Monday, February 22, 2010

How To Help the Poor?

I just watched the show where Christopher Lee and Quan Yifeng (two Singapore based presenters) visit really poor people in Singapore and give their homes a complete makeover.

The episodes are always so heart wrenching.

Today's episode was about an 81 year old granny who had children who had various mental illenesses and sickness.

She has been eating leftover rice for God knows how long, often keeping the left over food in the fridge for days at end. All her children do not work and she has to support all of them. I can really feel the pain in her as she is the sole breadwinner of the family and has been suffering all her life.

Her family also lived without lights for close to 15 years because her daughter set fire to the cables and burnt it.

This TV episode reminds me that there are still a lot of poor people in Singapore whose stories are probably untold.

How can we help the poor? Is the solution simply donations or do they need more support and help from society?

When I think about the money that I spend on a single meal and how that money could actually tide this poor people through, it makes me feel ashame of myself for spending that kind of money on frivolous stuff.

Yet at the same time, I don't see how I can contribute as my income is simply too little.


  1. Join as volunteer to distribute food?

  2. You are right about how there are many unfortunate people out there in Singapore with untold stories.

    Every donation helps. As an example, if all of us chatting in LP's cbox donate $2 each, that would be enough for the 81 yr old granny to buy a decent lunch for a week. Donations don't have to be big.

    I have a few charities I donate to regularly and as long as all of us do our bit, we can help make life easier for many less fortunate people in our country.

  3. I contribute 1% of my annual takehome to Comchest as I have no preference for any particular charity.

  4. Sometimes I do donate too.

    But my fear is that there are actually people who "slip" through the cracks and are either not eligible for charitable handouts or simply do not know how they can get help.

    if we each donated $2, I think it could last the old woman a month. She keeps leftover rice in the fridge and can eat it for 10 days. Her neighbor passed her a leftover chicken and she said that after cooking it with some preserved vegetables in a stew, that dish would last her for at least a month.

    Well done. I really need to learn from you and stick to a strict discipline of donating a certain percentage of my income to charities.

    No time to go around distributing food leh. Time is precious. I would rather donate money.


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