Mercy Relief targets more donations for Pakistan flood victims
Mon, Aug 23, 2010
my paper

THE devastating floods in Pakistan have inspired generous giving by Singaporeans.

In just 21/2 weeks, starting from Aug 5, local non-governmental organisation Mercy Relief (MR) has collected $509,000 for flood victims.

Yesterday, it was looking to raise another $20,000 with a day of street fund-raising by volunteers, which comprised 100 Singaporeans from construction firm HSL Constructor and 120 members of the National University of Singapore Pakistani Society.

The construction firm had mooted the fund-raising drive.

Though total takings were not known at press time, at just one location in front of Takashimaya in Orchard Road, three young men each gave $50, while a mother of two gave $100.

Said MR chief executive Hassan Ahmad, 39, on his impression of Singaporeans: "We are really impressed."

The volunteers stationed themselves at Jurong Point, Bugis Junction and Causeway Point, and in Orchard Road and Geylang Serai, from 1pm to 7pm.

Electrical-engineering student Talha Fazal, 20, whose hometown is Lahore, Pakistan, was warmed by Singaporeans' generosity. "Almost all the people I asked, contributed," he said.

Recalled Mr Charles Quek, 37, executive director of HSL Constructor: "Within 11/2 hours of taking up position in front of Takashimaya, I'd given out 180 stickers (each donor got one).

A guy in his late 30s even asked us for a donation can so he could help raise money, too."

An MR spokesman said it has raised far more for Pakistani flood victims than it did for Haiti and Chile earthquake victims earlier this year, which drew about $7,600 and $24,000, respectively, in the first two weeks.

One reason for this, said the spokesman, was that MR was on the ground in Pakistan early, from Aug 1 (the flooding began in the later half of last month), and the media reported on its personnel's activities.

The largest donation so far is around $140,000 from the Singapore Government and $124,000 from the Blessing For All Foundation.

MR has also received donations from 450 individuals; some gave as much as $20,000.

It is still calling for more donations for flood-stricken areas in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan.

Said Mr Hassan: "We are sending another seven-man team to Pakistan in early September and we want to take along more water-filtration systems, which they need."

For enquiries, call MR on 6514-6320.


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