Overwhelming response to MP's plea for help for mother and daughter
Homeless with a seven-year-old in tow, woman seeks help from MP who rallies support from social media
Kicked out of their flat by her husband last month after a marital dispute, Madam N (not her full name) had only $85 in her pocket and a bag with some clothes when she went to a crisis shelter with her seven-year-old daughter.
After two weeks there, the 29-year-old, who had no family to turn to, still could not secure a rental flat and financial assistance, and became desperate.
She decided to approach Punggol West MP Sun Xueling for help and went to her Meet-the-People Session (MPS) on Dec 28.
While mother and daughter eventually got their rental flat, they could not afford household items such as a refrigerator and washing machine.
Ms Sun, who is Minister of State for Social and Family Development, went on Facebook on Wednesday to make a plea for help.
Within 10 minutes, her call was answered as members of the public offered items ranging from a television down to school bags.
"Tears came to my eyes when I saw the overwhelming response," Ms Sun told The New Paper yesterday.
"I am immensely grateful to all the kind-hearted souls who responded so quickly online to extend help. Singapore is strong, beautiful and kind because of them."
Ms Lina Wang, 47, was one of those who reached out to help.
A vice-president at an artificial intelligence company, she said: "In times like this, when the economy is bad, there are many without jobs. It is heartening to see there are still people willing to help others with what ever little they have."
Madam N is thankful for all the help.
"I am touched that so many people reached out to help us, and it has given me hope," she said.
"I am grateful to everyone, including the social workers and of course, Ms Sun."
Moved by the mother's plea for help at the MPS, Ms Sun and her team contacted the Housing Board about a rental flat application, and provided financial assistance and NTUC vouchers.
They also wrote to the girl's primary school to request for student care help so Madam N could have time to look for a job.
Said Ms Sun: "We will continue to follow up with Madam N and her child to ensure they have the support and care they need."
Madam N, who was from Vietnam, had to quit her part-time jobs in security and at a quarantine facility to take care of her daughter.
Now a Singaporean, she intends to work as a financial assistant and is studying for the required test next month.
Madam N said: "I remember I was stressed and I wanted to give up. But I knew that for the sake of my daughter's future, I had to persevere.
"Now, I just want to settle down and move on with my daughter."