The labour movement's U Care Fund has given out more than $59.2 million since it was started in 2009 to help low-income union members in times of need.
To continue giving the needy a lift, it hopes to raise more than usual this year, senior unionist Zainal Sapari said yesterday. It raised around $10.5 million in each of the past two years.
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is organising two fund-raisers instead of one for the fund's fifth anniversary this year.
"With our union membership continuing to grow, it is anticipated that there may be more members who may need our help," said Mr Zainal, who is assistant secretary-general of NTUC and director of the Care and Share department.
He was speaking at the first fund-raiser yesterday.
Jointly organised by Orchid Country Club (OCC), the U Care-OCC Charity Golf event raised nearly $1.5 million in donations from 28 unions and corporations, including $1 million from the NTUC FairPrice Foundation.
Mr Zainal noted the special meaning that the month of May holds for the labour movement, referring to May Day on the first of the month which celebrates workers' contributions.
"It is a time we celebrate and honour all workers of Singapore. It is also a time when we reaffirm our commitment to help all workers earn a better living and lead better lives."
OCC is organising OCC May Fest, a sports and games carnival at the country club, for workers and their families until tomorrow.
Last year, some $9 million was disbursed by the U Care Fund through programmes such as discount vouchers for groceries, vouchers to defray school expenses, and family recreation packages.
The second fund-raising event, the annual U Care Dinner, will be held later in the year.
Meanwhile, NTUC's adult learning centre kicked off a two-week Employability Fair at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong East yesterday.
There will be 3,000 job positions from 450 employers available, the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) said in a media release.
More than 40 events will be held until May 18, including job fairs with Jurong Health and Traders Hotel, business writing seminars and employability workshops conducted in English and Mandarin.
In its second year, the Employability Fair hopes to reach 4,000 workers, up from 3,000 last year.
Places for certain courses by e2i training partner Kaplan Professional are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Anyone interested can call 6309-5738 to reserve a seat. For details, go to www.e2i.com.sg/ef2014/
This article was published on May 3 in The Straits Times.
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