She raised $1,500 for stranger
Back in July, she reached out to The New Paper to see how she could help Madam Jurina Johari and her family.
She found out about the mother of two from a video in TNP's Ramadan series, which showed Madam Jurina cooking a simple meal for iftar (breaking of fast) and talking about her struggles supporting her family.
After sharing the video to her 600 friends on Facebook, Ms Karen Chan helped raise $1,500 - $1,200 in cash and $300 in FairPrice vouchers - for Madam Jurina's family.
On July 8, she visited Madam Jurina at her one-room rental flat in Sembawang, where they discussed work-from-home opportunities for the single mother.
Madam Jurina, who has had chronic kidney disease for more than 25 years, lives with her two sons, one of whom is autistic, and her 60-year-old mother.
TNP first reported on her in May, after she lost her last $50 in a snatch theft.
Ms Chan, 35, was one of the many people who rallied to Madam Jurina's aid afterwards. Her own background was a huge factor in driving her to help.
"I empathised with (Madam Jurina's) hardship... I knew that I could do something to help, whatever that was within my means," she said.
"I was born into a family who lived in a one-room rental flat. I was fostered out as a baby and saw very little of my parents, who were trying to make ends meet."
When she was five, Ms Chan and her two older siblings were separated after being fostered out to different families following her father's death from nasopharyngeal cancer.
The digital marketing manager told TNP: "(My mother) had difficulties juggling being a breadwinner for her three children, and (caring for) my grandmother, who had heart disease, and an unemployed sister."
After her guardian died, Ms Chan was once again left to fend for herself.
WORKED 3 JOBS
The then-18-year-old worked three jobs to pay for her education at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa).
"I had to think of ways to put food on the table. People asked me, 'How can you be poor? You're wearing Nike.' But they didn't know I was working for the company, and it gave employees $150 a month to spend (on in-house products)."
Ms Chan works at the Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI), where she kick-started #SocialHR, a monthly human relations event that encourages community building, collaboration and sharing of experiences among attendees.
TNP attended a #SocialHR event at Dignity Kitchen restaurant on Aug 16, which featured guest speakers from Dignity Kitchen, charity organisation Daughters of Tomorrow and Job Club by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
Ms Chan said SHRI would be hiring someone through Job Club by IMH to work in her department.
She said: "I made a promise to myself to help others if I succeeded in getting myself out of the rut. My mantra is simple: 'Whether you can or can't, you are both right'."