From 2018, the Community Chest Awards will be transformed to encourage more holistic caring and sharing. Beyond monetary donations, Community Chest partners who embrace inclusive employment practices, as well as contribute their time and skills to benefit the disadvantaged will be recognised. The enhancement was announced at the 2017 Community Chest Awards Ceremony held at the Istana on October 13.
The transformation of the Community Chest Awards is in line with the Social Service Sector Strategic Thrusts (4ST), which was launched by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) earlier this year. The roadmap envisions empowering every person to live with dignity in a caring and inclusive society. To achieve this vision, Community Chest will play the role of an enabler, working with private companies, individuals, members of the public and the social service organisations, to provide more platforms and opportunities for vulnerable people to be included in the community. This can be done through fund-raising, volunteering and the provision of jobs.
As the co-lead for SG Cares, NCCSS has stepped up efforts to encourage volunteers to give their time to help social service organisations on a regular and sustained basis. This has enabled us to achieve a record high of 138 volunteering activities, involving Community Chest partners.
Although the Awards transformation will only take place from 2018, several of Community Chest’s 2017 Award recipients have started on their journey of holistic giving.
First-time award recipient SATS Ltd, has not only made outright donations, but has also contributed time and effort to make a difference in the community, by involving employees, including senior management, to personally pack festive bags for Community Chest social service users.
The National University of Singapore Students’ Union (NUSSU) also bagged two awards. NUSSU has always played a pivotal role in nurturing global leaders of change with a sense of responsibility for the community and empathy for the less fortunate. Pioneered in 1957 as part of their Welfare Week, the annual NUSSU Rag & Flag is a ground-up initiative tradition involving over 20 NUS Faculties, halls and residential colleges. More than 7,000 volunteers were involved in last year’s NUSSU Rag and Flag and a total of $472,000 was raised for 23 social service organisations supported by Community Chest. To inculcate in themselves the spirit of volunteerism, the students also regularly volunteer at various social service organisations like the Asian Women’s Welfare Association (AWWA) and Lions Befriender to care for the service service users within the community.
(Photo credits to 39th NUSSU President, Jeffrey Lee)
“The National University of Singapore Students’ Union prides ourselves in nurturing global leaders of change with a spirit of volunteerism and the heart to serve the larger community.” says Lee Zi Quan Jeffrey, NUSSU’s 39th President.
The Community Chest Awards 2017 Ceremony was presided by Guest-of-Honour, President Halimah Yacob for the very first time, as Patron-in-Chief of NCSS and Community Chest. A total of 406 awards were given out to top donors who contributed close to $35 million in FY2016. The top 56 awards were presented by President Halimah Yacob and Special Guest, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family Development, to donors on the evening of October 13.
Among those who performed at the Ceremony, were 16 year old Chai Chang Xun, who has autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 11 year old Samuel Tan who is raising funds for Community Chest from his debut concert, and his mentor Min Lee, Singapore’s renowned violinist.
About Community Chest
For over 30 years, we have been engaging the community to support people in need through fund-raising and volunteering. We support about 80 social service organisations in Singapore, allowing them to focus on caring for the disadvantaged. As our fund-raising and operating costs are covered mainly by Tote Board Group, comprising Tote Board, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, 100% of your donation goes towards:
• Building strong and resilient families
• Caring for vulnerable seniors
• Empowering children with special needs and youth-at-risk
• Integrating adults with disabilities into society
• Supporting persons with mental health issues
Find out more at comchest.sg.
About Singapore Cares (SG Cares)
SG Cares is a national movement dedicated to supporting Singaporeans’ efforts in building a more caring and inclusive home for all. The movement invites Singaporeans to put values into action through active volunteerism, ground-up efforts and everyday acts of care. It also aims to build capability across various sectors and organisations so as to create conditions and grow opportunities for volunteerism. By inspiring and supporting one another, we can show the world that we are a nation with a big heart.
Find out more at www.sgcares.sg.