249 donors, partners lauded for contributions to Community Chest
A total of 249 top donors and partners were recognised for their contributions to the Community Chest last night.
The Community Chest Awards ceremony at the Istana also marked the launch of the Step Up 200 initiative, which honours 20 organisations and individual donors for their increased fund-raising and engagement efforts to rally the community in giving. Last year, the Community Chest raised $54.2 million for 80 social service agencies.
The United Overseas Bank (UOB) took home the highest accolade of the night - the Pinnacle Award - which recognises an organisation for being exemplary in holistic caring and a role model in the giving of donations, volunteerism and/or making non-monetary contributions, and inclusive employment.
Its UOB Scan Hub, the key nerve centre for the digitisation and archival of customer documents, employs 23 people with disabilities.
"We are encouraged to see many partners stepping up to pursue giving beyond monetary donations. Some have integrated inclusive business practices in their hiring, while others use their skills and talent to make a difference in the lives of others," said Mr Phillip Tan, chairman of the Community Chest.
President Halimah Yacob, patron-in-chief of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) attended the awards ceremony, which was hosted by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, patron of the NCSS.
Thirteen students from the Association for Persons with Special Needs, a beneficiary of the Community Chest, were taught by renowned local chefs including Violet Oon and Daniel Tay, to prepare desserts for the occasion.
"It was not difficult at all. I really like to learn a lot," said student Siti Fatimah, 32, whose ambition is to become a baker.
Donations from the 20 organisations and individual donors under the Step Up 200 initiative are matched dollar-for-dollar from the Bicentennial Community Fund up to 20 per cent of the total funds raised from April 1 to March 31 next year.
One donor was Singapore Press Holdings, which raised $426,000, 22 per cent more than the previous year's donations.