SINGAPORE – Kids from underprivileged backgrounds have been receiving Christmas presents as part of a campaign by UOB to brighten up the festive season.
The scheme involves encouraging bank customers to buy presents from an online gift registry for children cared for by New Life Stories, a non-profit organisation that helps youngsters from vulnerable families, including those from low-income backgrounds and those whose parents are incarcerated.
UOB customers donated $56,200 as part of the 15-day campaign, an amount then dollar-matched by the bank, taking the total to $121,000, which in turn has bought around 2,000 presents.
Retailer Dairy Farm Singapore, tech company Grab and online retailer Shopee were key partners in the initiative.
Dairy Farm Singapore and Shopee provided gift items, ranging from grocery vouchers and family board games to children’s books, at a special discount for UOB customers to buy and donate.
Grab provided dollar matching for Grab vouchers bought on the gift registry.
Ms Jacquelyn Tan, UOB’s head of group personal financial services said: “It is heartwarming to see the ‘kampong’ spirit come to life through our ‘Gift for Good’ campaign.
“We are grateful for the enthusiastic and generous support of our customers, colleagues and partners, which enabled us to make the children’s Christmas a little brighter.”
Mr Dale Preston, Dairy Farm Group director of customer insights for South-east Asia, said: “In today’s challenging environment, it is now more important than ever to think about people who are less fortunate than ourselves.”
New Life Stories executive director Saleemah Ismail added: “This year has been an unprecedented year for all of us, especially so for the less advantaged in our community. Many of our children have felt an increased sense of loneliness and isolation during this period which have increased their feelings of abandonment.
“Through this campaign, we hope that the children can enjoy the Christmas gifts of toys, books, and vouchers to lift their spirits and brighten up their year-end festivities.”
UOB will also direct funds to the New Life Stories’ early reader programme, which provides reading support at home for more than 300 children.
The programme also offers one-on-one counselling for the children to support their mental and emotional development.
This is UOB’s third year of supporting the organisation.