SINGAPORE - United Overseas Bank (UOB) has pledged some $500,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) to help children from low-income families buy textbooks and meals during recess.
On Friday (June 29), Mr Eric Tham, managing director and head of group commercial banking at UOB, presented a cheque to Mr Warren Fernandez, chairman of the fund and editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group.
The amount was part of the funds raised at the bank's annual Chinese New Year dinner in February when 1,200 business owners from the region came together to raise more than $1.6 million.
UOB, which first donated to the STSPMF in 2001, contributed a total of $900,000 to the fund in 2016 and 2017.
The fund was set up in 2000 by The Straits Times as a community project to provide children with pocket money for school-related expenses. It now supports over 10,000 children from low-income families every year.
Seven beneficiaries between the ages of seven and 14 were present during the event on Friday, and were given goodie bags filled with stationery.
Said 12-year-old Amin Haqimi: "Right now, I have to take a long walk to school and it's a bit tiring. The extra money will help me to buy a bike and make the journey easy."
The Primary 6 pupil from Xinghua Primary School added that he had a tough time after his mother was jailed last year and the money would ease the burden on his father, who works as a delivery man.
Mr Fernandez said he was grateful to UOB for donating consistently and generously to a cause that helps underprivileged children in a very real way.
"UOB's dedication to the cause of helping these children is admirable. Their core beliefs match up to ours and we hope to maintain this relationship well into the future."