Spread Festive Cheer with Good Cause
Now, you can purchase Christmas gifts for loved ones, and at the same time bring warmth to the hearts of the disadvantaged this festive season through http://www.heartgifts.org.sg/. From a $22 handcrafted photo frame to a $428 exclusive oil on canvas painting depicting scenes of Singapore, Heartgifts offers more than 100 gifts for every occasion.
Initiated by National Council of Social Service (NCSS), Heartgifts helps voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) in Singapore to design, package and market their handmade items. Painstakingly produced by beneficiaries, intricate work goes into each item. Every gift includes a profile of the VWO and/or artist, to raise awareness and explain their cause.
This project, set up in April 2013, has empowered the lives of beneficiaries with a much needed source of income. It has also created opportunities for beneficiaries to realise their artistic flair, adding meaning to their lives and giving them a greater sense of self-esteem.
Between April and October 2013, close to 2,000 gifts were sold. Seeing the strong response, NCSS then launched the Heartgifts website in September 2013, to reach out to a wider audience. Previously, these gifts were only sold at the premises of NCSS.
The new Heartgifts website showcases every gift in detail and even lets shoppers select their gifts based on price range. The website was developed by members of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore)’s Bizpower unit (http://www.bizpower.org/).
Mr Isaac Liang, a 27-year-old from the Singapore Association for the Deaf, who was born deaf, has been painting since the age of six. Through Heartgifts, his first artwork was sold, and he has since earned more than $3,000 from selling 12 paintings.
NCSS has also been administering the Tote Board Social Service Fund (TBSSF) since 2006. The TBSSF provides grants for critical and strategic social service programmes for the needy and disadvantaged, capability enhancement to uplift social service standards, and capital funding for the social service sector.