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$105,000 raised so far for The Straits Times’ School Pocket Money Fund

1 October 2000 - To help make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children here, The Straits Times launched The School Pocket Money Fund today.

This is a nation-wide drive to fatten a piggy bank for children who come from families with financial problems.

These children find it difficult to stay in school and the funds raised will go some way towards providing them some pocket money, hence the name of the fund.Even before the official launch of the fund today, nine organisations have already pledged $105,000:

- Caltex Singapore Pte Ltd ($30,000)
- Agilent Technologies ($10,000)
- Hitachi Asia Ltd ($10,000)
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) ($10,000)
- Singapore Turf Club ($10,000)
- Cerebos Pacific Ltd ($10,000)
- Pat’s Schoolhouse ($10,000)
- Hong Leong Group (10,000)
- Lee Foundation ($5,000)

All the money raised goes to children whose families seek help at the 26 Family Service Centres (FSC) across the island.

FSCs are non-profit organisations that help families in trouble. They also support the children from these families, both financially and emotionally.

An average of 60 children at each FSC is given financial assistance, based on a Straits Times check of half of the 26 FSCs.

The School Pocket Money Fund will be administered by the National Council of Social Service, which will distribute the money directly to 25 FSCs that have come on board.

Rotary FSC has said it can manage taking care of its kids with funds that it raises through the Rotary Clubs.

The money will be given to the kids who need financial assistance to stay in school and to improve in their schoolwork.

One of the early-bird donors is Caltex Singapore, which donated $30,000 to the fund.

Ms Myrna Thomas, Caltex Singapore’s Global Communications Director: "We considered the School Pocket Money Fund to be a very good cause as the money could help to alleviate the financial burden parents face in providing for their children.

"This way, parents don’t have to worry about their children being deprived. With our corporate headquarters in Singapore, we consider Singapore our home and wanted to do our bit."

This School Pocket Money Fund is part of The Straits Times’ on-going efforts to play its part in the community as a caring corporate citizen.

Two weeks ago it launched The Straits Times Million Dollar Duck Race to raise $1 million for Touch Community Services, a non-profit organisation.

And of this new initiative, Mr Han Fook Kwang, political editor of The Straits Times, said: "We at The Straits Times are simply delighted to be able to do our bit for Singaporean children, especially those in need of some help. We hope our little contribution will bring them some cheer.

"We’re so encouraged by the support we’ve been getting for this project, it’s made us even more determined to do more for the community.’’

For those who wish to be a corporate donor, pledges need to be made before October 21 by sending an email to braema@sph.com.sg.

For a minimum pledge of $10,000, donor organisations will get to join The Straits Times Interactive gallery, featuring corporate donors to the fund.

Details of the company, including its name, logo and a brief description will be displayed on http://straitstimes.com.sg, which gets 3 million hits a week.

The telephone lines are now also open for the public to donate $5 a call on 1900 914 0010. The lines stay open till October 21.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Limited

For more information, please contact:

Ms Ong Yuin Ling
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
Tel: 7401001 or email: ongyl@sph.com.sg