SINGAPORE - Organisations that help the needy in Singapore are about to get a lot more financial help themselves.
Another $250 million has been set aside in a fund to match donations raised by the Community Chest and voluntary welfare organisations here, raising the total to $500 million, said Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing yesterday.
The matching fund supports the Community Chest's Care and Share @ SG50 Movement, set up in October 2013 to encourage people and firms to work with welfare groups to help those in need.
At the time, the Government pledged the original $250 million to match donations raised by the Community Chest and welfare organisations between December 2013 and December last year.
More than $300 million was eventually raised, and at least 110,000 volunteers were roped in through more than 2,000 fund- raising and volunteerism events.
"We want to build on this momentum, so the Government and Tote Board will set aside another $250 million," said Mr Chan during the SG Care and Share Day event organised by the Community Chest and MediaCorp at the Singapore Sports Hub.
The additional funds will go towards matching donations raised by the organisations until March next year, Mr Chan added.
Among the welfare groups present yesterday was the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped. Executive director Michael Tan said many people tried reading Braille at the event, and learnt more about issues faced by the visually handicapped in Singapore.
"Many of the welfare organisations, including ourselves, need donations to cover equipment and other expenses, so the additional funds from the Government will go a long way," he said.
Earlier in the day, more than 150 volunteers from the Community Chest's corporate partners distributed 2,000 festive packs to seniors and needy families.
Volunteer Daniel Nio, from the Singapore Airlines Cabin Crew Club for Community Care, said he was happy to play a small part in giving back to the community, especially during the nation's golden jubilee year. "The smiles on the beneficiaries' faces made it all worthwhile," he said.
About 150 seniors took part in fun-filled activities and were taken on a tour of the Singapore Sports Hub.
SG Care and Share Day will be held once a year in January.
This article was first published on January 26, 2015.
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