Spreading love and joy in adversity

Providing financial support for students at Rainbow Centre and their families was the aim of this year’s special edition of Gifts of Joy.

No pandemic could stop the annual Gifts of Joy from fulfilling its core purpose – to come together to bring joy to the community. For the past seven years, the community outreach programme has enabled Workspace tenants to give back through various ways – by fulfilling beneficiary wishes, volunteering their time to wrap presents or spending a day with beneficiaries. 

Standing shoulder to shoulder 

This year marked an important year for the initiative for a number of reasons. First, ‘Gifts of Joy – The Essentials Edition’ was a special one-off campaign slightly different from its usual format. It was launched in June 2020 as a direct response to the financial challenges that the students at Rainbow Centre and their families were going through in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many in our community such as children and youth have been affected during this trying time,” says Annie Chin, Cluster Director for Southeast Asia at Ferring, Capital Tower, one of the companies who made a corporate contribution this year. “We recognise that much help and support is needed to ensure that no one is left behind.” On top of their corporate donation, Ferring also took it a step further and rallied their staff to participate in the fundraising to do good for the community.

The uncertain job climate exacerbated the financial situation of these children’s families. To support families who suffered income loss, CapitaLand rallied its office and business park tenants to raise funds to provide 388 beneficiaries and their families with grocery vouchers which they could use to purchase the essentials they needed. 

One such beneficiary is Mdm Suriati and her family. Her sons, 14-year-old Muhammad Rasul Bin Abdullah and 12-year-old Raihan Mustaqim Bin Johari are students of Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School. Mdm Suriati is a homemaker and the children's main caregiver. Their father, the sole breadwinner, works as a general cleaner. The family is thankful to receive $300 worth of grocery vouchers from CapitaLand.

“Thank you for helping my family,” she says. “We have been living a simple life. With these vouchers, I am able to purchase more food items for my children, who are growing teenagers and need more nutrition.”

Though affected by hearing and speech impairments, both teenagers are helpful and teachable. The boys live in a 3-room HDB flat with their parents and three younger siblings. “I teach my children to be thankful for what we have. If there is an abundance of food, that is our blessing. If there isn't, we should still be grateful.  I’ve been taught this concept since my childhood and I teach my children as well. I am also thankful that my children understand our situation.”

Record-breaking fundraising 

Gifts of Joy – The Essentials Edition, along with the dollar-for-dollar matching by CapitaLand Hope Foundation, CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm, raised $58,665. 

All these would not have been possible without the help of donors whose every contribution made a big difference in helping these 388 families cope during these stressful times. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank, Capital Tower, also made a corporate donation. “Gifts of Joy is a privileged opportunity for us to highlight what is at the heart of our core values – working every day in the interest of our customers and society,” says Jean-Pierre Michalowski, Senior Country Office for Singapore at Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank. “With this donation, we joined forces with CapitaLand to support this good cause, to care for those who may need a helping hand.” One tenant from CapitaGreen even lent her support to the initiative by organising her own charity sale selling homemade sambal and donating all her proceeds of $900 to Gifts of Joy – The Essentials Edition.

The outpouring of support from the tenants has shown that despite the pandemic and social distancing challenges, there are other ways for everyone to show their support and provide aid to the community, especially, in times of need. All it takes is the willingness to open your heart to gift more, share more, and love more.

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