Mum donates $100 of $800 salary monthly

Madam Jenny Yim, 57, earns $800 a month and has a family to feed. But every time she receives her salary, she gives $100 to the needy through Club-100 @ North West.

The mother of two, who works as a bus attendant, had seen young children on the way to school sharing their meagre breakfast - sometimes just a slice of bread - with their siblings.

So in 2008, when North West District mayor Teo Ho Pin made a pitch for residents to make monthly donations of $100 to the North West Food Aid Fund, Madam Yim decided to contribute.

Since its inception in 2008, Club-100 @ North West has raised $5.3 million that went towards helping more than 12,000 needy families in the North West District.

It started out with 10 members, and has 620 today.

At a thank-you dinner for donors held at Parliament House yesterday, Madam Yim said donating a substantial proportion of her income comes easily to her.

"I am happy leading a simple life, because helping people is my priority," she said.

Another donor is Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui, who lives in the north-western part of Singapore and has been giving to the fund for five years.

Said Ms Cheng, whose family also donates: "It's a meaningful programme because it's neighbours helping neighbours, and providing food is one of the most immediate things you can do for the needy."

She was among the donors recognised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Mr Lee, who also chairs the People's Association, told the 250 people at the event that their good work not only helps the needy directly, but also goes a long way in fostering social cohesion.

Pointing to developments in some societies, he said people who "feel like the people in charge don't seem to be caring for them" had voted for extreme candidates in a fit of anger. Singapore is not immune to this, he added.

To ensure the strength of Singapore's system of government, he said, "stabilisers" such as the elected presidency have been put in place.

But he added that it was also important for Singaporeans to be united.

"The most important thing is that society has to feel together, feel that you are one (and) working for one another," he said. "Through Club-100 and more, we hope we get our message through and that we can hold together as one united people."

This article was first published on October 28, 2016.
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