SINGAPORE - The labour movement has raised $10.5 million to help poor union members and their families.
The funds, raised by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) since February, will mostly go towards grocery and school supply vouchers for 40,000 families and 40,600 students.
Of the sum raised, $9 million was in cash, while $1.5 million has been pledged by NTUC Club to sponsor six carnivals for poor families to attend.
The biggest donor was the Singapore Labour Foundation - a statutory board under the Manpower Ministry - which gave $5.2 million. FairPrice, NTUC Income and NTUC Choice Homes donated $2.3 million in total.
Among corporate donors, ComfortDelgro Corporation gave the most - $120,000.
Some 100 donors received appreciation plaques from NTUC at a dinner at Resorts World Sentosa on Wednesday night. Labour MP Zainal Sapari, an NTUC director, who headed the fund-raising drive, said that it is "always a challenge" to raise over $10 million every year.
Last year, NTUC raised $10.5 million, disbursing $9.9 million in aid.
He singled out for praise all 61 unions and associations affiliated to the NTUC for making donations. Last year, only 48 did so.
One of the beneficiaries was 51-year-old Lai Yet Eng, who received $500 in vouchers on behalf of her four children aged six to 18. She earns about $450 each month distributing flyers part-time, while her husband does odd jobs.
She said: "The amount may not be much, but it will help me buy assessment books I would not have been able to afford."
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