theme of the fair - such as chefs, policemen, nurses and firefighters.
About halfway into the event, Hock Rong said he had sold 16 of them at $10 each.
He added his everyday hero is a cleaner, who "protects the Earth from pollution".
The fair, attended by about 2,000 children and parents, was expected to raise about $15,000.
There were more than 20 booths manned by the children, where participants could play games or purchase crafts.
Star Learners' chief executive Tan Meng Wei, 45, said: "Today is all about celebrating everyday heroes, and by that, we don't mean Ironman or Spiderman.
"Building character is paramount in our syllabus - it's not all about academics but also about building empathy and respect.
"We chose to donate to STPMF because it's well-established and we know where the money is going to."
Ms Faith Tang, 32, who works in administration, was proud to see her six-year-old daughter Taylor Beh manning a booth at the fair. She said: "It's good to start them young and to have this culture (of character-building)."
The STSPMF currently supports about 10,000 students from low-income families. The fund gives pocket money to students whose families earn less than $625 in per capita gross monthly household income.
The Business Times Budding Artist Fund aims to make the arts accessible for children and youths from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, and disburses funds to students whose families earn below $690 in per capita gross monthly income.