Times are hard but the generous donors of Charities Week 2009 have shown that they can be tough on themselves as they are soft with their hearts

SINGAPORE – For many people, this year has been one filled with challenges as the global financial crisis continued to take its toll on the economy and jobs. Yet, amid the difficult economic environment, donations to Charities Week 2009 saw an increase, albeit a slight one, from that of last year’s with a total sum of S$4,488,132 raised.

The number of donation envelopes did fall slightly. But those who opened their wallets to Charities Week gave generously and even more than they did last year to help the poor and needy during these challenging times. Several donors gave in memory of their loved ones, making Charities Week a special way to remember them.

“The response to Charities Week is indeed very heart– warming,” said Stefanie Herman, Fundraising & Partnerships, Caritas Singapore. “Apart from donations, some donors even sent us their personal prayers for those less fortunate. Others wrote to share their own personal faith experiences. One donor who gave a S$6 cash donation handwrote on the envelope: ‘I would love to share more but as of the moment I can’t. Will send more once I get a job. Hope this helps a little. Thanks!’ I was touched by that note.”

Indeed, donors have contributed to Charities Week in the spirit of solidarity, recognising that in these hard times, it is even harder for those who are dependent on financial assistance from these various charity organisations.

Some youth groups also organised fundraising events in support of Charities Week. One such group is acts29, a youth missionary group. It organised a 30-hour FAST (For. Asia. Solidarity. Together) on Mar 7, 2009. The youth collected a total of S$744 in donations for their efforts to fast during this period.

Another youth group from the Blessed Sacrament Church, held a series of fundraising activities during Lent at the parish which includes a charity auction and jumble sale and raised a total of S$21,690.

Funds raised from the Charities Week 2009 campaign will support the work of Caritas Singapore and its member organisations such as the Catholic Welfare Services, Family Life Society, Catholic AIDS Response Effort, Morning Star Community Services, Marine Parade Family Service Centre, Roman Catholic Prison Ministry, and the Archdiocesan Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

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