60 volunteers distribute food items to Jalan Kukoh's needy residents

60 volunteers distribute food items to Jalan Kukoh's needy residents
Volunteers were empowered to manage the process so as to encourage ownership over the initiative. Numerous items were contributed by SKM's corporate partners in support of its hashtag campaign.

SINGAPORE - Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) has partnered local volunteer group The Volunteer Switchboard (VSB) to distribute food items to needy residents in the Jalan Kukoh neighbourhood in celebration of the coming Lunar New Year.

The pre-Chinese New Year distribution, that happened Sunday, Feb 8, was the latest in a series of monthly sessions organised by the group for its outreach initiative in Jalan Kukoh, termed Project Home Sweet Home.

Some 60 volunteers gathered at Jalan Kukoh RC, which served as the base in a neighbourhood of mostly rental flats.

Volunteers at the distribution drive included numerous residents who are beneficiaries of the goodie packs themselves and had volunteered to help bring these packs to their neighbours.


Young children helping to pack goodie bags for VSB's pre-CNY distribution. Several young families came with children in tow for the session

"When we first started Project Home Sweet Home, it took awhile before the resident volunteers grew receptive to the idea of volunteering to help their neighbours. Now, they look forward to the sessions and some even bring their little ones to join us. The best part of this initiative is seeing the community pull together and show such concern for one another," said Ms Li Woon Churdboonchart, founder of VSB.

VSB hopes to empower the Jalan Kukoh community to help the needy in their midst by building a system that can be driven by the residents themselves.

"The long-term goal of this initiative is to create a self-sustaining programme involving everyone in Jalan Kukoh. Subsequently, if we can bring such a system to more vulnerable neighbourhoods all around Singapore, it is an opportunity for kindness in the community to blossom and spread," said Ms Churdboonchart.

Among the variety of items distributed were products pledged by the general public under the SKM's hashtag campaign conducted in late 2014. The campaign encouraged netizens to document acts of kindness and graciousness on social media, using the hashtag #NationofKindness.


Volunteers deliver food goodie bags to needy residents in Jalan Kukoh on Feb 8, 2015

A total of 6,000 hashtags were used over three months, corresponding to 6,000 items donated by SKM's corporate partners Gardenia, F&N and Super Group.

VSB is one of four groups that SKM worked with to bring these 6,000 items to needy households in various batches. The distributions have taken place over the past three months and are targeted to conclude by April.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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