Project SunShine back with more events to tighten bonds between communities

SINGAPORE - To get private estate residents to bond with the community and pay it forward, the grassroots-led Project SunShine charity month is back for the third time, on a bigger scale than before.

From visits to elderly homes and orphanages to charity flea markets and car washes, more than 50 activities will be held across the island this November, up from 34 last year.

Organised by the People's Association Neighbourhood Committee (NC) Coordinating Council, the series of events will see some 1,000 volunteers from 60 NCs bringing cheer to over 2,500 beneficiaries.

This year's edition kicked off with Race with Love, held by the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC neighbourhood committees.

Teams of private estate residents and low-income families zipped around in cars, solving puzzles, completing tasks and visiting the neighbourhood sights of Lorong Halus wetlands and Punggol settlement.

The race ended with a spree at a local supermarket, with teams having to buy groceries on a shopping list while keeping within a $50 budget.

"The most important aspect of all these activities is getting people to know each other better and form new bonds," said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, advisor to Pasir Ris-Punggol grassroots organisations, at yesterday's launch.

"What is important in Singapore is that when we progress and advance, we do so together... Project SunShine represents this."

Among those taking part were 13-year-old Siti Aqaisyah Zahariah Mohd Shahril and her two brothers, who teamed up with Punggol Point NC member Ms Tanya Gurtu, her husband and their son in their SUV.

"I really liked the game, with all the driving around and having to do things like sing and dance," said Siti, whose family lives in a rental flat.