A supermarket with a heart

A supermarket with a heart
Madam Neo Shee Wan (centre) and her granddaughters, Venus (left) and Nicole (right), are among 1,000 low-income families sponsored by Sheng Siong supermarket chain for the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk on 29 November 2015.
PHOTO: The New Paper

Madam Neo Shee Wan, 66, is often too worried about supporting her family to think about recreation or bonding.

She earns $800 monthly as a cleaner in a clinic.

Her retiree husband, 68, does odd jobs to make ends meet.

But thanks to the Sheng Siong supermarket chain, Madam Neo and her family will be able to enjoy the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk on Sunday, along with the fun and freebies at the carnival at the end of the Walk.

Madam Neo, her husband, daughter and four grandchildren, are among 1,000 low-income families sponsored by Sheng Siong at the Walk.

She said her two granddaughters, Nicole, 13, and Venus, 11, often take part in community walks, but this will be their first time joining such a large-scale event.

25,000 EXPECTED

About 25,000 people are expected to take part on Sunday at 7am.

Sheng Siong approached the People's Association (PA) about sponsoring low-income families for the Walk.

PA helped the supermarket chain in the selection process.

Mr Lim Hock Chee, chief executive officer of Sheng Siong, said: "We decided to sponsor these families as we want them to be included in such national events, while bonding with their families and other residents.

"Usually, they will only go to places near their home. Now, they can enjoy the scenery of some places they've not been to."

Nicole said: "I'm excited to see the community coming together and also to spend time with my family. We seldom have the time to get together."

Madam Laila Abdul Jalil, 40, a housewife, and her seven children, aged four to 18, will also be benefiting from Sheng Siong's generosity.

"Usually, the children would stay at home and play during the holidays," said Madam Laila.

"Now, they'll have the chance to get out and enjoy themselves and see all the famous landmarks."

Besides enjoying a nice morning out, Mr Lim also wants the families to use the 5km Walk as a reminder to "take care of themselves as health is wealth".

Sheng Siong is no stranger to giving back to the community.

50 HOURS OF GIVING

Earlier this year, the company took part in an initiative called 50 Hours Of Giving, which encourages employees to regularly volunteer their time, skills and expertise.

From 2009 to 2014, Sheng Siong was a benefactor for Singapore Red Cross Society's Project R.I.C.E, which reaches out to underprivileged families by giving them rice during Chinese New Year.


This article was first published on November 27, 2015.
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