We’ve all heard of Black Friday (shopping), and more recently Cyber Monday (online shopping) and even a Small Business Saturday (support your local mom-and-pop shops).
Do you know there is now a Giving Tuesday? After so many days of shopping, it’s certainly refreshing to have one dedicated to giving and philanthropy. Here’s one suggestion if you wish to donate during this festive season:
The Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) is organising a canoe marathon on 12 Jan 2014. For the first time, it will be held at the Punggol Reservoir. I have just signed up for my first one, and it’s gonna be fun padding there instead of the usual venues at Kallang or MacRitchie Reservoir.
As part of the canoe marathon, SCF hopes to raise $40,000 to develop a para-canoeing programme that will allow athletes with physical disabilities to participate in and enjoy the sport. Much of the funds will go towards equipment such as specially-modified kayaks.
Para-canoeing is a sport that’s both physically and mentally demanding. You can recognise a canoeist by their muscles. I have been paddling for just over a year now, so I don’t look like one yet. I first picked up the sport at the introduction of a Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) officer. First, she brought me to try out sailing but I got seasick. So, no go there. Canoeing was next and I loved the experience of quietly gliding through the waters. Nothing rah-rah like those dragon boaters shrieking their heads off.
But there is limited funding for the sport. I had to pay hundreds of dollars for my own paddle and improvise a DIY leg support with a block of Styrofoam. Para-athletes from some countries get custom-molded carbon fibre equipment. Imagine how much further the sport can progress with greater support from you and the public.
There will be a fun race to fund-raise (pun intended). A group of VIPs will row 1 metre for every dollar raised before the marathon, up to 40km (for a total of $40,000) So far, SCF has roped in Acting Minister for Manpower, Mr Tan Chuan Jin, Minister of State for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, and Nominated Member of Parliament, Mr Nicholas Fang (the fencing guy turned swimming guy).
Donors who contribute at least $5,000 will get their names or corporate logos proudly blazoned on the kayaks. You also get to enjoy 2.5 times the amount in tax deductions; it’ll all pay off come 1 April.
Every dollar counts. If you’d like to support the sport of para-canoeing, please contact Mr Wong Woei Luen at email@example.com.
Hope to see you at Punggol in 2014!
Update (16 Dec 2013): The fund raising target is $40,000, not $540,000. Sorry for the typo!