How Important Are Charity Runs and Walks to Singapore?
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
If you think that your job is overwhelming, browse websites maintained by the Singapore government and your head might spin. The Ministry of Social and Family Development compiles endless statistical reports that track community members.
The Ministry of Health is equally aggressive about raising awareness, keeping track of services and helping to advance the umbrella of health and welfare services as they impact the nation.
Our point? Your social welfare - and that of people who are unable to afford or obtain basic and vital services they need - may rely upon charities to pick up where government services end, because national social welfare needs can be overwhelming, and neither private nor government entities can handle everything our growing population requires.
Who or what rides to the rescue on a mythical white horse when for-profit and municipal resources runs out of options? Charitable entities, of course, and if the vast network of non-profits serving Singapore suddenly closed, the nation would find itself in dire circumstances, because charities provide the underpinning of support critical to our society's humanitarian needs.
Given the importance of these organisations, we're taking the opportunity to raise the topic of the importance of charity runs in Singapore and we've also profiled a selection of upcoming events guaranteed to do everyone taking part in them a world of good for reasons that benefit body and soul!
Singapore's Proud Heritage
When researcher Halima Chew chose to investigate Singapore's philanthropic landscape back in 2008, the data collected to draft her report was eye-opening and insightful.
Proclaiming Singapore a nation with “many helping hands,” she applauded close relationships between non-profits, the private sector and the government, calling attention to the impressive number of matching donations, government grants and programmes that are examples of seamless interchange between these diverse groups.
She found that Singapore's legal climate contributes mightily to this co-operation. Properly accredited, a philanthropic organisation can receive generous tax incentives and such laws do much to encourage volunteerism as well.
Launching the innovative National Volunteer & Philanthropy Center has been a particularly clever move because it helps centralize the Singapore charitable community and acts as a valuable resource for new and established charities alike.
According to the Commissioner of Charities, there were 1,875 registered charities at the end of 2006 in Singapore, These charities reported a total income of S$4.97 billion (including donations and government grants) for 2005 to run their gamut from mental and physical health issues and child welfare to enabling the nation's marginalized populations to obtain the goods, service and help they so desperately need.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ― Oscar Wilde
The PVPC reported that $19.99 Million raised in annual online donations and based on the Individual Giving Survey 2014, the total amount donated nationwide was $1.25 billion.
Playing a pivotal role in this effort over time, the NVPC gives much credit to corporations who sponsor, support and underwrite fundraising efforts, not the least of which is the expansive philanthropic marathon running circuit that's made the nation a Mecca for athletes who want to help raise money doing what they love.
The Good, Bad and Ugly
Is every charity run on the Singapore marathon scene on the up-and-up? In most cases, the answer is yes. Recognized sponsors that range from footwear manufacturers, clothing designers, technological innovators, banking, corporate and businesses of all sizes contribute mightily to efforts to keep charities in the black by supporting, underwriting and advertising ultras, fun runs, verticals, distance and trail events.
You know some of the names, but if you keep up with media reports, you know that even the most innocent-looking fundraising event can turn out to be a scam or worse.
What happens when such a charity is shown to be less than reputable? The news reverberates through Singapore and the running community at large can grow suspicious about every charitable marathon that's launched; even the stable, familiar names of high-profile sponsors can become suspect when runners learn the truth about unscrupulous organisers and sponsors who are looking to make a fast buck with no intention of turning race proceeds over to the charity they represent.
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank: the play
To help thwart schemes to defraud runners, the Ministry of Culture website has published a dedicated page that offers tips on informed giving for anyone who may need assurances, so if you have questions and concerns, this is a great place to start.
In general, Singapore looks great on paper! According to a study undertaken by Prapti Upadhyay Anand and Crystal Hayling of the Singapore Management University called "Levers for Change: Philanthropy in select South East Asian Countries," Singapore stands out as one of the most generous nations on the Pacific Rim and a model for how to take care of its people.
It's impossible to escape corruption and disreputable people, but it's good to know that we are respected on the world stage for our generosity of spirit.
Singapore Charitable Runs and Walks You Should Know About
Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer 2016
The annual Race Against Cancer race raises money for the Singapore Cancer Society, benefitting children, adults and seniors diagnosed with all forms of this insidious disease.
Run proceeds are allocated to hospice care, medical screenings, research, treatment subsidies, public education and even welfare assistance for sufferers unable to pay their bills as a result of their diagnoses.
Run in support of the Runninghour theme: Run So Others Can. Runninghour is a Co-Operative registered in 2014. Over the years, Runninghour has touched the lives of many members. Through organised activities such as the inaugural race, Runninghour2015.
