Over the past year, The New Paper has featured many ordinary individuals living extraordinary lives.
Mr Ng Ah Bah is one of them.
The cobbler, who operates at Katong Plaza, was featured in April for his unconditional devotion to his wife of 44 years.
Readers were touched by the story of how he looks after his wheelchair-bound wife who had suffered a stroke last year.
When The New Paper received an anonymous donation of $1,300 last week, we decided to make the holiday season a little more festive by surprising these inspiring people with cash that they truly need and deserve.
After all, they had touched the lives of many others with their stories.
And Mr Ng certainly inspired and warmed the hearts of TNP readers.
When his wife Madam Yap Guek Neo's health deteriorated again a few months ago, he had no choice but to send her to All Saints Home in Tampines.
Clearly grateful for our gift, he told us that the money would help alleviate the stress of paying his wife's medical bills.
Other than Mr Ng, TNP also played Santa Claus to three other people.
Many readers will remember Madam Rafeah Abdul Kadir, 36, the sole breadwinner and mother of 10 children, aged between four and 18.
TNP reported on how loan sharks went to her home looking for her husband, who had walked out on the family two years ago.
She also admitted that her husband was not paying any maintenance, making it difficult for her to take care of her children almost single-handedly.
While accepting our gift, Madam Rafeah said: "My wish for next year is to not rely on the kindness of strangers. They have helped so much, but I want to survive on my own.
"I want to set up a frozen food business online with my friend."
Mr Neo Chuan Beng, 62, who is single, still struggles as he lives alone in a cluttered one-room flat at Beach Road.
He lost the use of his legs when he was 10 years old and relies on a motorised wheelchair to get around.
After receiving our Christmas present, Mr Neo said: "Every day, I eat very little rice and meat. Tomorrow, I can eat a little bit more rice."
TNP also visited Madam Lily Teo. We had reported on how she shared her home with a homeless man who was a complete stranger.
She had done this expecting nothing in return, despite her difficult financial situation. Madam Teo relies on a $200 grant from a social welfare group every month.
Yet, when The New Paper visited her this week, she looked contented. The homeless man, Mr Tan See Bah, is still living in Madam Teo's home.
Even when talking about the cash that TNP had given her, her thoughts were for other people.
Madam Teo said: "At least there will be food at home when my grandchildren visit me for Christmas Day and on New Year's Day."
This article was first published on Dec 29, 2014.
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