Monday, 18 July 2016

President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive Promotes Volunteerism Through Partnership with YMCA of Singapore’s Flagship Corporate Citizenship Event

Guest-of-Honour President Tony Tan celebrates volunteerism with more than 1,100 beneficiaries, corporate and individual volunteers

As part of 2016 President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive (PCVD), YMCA of Singapore held the annual YMCA Proms @ the Park concert and carnival on Saturday, 16 July to encourage more people – both at the corporate and individual level – to volunteer their time, and contribute ideas and skills to make Singapore a more caring and compassionate society. President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Patron-in-Chief of the YMCA of Singapore, graced the event.

More than 160 corporate volunteers, 500 beneficiaries from 20 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) came together at the YMCA Proms @ the Park 2016 held at Empress Lawn for an afternoon of music and carnival games as well as a concert with performances put up by home grown talents and YMCA performing groups. Youth volunteers from the University-YMCA Singapore (Uni-Y) facilitated carnival games, while volunteer guides trained by the National Heritage Board led an educational adventure of discovery on a Civic District heritage trail.

The PCVD has brought together a diverse cross-section of volunteers over the past four years since its launch in the year 2012. President’s Challenge volunteers have contributed their time, skills and resources in a multitude of roles ranging from fundraising to stage performances, practical assistance during outings and excursions, mentoring and befriending. Their continued contribution will help to benefit President’s Challenge’s 58 beneficiaries this year.

The annual YMCA Proms @ the Park’s aim to promote corporate social responsibility helps the PCVD to further strengthen its clarion call to volunteerism. Prior to the festivities at the concert and carnival grounds, corporate volunteers are taken to the respective VWOs which their organisations are matched with to gain a better understanding of the needs and challenges faced by the beneficiaries they would be befriending during the programme. In addition to the corporate volunteers, over 100 people from all walks of life signed up to volunteer in various support roles including ushers, traffic marshals, logistics assistants and more.

“Citi has been a keen supporter of the YMCA Proms @ the Park for the past eight years as it is a worthy cause and provides opportunities for our Citi volunteers to give back to the community. Through our participation, our volunteers aim to bring some cheer to beneficiaries at the outdoor concert and picnic. More importantly, the annual initiative provides a platform for Citi to partner YMCA and signal our commitment to serve the less privileged amongst us,” said Adam Rahman, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Singapore & ASEAN. “Citi Singapore has also been a proud supporter of President’s Challenge, and we are very happy to be able to support the President’s Challenge Volunteer Drive through YMCA Proms @ the Park.”

“As part of our ongoing commitment to the community, we’ve maintained a partnership with YMCA of Singapore for over half a decade, which has enabled us to reach out to a varied cross-section of beneficiaries. We look forward to continuing this meaningful relationship with YMCA through our very own Gives Back Programme, where DHL eCommerce employees volunteer to organise and participate in activities together with the beneficiaries,” said Sham Alexandra, Managing Director, DHL eCommerce Singapore.

Carlo Custodio has been volunteering with YMCA of Singapore for the past six years as a photographer for YMCA Proms @ the Park and photography instructor for Y Photo Club, a YMCA community service programme. “When I was young, instead of throwing us birthday parties, my parents would bring my siblings and me to orphanages and nursing homes to spread some joy to those who had less. Volunteering through the years has helped me gain unique insights into what’s truly valuable and lasting, and provided an avenue to make a difference no matter how small, in whatever way I can,” he said.

"YMCA Proms @ the Park provides the space and opportunity for disadvantaged people in our community to come out of the confines of their homes to picnic with people from mainstream society in a carnival-like setting. This non-threatening atmosphere offers bonding for all participants which reinforces the foundation in building a kinder and more accepting society towards helping others in need," said Samuel Koh, Executive Director, Christian Outreach to the Handicapped (COH). COH is a beneficiary of President’s Challenge 2016.

Ng Wai Choy, who is a beneficiary of COH, was at the YMCA Proms @ the Park for the fourth time on Saturday. He said, “It’s wonderful to have this chance to join in the fun. I’ve had a great time playing the games and taking photos with everyone. What I value most is the opportunity to meet volunteers as well as other beneficiaries. I love it that I can make new friends. Together with my friends from COH, we really appreciate that folks today have taken the time from their busy schedules to make this all possible for us.”

Mr Eric Teng, President, YMCA of Singapore, said “Through various community engagement programmes, YMCA of Singapore seeks to build a resilient and caring society by working with stakeholders in the public, private and social service sectors to impact lives and nurture community champions. YMCA Proms @ the Park is an extension of the mission of YMCA of Singapore, and this flagship programme enables us to pool resources together to create a positive impact on all members of the community, be it those serving or those being served.”

Click here to view more photos of YMCA Proms @ the Park 2016.

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