Jacob Toh, an analyst at CapitaLand Fund Management, volunteers at both the corporate and individual level.
“The concept of giving is a way of life and not just an activity that one partakes in. In some ways, it is a strange irony of life – it costs you almost nothing to give, and yet you gain the most out of it.”
This belief has motivated Jacob to give back to the community through various avenues. After volunteering with various organisations, he started his own initiative six years ago – Be MySanta.
“Be MySanta started with the simple wish of spreading festive joy to as many people as possible. Through it, we wanted to show that Christmas remains an occasion for us to care for our fellow beings. It is a platform for people to contribute out of genuine love rather than for returns, and to engage in the season of giving.”
This December, Be MySanta intends to bless almost 400 children from six beneficiaries: Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, Canossaville Children’s Home, Star PALS, Boys’ Town, Melrose Home Children’s Aid Society and MINDSville@Napiri, Children’s Wing.
Jacob is also an avid volunteer at work, contributing at his company’s corporate giving events. CapitaLand is this year’s winner in the President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards 2015 Corporate category.
CapitaLand Volunteer Day 2014 was an opportunity for staff to bring happiness to families in need. As the co-IC for his team, Jacob adopts a hands-on approach to help people. He did his groundwork by making a trip down to one of the beneficiaries’ home to learn more what basic amenities and furniture the family required. He also purchased and delivered the items directly to the families.
Jacob is also involved in My Schoolbag 2015, where he took underprivileged children to The Star Vista and treated them to performances and games. They were also each given a schoolbag containing stationery and necessities for the new school year.
Jacob says: “It was a half-day event and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the end, a couple of them thanked me personally, which drove home to me the impact that we can have on others’ lives.”
On his most memorable volunteering experience, Jacob says it was when he and his friends partnered nightspot Butter Factory to launch Clubbing for a Cause, where all proceeds from club-goers went towards the Guide Dogs Association of the Blind.