SINGAPORE - When Siyona Saini was six years old, she was introduced to charitable activities by her childcare centre, YMCA Child Development Centre.
The centre encouraged the children to make craft items to sell and donate the proceeds to less privileged people.
It organised outings to St Andrew’s Community Hospital during Christmas so that the children could interact with and perform for elderly patients.
Siyona, now 12, has taken part in at least five charitable campaigns in the last 1½ years, raising more than $100,000 through those campaigns since June 2021.
She became a Singapore Red Cross (SRC) volunteer in 2021 and produced videos on national charity platform Giving.sg to promote good causes.
Her latest contribution to SRC’s fund-raising movement, #WomenInRed, is a video urging people to donate to vulnerable people in the community.
Said Siyona: “I want to inspire people, especially the young, to help people in need.
“For all the campaigns I’ve taken part in, I don’t think of the amount that I’m helping to raise. I also want to place focus on spreading awareness on the cause, so that people can learn more about it, and help in other ways than money.”
For the #WomenInRed campaign, which kicked off on Dec 1, she has raised around $3,000.
The campaign, which was first held in 2021, is SRC’s effort to rally women and their supporters to use their resources to raise funds for humanitarian causes. The campaign raised $80,000 in 2021.
SRC secretary-general and chief executive Benjamin William said: “Collaboratively, women have a growing impact on philanthropic giving, and they have extraordinary potential to change the world for the better.
“#WomenInRed is an inclusive fund-raiser, and we encourage fathers, husbands, brothers, sons and actually everyone to join the movement in appreciation of the wonder women in their lives.”
Dr Jade Kua, is a long-time SRC supporter and regularly takes part in fund-raisers for other organisations, such as Guide Dogs Singapore, Breast Cancer Foundation and Mental Health Film Festival.
The 43-year-old senior emergency doctor, professional life coach and published children’s book author, will donate a portion of sales proceeds from her book Good Night Marion and merchandise, such as pyjamas, postcards and stickers.
She has raised close to $2,000 – the target most of the campaign’s volunteers hope to achieve – from her contacts on social media platforms LinkedIn and Instagram.
Dr Kua said: “Since there are multiple parties involved, we try to help each other and give each other shout-outs on social media. At the end of the day, it is a collective effort to raise funds for organisations we believe in, not a competition.”
Ms Yvonne Loo, who has held solo art exhibitions to raise money for various charities, has collected around $3,000 so far for the campaign.
The 39-year-old director of Easmed, a medical device distribution company, will also present reprints of her animal painting collection and associated merchandise to SRC donors as tokens of appreciation.
She said: “I understand that my original artwork may not be the most appropriate for the mass market, and that practical items like jute bags and postcards are more popular. Hence, I decided to pair my artwork with these items for the event. Hopefully, more donors will come forward.”
SRC’s #WomenInRed campaign, which ended on Dec 31, raised more than $34,000.