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24 November 2005

Run For Funds 2005 (Part 3)

Following my previous blog on RunForFunds, I thought I need to emphasise this again. This purpose of this blog and all the other blogs out there plugging this project is not to solicit for funds from the public. Granted that I have mentioned that I am financially supporting the RunForFunds project, this is a personal thing that I am doing on my own. I am not telling you to do the same. Should you be interested, please do so on your own free will and contact Adrian directly.

Anyway, all these charity thing reminded me of the time when I was in Singapore. I was a terrible person as far as being a donor is concerned.

I remembered hating to go down to Orchard Road on Saturdays as I hate getting hounded by students pushing their tin cans into my face and go Ling-Long-Ling-Long. I would donate not because I wanted to support that particular charity (which I never bothered to find out anyway) but to get that "flag sticker" to paste on my shirt so as to tell the rest of these "tin can people" to stop bugging me.

My heart was not in the right place.

I remembered buying charity draw tickets and calling the 1900-numbers to pledge my donations. I donated not because I wanted to donate to charity (which I never bothered to find out anyway) but to win that condo, that car or that return air-ticket for two to London.

My heart was not in the right place.

I remembered when I was in NTU where I participated in collecting newspapers and old clothes and also my fair share of Ling-Long-Ling-Long canvassing. Not because I wanted to volunteer my help in the charity work (which I never bothered to find out anyway) but because I needed the ECA points, for my application to next year's hostel room application, that comes at the end of the activity.

My heart was not in the right place.

And I think I know why I was being so indifferent. The charities involved were too big and/or too remote for me to be able to seek a personal interest.

Take those UNICEF "support-a-kid-in-Africa" charities (or any similar charities), for example. They will tell you that for a few dollars a month, you can send a kid in Africa to school (or something else that is essential) for a month. My question is that granted that the kid in Africa needs help, don't we have kids in our own backyard that needed help too?

Forgive me for I do not mean to demean the UNICEF (or any other charities) efforts but my dolllar can only go so far and I rather take care of those in my vicinity before worrying further. I am only but one man, my resources are limited.

That's why I like Adrian's idea of the RunForFunds so much. It's personal and a size where I can handle. Big charities like NKF, Community Chest, etc. are just too impersonal. Too cold for me to warm up to. Adrian is a good friend of mine from way back during secondary school days. I applaud him for starting this single handedly. Granted that only SGD 800+ was raised at the very first marathon, each dollar was very meaningful and special.

Last year, RunForFunds raised almost SGD 30,000. Considering that the amount is peanuts (no pun intended) compared to the big charities, it certainly had more meaning and heart than the millions of dollars raised in the NKF shows, where we had people doing stupid things to encourage viewers to pick up the phone to make that pledge. I wonder if these donors donate to appreciate the efforts of the performers or to take pity on them making a fool out of themselves.

I support RunForFunds.

I am trying to be a better person.

Image Credit: http://sohip.org
- Voxeros

1. whateverstreet left...
Friday, 25 November 2005 11:12 am :: http://whateverstreet.blogspot.com
wow. long time no come here, 1st thing i see is this heartwarming post.
never mind the past, at least now u are doing something for a bigger heart. =)


2. akk left...
Friday, 25 November 2005 1:13 pm
i think a lot of people think like u did about the flagging, the 1900-numbers and the newspaper collection trips in the institutions.
I agree with u on those NKF shows, that's why i never watch all these shows anymore.


3. JayWalk left...
Friday, 25 November 2005 9:23 pm :: 
whateverstreet: Glad to have you back! Perhaps if I may ask if you would like to join in and help spread a word or two on your blog as well? Let me know! 

akk: These big charities are just to remote from people like you and I. RFF in contrast is very very up close and personal. You can feel the warmth of the heart when you do your bit to help.

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