They are packing in the fun

They are packing in the fun
PICK A PACK: Ms Chen (in green) working as part of a production line for the packing of fun packs.
PHOTO: The New Paper

It was her day off from her housekeeping duties at Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa resort, yet Miss Chen Wan Yi, 27, chose to spend it at an army camp in Kranji packing fun packs.

Miss Chen, who has Down syndrome, is one of 512 volunteers from six organisations helping with packing the fun packs this year - both the SG50 and the NDP ones.

Besides the Down Syndrome Association, others include the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore, Bizlink, the Singapore Soka Association and Temasek Junior College.

Ms Chen told The New Paper she was more than happy to volunteer.

"I enjoy it a lot because my friends are here," she said.

"I am very happy I get to do this."

Ms Chen, who usually spends her off days relaxing with her friends at the Down Syndrome Association, was enthusiastic at her assigned role.

She carefully handled each item that went into the packs and meticulously ensured that nothing was left out.

A new initiative allows volunteers to leave a signed card in the pack they worked on, so the receiver has an idea who helped pack the bags and can send them an e-mail to thank them later.

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Wong Pui Chuan, chairman of the Engagement Committee, said: "This enables Singaporeans to thank the people who worked hard to put the fun packs together, while also highlighting the organisations that were involved."

This follows feedback the Committee received that Singaporeans wanted to participate in the celebrations.

LTC Wong added: "We have approached various organisations to participate in this year's project so that they can pack for another Singaporean."

In the course of packing, Ms Chen wanted to make sure her best friend's card was included - that of Miss June Lin, 31, who works as a greeter at Singapore Cable Cars, who had volunteered a week earlier.

"I want to help my best friend leave her card, so someone will know she packed it," Ms Chen said.

"She worked hard, so I want to make sure someone gets her card."

With 1.25 million SG50 fun packs to go to households, and another 300,000 NDP fun packs, this is the largest ever packing operation held for a National Day celebration.

The volunteers are chipping in for the mammoth task, which also sees about 900 army personnel working to pack 120,000 packs daily.

Each SG50 fun pack carries 12 different items, such as a keychain, a pick-up sticks set and a calender of events for the Jubilee Weekend.

Participants at the NDP can expect a pack with 26 different items, including local snacks, a NDP hat and vouchers.


This article was first published on July 22, 2015.
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