Youth roped in for volunteer initiative

Volunteers from the FairPrice supermarket chain celebrating Chinese New Year with the elderly folk at Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio nursing home.
Volunteers from the FairPrice supermarket chain celebrating Chinese New Year with the elderly folk at Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio nursing home.

Youth Corps S'pore will take part in FairPrice drive to help needy seniors shop for groceries

More than 100 young people are to volunteer to help needy senior citizens by shopping for groceries and teaching them about healthier food choices.

From May, Youth Corps Singapore will take part in a FairPrice volunteer programme, the supermarket chain announced yesterday.

Youth Corps Singapore members will volunteer alongside FairPrice staff and the public to help beneficiaries from organisations, including the Ren Ci Nursing Home and Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled.

FairPrice CEO Seah Kian Peng, who joined a Chinese New Year celebration at Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio nursing home, said: "This joint initiative aims to inculcate in our youth the spirit of giving, while promoting multi-generational bonding within the community. Volunteering also helps to enhance one's social skills and provides a more holistic perspective of life and our responsibility to society at large."

Mr Ong Kah Kuang, Youth Corps Singapore's executive director, said that through the programme, young people "will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of our seniors, in turn improving their interactions with them in their daily lives".

Since the programme's launch in 2012, volunteers have contributed more than 22,000 hours through various activities.

The supermarket began inviting the public to join its volunteering efforts in 2016. They have helped to distribute food, visited nursing homes and elder centres, joined excursions and cleaned the homes of elderly residents who live alone.

FairPrice staff have filled about 1,000 spots for volunteering activities this year, with some putting their names down more than once.

Mr Seah also announced that the company's charity arm, FairPrice Foundation, is donating $200,000 to Ren Ci Hospital and Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society. This was the culmination of the supermarket chain's pledge to sell mandarin oranges for charity last month.

"With our customers' support, we are happy to share that we have exceeded our target," said Mr Seah.

"Of the full amount, $100,000 will be presented to Ren Ci Hospital, and the other $100,000 to Thye Hua Kwan."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2018, with the headline 'Youth roped in for volunteer initiative'. Print Edition | Subscribe