'Step-Up' challenge kicks off to help the less privileged in south-east Singapore

(Front row, from left) Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, 3M managing director Yuko Nakahira and vice-chairman of South East CDC Seah Kian Peng, joining volunteers from 3M for a trampoline workout.
(Front row, from left) Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, 3M managing director Yuko Nakahira and vice-chairman of South East CDC Seah Kian Peng, joining volunteers from 3M for a trampoline workout.PHOTO: SOUTH EAST CDC
(Left to right) 3M Managing Director Yuko Nakahira, vice-chairman of South East CDC Seah Kian Peng and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, together with PCF Sparkletots children, the youngest volunteers at the 3M Step-Up Challenge.
(Left to right) 3M Managing Director Yuko Nakahira, vice-chairman of South East CDC Seah Kian Peng and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, together with PCF Sparkletots children, the youngest volunteers at the 3M Step-Up Challenge.PHOTO: SOUTH EAST CDC

SINGAPORE - Eighty-four year old Madam Boey Yuet Ming, who said she lives on only $200 a month, on Tuesday (April 30) was among the 3,000 beneficiaries of the 3M Step-Up Challenge, an initiative by 3M Singapore in partnership with the South East Community Development Council (South East CDC).

She received a hamper full of household items like sponges, general purpose cloths and hooks.

The seventh edition of the challenge kicked off on Tuesday with over 1,200 people aged between four and 75 dancing alongside Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Grace Fu at Wisma Geylang Serai.

In the challenge, for every 30 minutes of exercise clocked, 3M will donate one safety or household product to the less-privileged elderly and families living in the South East district of Singapore.

"It really does not take much to do good and care for someone," said Ms Fu. "In fact, it is the small, everyday acts of kindness that make a difference to those around us."

The gesture brought a smile to Madam Boey, who has no children and lives alone in a single-room flat.

"I am happy to receive these products. Sometimes I can't even bear to use them," said Madam Boey in Mandarin.

Those taking part in the challenge on Tuesday were involved in other activities as well, including high intensity interval training (HIIT) and trampoline jumping.

Two new activities were introduced this year, including kid's zumba and piloxing, a mix between pilates and boxing.

"As a nation, we hope to bring all communities together. Strong families build strong societies. We recognise in certain cases, some may need help from outside of the family; this is where other parts of society come in to help," said Mr Seah Kian Peng, vice-chairman of South East CDC.

Sweating from the HIIT, Ms Stephanie Chionh Jia Yun, 22, president of Singapore Institute of Technology's running club, said: "It's a very meaningful opportunity to contribute to society, even in a small way."

The goal set for this year's challenge is to accumulate 9,000 hours of exercise over the campaign period, a 3,000-hour increase from the previous year's edition.

"In the end, we want to make an impact by involving more people. Hence, it's only natural to set a higher target," said Ms Yuko Nakahira, managing director of 3M Singapore.

The challenge ends on July 31 and events are due to take place in other locations such as Paya Lebar Square and SingPost Centre.