SINGAPORE - Give any child $100, and he would probably spend it all on goodies or toys. Not 11-year-old Lim Zhi Hao.
Recently, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (SPMF) beneficiary was given $100 in vouchers to shop for whatever he wanted at shopping malls United Square and Velocity@ Novena Square.
Instead of getting toys for himself, the Primary 6 pupil from St Anthony's Primary School chose to get groceries because "my family needs it more".
The event, Shop-For-A-Wish Day, was organised by the Singapore Retailers Association, MasterCard and the two shopping malls.
It was for 100 SPMF beneficiaries from five disbursing agencies - Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre (FSC), THK FSC @ Bedok North, Pertapis Children's Home, Fei Yue FSC at Bukit Batok and Whispering Hearts FSC.
With the vouchers, Zhi Hao bought soft drinks, eggs, a tin of Milo, flour and "some beer for my father", among other things, he later told this reporter.
Ms Vimala Devi, a programme executive from Fei Yue FSC who accompanied Zhi Hao on the shopping trip, told The New Paper: "He was the only kid who took groceries during the shopping spree... I was surprised by this. He later said he did it because his family deserved the treat more than him."
When TNP visited the boy at his family's three-room Bukit Batok flat on Friday, the boy was sheepish about his good deed, saying that practical things were better than toys.
He lives with his father, Mr Lim Kwan Song, 53, and 15-yearold sister Lim Qing Yu.
Mr Lim said he was touched by his son's gesture. "I asked him why he didn't spend the money on toys," said the cleaner, who earns $1,200 each month.
"But he just told me 'no'. He said his plan all along was to buy stuff for the family," said Mr Lim in Mandarin.