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CNA Features: Singapore Children's Society to recruit 1,000 firms to donate every year

February 2, 2009

Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Charities are having a hard time during this recession. For instance, the Singapore Children's Society (SCS) saw a 22 per cent drop in donations as individuals scaled back their contributions last year.

To counter that, the society has launched an initiative to encourage companies to continue giving to those in need.

SCS said the number of disadvantaged families seeking assistance have swelled by 24 per cent compared to the previous year.

With more needing help, the charity hopes to build up its war chest by banking on big and small companies to keep funds coming in.

It aims to get 1,000 companies to donate S$1,000 or more every year for the next three years to raise S$3 million.

SCS hopes to gather at least 20 "Leading Enterprises", each donating S$10,000 or more a year and the remaining 980 "Participating Enterprises" to donate at least S$1,000 each.

The response has been positive since it started its outreach in December.

Koh Choon Hui, chairman, Executive Committee, SCS 1900, said: "As of today, more than 35 organisations have committed to donate for three years and the amount they have pledged to us is S$145,000."

The society needs S$10 million this year to run its services, which include caregiving and public education.

80 per cent of the children from the Student Care Centre in Henderson come from families that earn S$1,500 or less a month. Some 60 per cent of the kids come from single families.

With the help from Student Care Centres, it is hoped that parents of these kids will be able to go out and work.

The society said it will dip into its S$25 million reserves to help more needy families, if necessary. - CNA/vm

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