Welcome remarks by Mrs Mildred Tan, Chairman, NVPC at “Just Saying Thanks” annual appreciation day

Chairman’s welcome remarks at Annual Appreciation Day 2017

A Splendid Afternoon

Distinguished Guests

Esteemed Partners, Collaborators, and Friends of NVPC

Ladies and Gentlemen

Welcome to our Annual Appreciation Day 2017. We are delighted to see all of you gathered here this afternoon.

First and foremost, thank you to you, our givers, volunteers and partners, who have contributed your time, talent and treasures to build the City of Good over the past one year.

As you may know, our mission is to build a Giving Nation and to engender a culture of doing Good.  This culture of doing Good and Volunteerism is the cornerstone of Singapore. It is the spirit of Giving that defines who we are as Singaporeans.  It is a “gift” that each and every one of us can give to someone. It is nothing too lofty, or only for select groups of people.

As the saying goes, “Volunteers are not paid, not because they are worthless. It is because they are priceless.” You can’t put a price tag to a volunteer or the services and experiences you bring to someone.

Volunteers like yourself come in different ages, education and income background. They don’t necessarily have (more) money or time, but what they have, is a heart of gold, an attitude of service and an innate mission to want to make a difference.

Based on our recent Individual Giving Survey (IGS) 2016, national volunteerism rate has grown steadily over the years, from 1 in 10 individuals (9.3%) volunteering in 2000, to 1 in 3 (35.4%) volunteering in 2016.

Importance of volunteering and the impact that it does for NPOs and Ground-up Movements

Non-profit organisations and ground-up movements, like Project Goodwill Aid and The Social Co. rely on volunteers to make that difference. Our recent IGS (2016) shows that 1 in 2 volunteers (48%) have served informally as compared to 1 in 4 volunteers (25%) in 2014. For example, The Social Co’s50 For 50 initiative is a youth-led initiative that activates youth (as “changemakers”), to raise funds and awareness for causes that they are passionate about. To-date, they have successfully raised S$4.5 million for 58 IPC charities, involving 80 changemakers and 70 corporates.

Helping one person at a time. Doing a good deed at a time. Pursuing an aspiration or one vision at a time. Even the smallest effort reaps gains.

For example, Ms Siti Nurani Salim is an passionate volunteer who hopes to spread the joy of giving and rekindle the kampong spirit among Singaporeans. She formed Project Goodwill Aid to reach out to low-income families and the elderly living alone, distributing groceries or help clean, repaint and refurbish homes. Every December, Project Goodwill Aid helps underprivileged children acquire the school items they need for the new school term, and even went the extra mile to assist needy families with their application for social assistance.

Whatever that is that volunteers all have one thing in common: they give from the heart. What they offer is the greatest gift to those in need: their heart and spirit.

Truly, it is the spirit of coming together, collaborating to build the City of Good – Singapore Cares is a volunteer movement that rallies all Singaporeans and residents to rise up to contribute to the community – whether it is organising ground-up efforts, caring for seniors, or volunteering with friends, to come together and build the home that we want to live in; where we know that everyone looks out for one another. Indeed, this is the spirit that we hope to cultivate to build our City of Good. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Apart from volunteers, our partners amplify our work to achieve our mission. For example, our partners of Giving Week (GW) 2016 – Singapore Power and SMRT gave free space that increased the awareness of GW; SingPost sponsored free postage of 400,000 ‘Thank You’ cards.

On behalf of NVPC, we would like to say our heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to all our volunteers and partners for joining us in this important cause and contributing your time, talent and treasures to build the City of Good! Wishing you a wonderful lunch ahead and may we continue to make giving Singapore’s DNA!