SINGAPORE – Their Christmas wishlist did not include the latest gaming device or another Barbie doll. All they wanted were basic necessities: Spectacles that will not slip off or new school shoes to replace their only worn out pair.
And yesterday, more than 180 children from low-income families got an early Christmas treat.
At Tampines Changkat’s annual Festive Wishes Come True project, 13-year-old Boey Ming Yao got a new pair of spectacles after waiting for several years despite worsening myopia and the onset of astigmatism.
Even though his old pair kept falling off during his National Police Cadet Corps trainings, his father, the sole breadwinner in the family of five, was unable to afford a new one.
The initiative, spearheaded by youth leaders in the constituency, allowed 67 children this year to get gifts worth up to $70. More than 60 volunteers shopped for the gifts while others donated money and items.
The constituency’s Member of Parliament, Ms Irene Ng, said: “This is a meaningful project that brings a smile to the faces of our needy children. It also brings out the best in our volunteers, who go the extra mile to make sure the children’s wishes can indeed come true.”
In the spirit of giving, another group of 120 children went on a sponsored shopping trip yesterday where most spent their money prudently on school essentials such as shoes and schoolbags.
Some also thought of others. Punggol Primary student That Htet Aung said: “I’ve also bought a pencil case for my little sister because, next year, she doesn’t have a pencil case to take to school.”
The children were given an average of $75 for the trip to Marina Square, jointly organised by TNT Singapore and service organisation Lions Club of Singapore Metropolitan, and paired with volunteers and teachers who guided them on their purchases.
TNT Singapore managing director Damien Tan said they wanted to do something meaningful, targeted mainly at children and decided on a charity shopping event as it was Christmas time.