Singapore

Charity uses claw machines to raise funds

In light of the gloomy economic outlook, voluntary welfare organisations (VWO) here must come up with "innovative ways" to attract donors, said Thye Hua Kwan (THK) chairman Lee Kim Siang.

Yesterday, THK launched a roadshow highlighting its services at the Junction 8 shopping mall in Bishan with a twist - a claw machine.

Every try on the machine - which accepts both $1 coins and special tokens - costs $2.

The money raised will go towards services such as THK's free meal centres and clinics, which do not receive government funding.

Mr Lee said the roadshow and the machines were a "minor expenditure" to attract people to find out more about THK's services and programmes.

THK bought 10 machines for about $10,000, including the cost of shipping from China. A spokesman for the organisation said it was fully sponsored by an anonymous donor.

Mr Lee said THK had not yet been affected by the economy.

"We are okay. In good times and bad times, people help us," he said.

Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Saktiandi Supaat, who attended the event, agreed that VWOs could do more to raise funds with the economic downturn.

"Creative methods of fund-raising could be a way," he said.

The roadshow, together with the machines, will be at Junction 8 until Sunday.

From Jan 16, they will be at AMK Hub in Ang Mo Kio and Northpoint in Yishun, for between one and three months.

THK also hopes to place them at other locations such as community centres and swimming pools in the future.

Mr Prakash Gedam, whose two children tried out the claw machines, said they were a good way of raising funds.

"The kids enjoy themselves while the parents give to charity," said the 41-year-old who works in a bank.

charityEconomy