Originally organised by the Central Singapore Community Development Council (CDC) as a Healthy Lifestyle Club (HLC) in 2009, this group pairs passionate runners with mentally challenged "buddies" so people with special needs can share the joy of running with people eager to bond with and help those with IQs of below 70 who long for opportunities to do what everyone else does. Sign up for the 10 July race at Angsana Green in East Coast Park in support of this social mission.
Run & Raisin' 2016
Needy children and families in Singapore are fortunate that TOUCH Young Arrows has their backs, because this charity has lofty goals: raising $250K to help maintain year-round activities and weekly programming for kids while raising awareness about the importance of healthy lifestyles and family bonding.
Participate in the Run & Raisin' and you'll feel better about yourself for many reasons.
Frost the Trail 2016 Corporate Challenge Charity Run
Not every non-profit group can say that 100-percent of the money raised by a charity run will be used for direct services, but that's exactly what organisers of the Frost the Trail run promise. Complete either the 5km or 10km and both the Bright Hill Evergreen Home and the Peace-Connect movement will be the recipients of this year's revenues.
Registration is currently open for the 13 August race, so whether you want to run solo or gather a team, sign up now and see how good it feels to help others.
Ground Zero: Run for Humanity 2016
What would you do if Singapore was suddenly hit by a catastrophic event that required immediate and profound disaster relief? In all probability, you would expect first responders that include Mercy Relief to come to the aid of stricken people since it's the nation's leading independent disaster relief agency.
To help raise capital needed to keep this agency funded and functioning, the Ground Zero Run will be staged on 14 August at Casuarina Grove, East Coast Park. Will you do your part to make sure that this important agency is always able to respond quickly and humanely, no matter how dire the catastrophe requiring Mercy Relief's services?
POSB PAssion Run for Kids 2016
Just about the time school is back in session after summer break, the POSB PAssion Run for Kids will call attention to the importance of educating and developing our children through programming that builds healthy minds, bodies and curiosity.
The race date is 4 September, so if you've a vested interest in seeing all Singaporean children blossom, register now, enlist your friends and family and show up at the Marina Promontory to show your support for this worthy cause.
Pink Ribbon Walk 2016
Can you think of a symbol more universally recognized than the pink ribbon that calls attention to breast cancer? We can't. And since breast cancer touches so many lives and often strikes close to home, the Pink Ribbon Walk will kick off the start of Cancer Awareness Month on 1 October.
You don't have to run if you prefer not to, since this annual event attracts legions of dedicated walkers in addition to runners. Take this chance to think pink and wear it to make your own personal statement about eradicating this disease.
PCCW Global Charity Run 2016
Breast cancer isn't the only type of cancer that plagues Singaporeans, and until a cure is found for all types of the disease, organisers of the PCCW Global Charity Run will continue their amazing efforts to raise money and awareness for screenings, education, advocacy, patient services and even financial assistance earmarked for those who can't afford their medical care or pay their bills.
Lace up your running shoes on 1 June at Silver Leaf, Gardens by the Bay, and run your race to help fight this deadly disease on multiple fronts.
Faire Un Voyage 2016
This event may have a French name, but the experience is all Singapore as the Children's Aid Society throws its annual charity fun run and carnival to generate funds to fill the coffers of this important non-profit.
Organisers Arts from the Heart are offering an innovative way to generate money: the event's corporate sponsor will donate $1 for every kilometer logged by race participants, so imagine how much money can be raised thanks to a great turn-out! Food and games turn the Faire Un Voyage into a party, so jump in, be part of the fun and run your heart out to help the Children's Aid Society do its important work.
Pledge Your Heart Walk 2016
The Singapore Heart Foundation wants you to show your support for the eradication of heart disease in all forms by joining Guest of Honour Ms. Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, at the 25 June SHF Pledge Your Heart Walk/Go Red for Women.
Do you have to be a woman to participate at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade? No way. Men, kids, seniors and anyone interested in finding heart disease cures are invited to participate, and if you wear red, you'll show your support in more ways than just helping raise funds for this worthwhile cause.
LLF Walkathon 2016
Register for the LLF Walkathon to be staged at the Sentosa Boardwalk on 26 June and you'll have the privilege of making a difference in the world of Singaporeans with debilitating blood-related disorders like lymphoma and leukaemia.
These diseases don't discriminate: they attack men, women and children, so every dollar raised goes to a great cause. Registration is currently open and entry fees are affordable, so sign up everyone in your family to show that you don’t just care but that giving and running are both in your blood!
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