The Secret Santas for the Children of 206A Punggol Place
For seven consecutive years, Harry Waldhelm and Kerene Teo had been the secret Santas for children from less privileged communities. This year too, on 20th December 2019 (Friday), Christmas presents of different shapes and sizes lined up readily for the children of 206A Punggol Place, as much anticipation and excitement filled the air.
Since 2013, Harry and Kerene had been the co-organisers with AMKFSC Community Services (AMKFSC) with the aim of bringing Christmas to the children under the care of AMKFSC.
When asked about how the initial idea surfaced, Harry explained that as a foreigner, he was first stuck with the impression that Singapore was a “rich, glossy and shiny place throughout”. However, he soon came to learn that in Singapore, like in any other place, there are individuals in need of support.
“Nowadays almost every child will be confronted with Christmas and it is really disheartening to know that some children will not get a present at all,” he elaborated.
What made Christmas really special for the children of 206A Punggol Place was that each gift was personalised and catered to each child’s wish.
With the support of AMKFSC, volunteers went door-to-door for beneficiaries to fill up a profile under the title ‘Dear Santa’ to understand the wishlist of each child. After totalling the number beneficiaries and profiles, Harry and Kerene then set out to gather 85 of their interested colleagues from Kuehne + Nagel Singapore. This year, it only took four hours for all the profiles to be fully subscribed.
Calling it an “immense response” from their colleagues, Harry described that it became a “competitive event” in the company for the fact there were more interested donors than beneficiaries. Hence, “the race is on” as “everybody wants to get one [gift for the children]”. The popularity of this Christmas event in Kuehne + Nagel Singapore stems down to the “personal connection” while purchasing individualised presents for the children.
“It is a tradition already for us as it creates bonding within the company… you get to know a lot of colleagues whom you otherwise would not necessarily have gotten to know without this event,” said Harry.
The impact of this Christmas event even spreads to the families of the colleagues who participated in the gift-buying as Harry elaborated, “A lot of them (colleagues) will bring their children to buy these gifts. They want to educate their children that sharing is caring”.
To support the less-privileged children this Christmas, Click HERE!