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Play It Forward

On Sunday, Causeway Point mall had something special in store.
At the atrium area, there was a huge pool of colorful balls, with kids doing what they do best - having fun!

This was the largest pool of (100,000) balls in Singapore, making an entry in the Singapore Book of Records. Every child wanted to be there - including Ayla and Adi. We soon realized that this was a charity event to raise funds for needy families. Now that's a good cause, and it certainly had my attention.

This was the 1st in a series of year-long charity events, launched by Frasers Centrepoint Malls - called 'Play It Forward'. For every $5 you donate, it offers 15 minutes of playtime (in fact more) in the pool. There were counters for buy floss-candy and sweet-corns. The donations go to the needy families.

Ayla and Adi wasted no time in making their donations and purchases, before diving in. Sophia accompanied them.

Once inside the pool - the kids didn't care about a thing in the world. There were some young volunteers (lifeguards), Adi clicked well with 2 of them, jumping and defying the laws of gravity. Every time he disappeared under the pool, it got my heart racing - but it was all fun and safe.

Ayla also made an impromptu group of friends, 'splashing' the balls on each other. Kids are so natural at networking - really.

After checking on the mechanics of the event, I realized how the donation multiplies:
  • Frasers Centrepoint Malls will match every donation, dollar-to-dollar, up to $30,000.
  • Government will match every donation, dollar-to-dollar, until 31 March 2016, as part of the 'Care and Share' movement.
That's a splendid way to let shoppers have some real fun with their kids, and let them donate to raise funds. In Singapore's urban malls, such lively family events are rare, where you can bond with your child and build some shared memories. This was just beautiful.

To add to the Christmas cheer, every kid who donated to the charity had a lucky draw gift, from the mall vendors. Ayla and Adi got some mall vouchers, with good discounts. A girl in our queue won an Osim product. WOW - when she walked off with that large OSIM box in her tiny arms, it seemed like time stopped for a while. I returned to my senses, to the loud cheering sound of the kids and their camera wielding parents. The gifts explained the bunch of curious onlookers / shoppers, their eyes fixated on the gift counter with a laser like precision.

Singapore is a highly developed and urbanized place - we call home. Let us not forget the evolving social needs of our society. Such donations go a long way in giving every person a life of dignity. This initiative was in partnership with Community Chest - a fund raising arm of National Council of Social Services (NCSS). They are leading the Care and Share movement, which is a national  fund raising movement for the social-services sector.

I reflected on a something from my early primary schooling, which resonated with this event - a family is the most atomic unit of our society. A stronger society can be built with stronger families. For those of you who want to have some real fun with your kids and have the heart to contribute to society, kindly:
  • Participate in the next Play It Forward, at Northpoint Shopping Mall, between 13-21 Feb 2016, and other malls shown on the roadmap (below). Have some fun, and win lucky-draw gifts.
  • Participate in Fundraising Events (walks, runs, carnivals, musicals) by Community Chest, at link.
  • Donate directly to the Community Chest, at link.
(image source: Frasers Centrepoint Malls website)
It's important to have shared-memories with your child. Such memories are instrumental in making them remember their childhood with a smile. That smile - is priceless.

On a gentle note - this post is not sponsored by the above event, and does not benefit from any of the above stated charities or organizations. All your donations should be made directly to the stated organizations.