A heartfelt image revamp for ComChest

A heartfelt image revamp for ComChest
Phillip Tan, new chairman of Community Chest. He is also the vice-president of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) board.

SINGAPORE - The Community Chest - a glamorous outfit which targets just the well-heeled to raise huge sums of money?

If that is the impression some people have of Singapore's biggest fund-raiser in the social service sector, then it is time to change it, said ComChest's new chairman Phillip Tan.

"I want to change this perception and get everyone from children to blue-collar workers involved and create a culture of caring and sharing beyond monetary donations," said Mr Tan, who succeeded hotelier Jennie Chua who held the position for 14 years.

This strong belief that charity goes beyond money has long followed the 64-year-old semi-retiree, having learnt the importance of kindness from a young age, often from his father.

In an interview last Thursday, on the first day in his new job, he recalled how, in 1969, during Malaysia's May 13 race riots, his father opened their home to his classmate's family of eight.

"It was dangerous where they lived so my friend asked if they could stay with us. My dad, without as much as a second thought, said yes immediately," said Mr Tan, who grew up in Kuala Lumpur.

"My friend and his family went on to stay with us for two months."

And this is the type of neighbourliness he wants to spread through Singapore's heartlands.

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