MINDS Christmas Stocking Challenge 2011 brings sweet treats to the less-privileged.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
If giving $10 could help two people, would you?
This is the question posed by organizers of the MINDS Christmas Stocking Challenge 2011, an event run by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore or MINDS. MINDS is partnering with 18 other Voluntary Welfare Organizations to benefit both MINDS’ Sheltered Workshop trainees as well as disadvantaged individuals in the Singapore community.
Every S$10 given helps two persons: the MINDS trainee who assembles the goodie bag, who is paid an allowance for his work, and the beneficiary of the goodie bag from one of the 18 VWOs.
The Christmas Stocking goodie bag is produced by trainees from the MINDS Sheltered Workshop program, an employment development center for persons with intellectual disability.
The idea for the Christmas Stocking sponsorship came about when a group of volunteers witnessed a little boy’s sad situation one Christmas. These volunteers were distributing S$20 vouchers from NTUC supermarket, along with a pack of essentials containing rice, noodles and canned food to low-income families. One of the volunteers heard an elderly lady chiding a young boy of about 6, who began to cry.
When the volunteer went to see what the matter was, they realized that the child was hoping to find chocolates in the food pack. When he couldn’t, he asked his grandmother if she could use the voucher to buy him a bar of chocolate. She scolded him for being wilful and said that every cent should be saved to buy essential items.
The little boy’s sister then comforted him and offered to buy him one. She asked “How much is the chocolate that you want?” He replied, “Ninety cents.” His sister paused for a moment, then said to him, “Next Christmas, I promise to buy you one.”
While most of us think nothing of paying 90 cents or even $9 for chocolates, this young boy and his sister viewed such items as the ultimate luxury. While these disadvantaged individuals receive assistance for essential food items, very rarely do they get to enjoy the sweet treats of life.
With that in mind, the volunteers came up with the Christmas Stocking Challenge to rope Singaporeans in to bring joy and smiles to 5,000 beneficiaries. Every S$10 will bring a child a Stocking filled with cookies, candies and other sweet treats.
MINDS’ aim is to find sponsors for 5,000 Christmas Stocking goodie bags before the challenge ends on Dec. 15.
If you would like to sponsor a Christmas Stocking, visit http://www.wix.com/mindsSE/ChristmasStockingChallenge2011 for more information. There is no limit to the number of stockings you can sponsor.