A Season of Fun and Giving

Everyone looks forward to the year-end celebrations and ending the year on a high note. We’ve had the privilege to do so, thanks to volunteers and partners who came up [...]

Everyone looks forward to the year-end celebrations and ending the year on a high note. We’ve had the privilege to do so, thanks to volunteers and partners who came up with different ways to spread the joy of the season with our clients.

Toys for the little ones
Toys filled the Christmas socks of many of our young clients from the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) last month, thanks to Hasbro, one of the largest toy makers in the world.

Hasbro Singapore staff visited the Building Bridges EIPIC Centre on 15 December with some of their most popular toys and mascots. They worked with our teachers to plan games that engaged the children’s imagination as well as encouraged communication, play, and development of fine- and gross-motor skills.

The children were very excited to receive toys from Hasbro as Christmas presents. The company also donated toys to SPD to make learning fun and engaging in our EIPIC classrooms.

“SPD is a highly inspirational, very motivated and motivating team. Hasbro’s Global Day of Joy in partnership with SPD ran very smoothly. It was a great success and the event provided a lot of joy not just to the kids but to the Hasbro team. This was in no small part down to SPD’s flexibility and love for what they do. A great experience which we shall no doubt be repeating. Thank you SPD!” said Ms Anabel Higgin, a senior licensing manager, of their visit to the SPD EIPIC Centre.

While organising a Christmas party for her friends, Ms Sophie Strangward, a Tiong Bahru resident who lives near SPD Ability Centre, asked each of her guests to donate a toy to brighten up a child’s day. Sophie personally collected and delivered 30 toys, ranging from teddy bears to building blocks, to SPD where they were shared among the EIPIC children.

Ms Strangward was just happy to have brought cheer to the children. “Having moved into Tiong Bahru last year, I wanted to put something back into this great community. SPD does fantastic work for kids and so some friends and I ran a mini toy drive to share a little extra fun and joy at Christmas. Felt great to know that a few kids had a little extra something this year. Look forward to getting even more involved in the community in 2016!”

Festive treats
A supporter of our donation box drive, Geláre Singapore arranged for 15 of their staff to visit our Sheltered Workshop on 16 December. They brought with them pizza, waffles and ice-cream and spent the afternoon interacting with the trainees and decorated their work area.

“Geláre Singapore is extremely glad to be able to spread Christmas joy at SPD. We felt instant gratification seeing the smiles and joy the beneficiaries were having. We were heartened to know that we brought a little sunshine to them!” said marketing executive Ms Ng Wan Ting.

“The food that the volunteers brought were delicious and we had a lot of fun decorating the Christmas trees,” said Cheng Pui Lin, a trainee at the workshop.

Once again, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore hosted 40 of the Sheltered Workshop trainees at their hotel for a Christmas party on 21 December.

The management and staff pulled out all the stops to make this Christmas a memorable one for all – from the glittery decoration to the wide buffet spread and festive-themed costumes.

Gifts from the heart
We are heartened by the gifts which some of our partners brought for our clients.

Long-time volunteers from the Singapore Soka Association never fail to energise our Day Activity Centre (DAC) and the clients always look forward to their visits. Their most recent visit on 17 December was no different as they sang, danced and entertained to the delight of the clients. The volunteers also gave each client a bag full of goodies, as they have always done at Christmas.

“Altruism is the most effective means of self-realisation and self-perfection,” quipped community service manager Ms Soh Wei Fong, “Doing good for others is the best way to develop one’s own character and find greater happiness for oneself.”,

Eleven staff of online travel company Expedia brought 120 bags of daily necessities for the elderly clients at SPD@Toa Payoh on 22 December.

Ms Ong Ming Ai, tax director at Expedia, was glad for the opportunity to bring Christmas cheer to the elderly, “We wanted to make the holiday season more meaningful to our staff and what better way than to galvanise everyone to put together care packages for SPD. Our staff and families enjoyed selecting and packaging these into cheery bundles and also being able to deliver these first-hand and seeing the SPD clients’ eyes light up – that’s truly the spirit of Christmas!” she said.

“Thank you Expedia for sharing the festive joy with our elderly. They brought along gifts that the clients can use every day which they really appreciate,” said Sharon Chen, the centre’s manager.

Joshua Tree Innovations PL did the same by giving away 160 goodie bags of essential items such as rice, cooking oil and biscuits to clients and trainees from DAC and the Sheltered Workshop on 30 December. Ms Christina Lim, co-owner of Joshua Tree, says of their contribution “As we look back upon the year and recognise our blessings, it is only right that we give back to our community through acts of kindness, no matter how small.”

A pair of young siblings decided to do a good deed this Christmas and turned the customary receiving of gifts into a fundraising initiative instead. Primary 6 student Kwok Yu Tong, along with her younger brother, Kwok Yu Qian, who is in Primary 2, decided to appeal for cash donations from their close group of friends and relatives instead. They raised a total of $180 which they handed over to SPD on 5 January. The pair felt the donation was all the more worth it after they went on a tour of the SPD Ability Centre to understand better how their donations would help people with disabilities.

We thank all our supporters for their thoughts and well-wishes and for making the festive season a memorable one for us.