Minister Indranee Rajah at the Boys Brigade Share A Gift Project 2023
Speech by Minister Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and National Development, at the Opening Ceremony of the Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift 2023 on 22 November 2023.
Mr Patrick Koh, President of The Boys’ Brigade in Singapore,
Mr Henry Tan, Chairman of The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift Project 2023,
Boys’ Brigade Members,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning to everybody.
I am very happy to be here to kick start the annual Boys’ Brigade 2023 Share-a-Gift (or BBSG) season.
The Boys’ Brigade has come a long way since it started 36 years ago, in 1988. Back then, there was only one gift/donation collection point in Orchard Road. I recall seeing that. Today, the Boys’ Brigade collects and delivers gifts all over Singapore, keeping pace with the times, it can be done online as well. Now, the sight of more than 4,000 BB boys decked in their distinct blue uniforms stationed at FairPrice outlets and fanning out island wide delivering red food hampers, has become synonymous with the Christmas season.
BBSG has had a long history of uplifting the less fortunate in our community through the BBSG project held every year. With support from the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), BBSG has served beneficiaries from Comcare, Social Service Agencies, and in recent years, KidSTART Singapore. Last year, BBSG fulfilled the wishes of more than 43,000 beneficiaries, including a doubling of support to 2,000 KidSTART families from 1,000 in 2021.I am very glad to hear that BBSG will be supporting a record number of more than 45,000 beneficiaries this year, while expanding its support to ComLink beneficiaries for the first time in the project’s history of 36 years.
Giving and Caring for Community
Rising cost of living has affected and put a strain on vulnerable individuals and families within our community. While there are various Government schemes and measures such as the Assurance Package to help cushion the impact of rising costs, we are heartened to see individuals, groups and organisations stepping up to help one another.
It is crucial that in such times, we lend a helping hand to those who are facing difficulties; and that as a nation and that as a community we show our collective care and empathy towards fellow Singaporeans.
This is also in line with the Forward Singapore - Care Pillar where we aim to build a Singapore where no one is left behind; and enable every Singaporean to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, and to better care for themselves and for others around them.
We must come together as a society to create a strong network of support for lower-income families and disadvantaged individuals.
We can all play our part to uplift families in need and make a difference to our community and our nation by fostering a more caring and inclusive Singapore.
Supporting the BB Share-a-Gift project is certainly one of the ways in which we can all contribute to this: whether through donations in terms of money or food items; by volunteering our time to help with the delivery of items to the beneficiaries.
I strongly encourage everyone to support the BBSG project. Together, we can make the project a great success and help the Boys’ Brigade fulfil their mission to Have a Heart, Share a Gift.
Appreciation to Boys’ Brigade members and sponsors
Finally, I would like to commend the more than 4,000 members of the Boys’ Brigade who will be spending their December holidays gathering donations, packing hampers, and delivering them to those in need. I hope you will continue to serve the community and inspire fellow youths and Singaporeans to give back. I am certain this meaningful experience will help all the members of Boys' Brigade grow into “Sure and Steadfast” leaders of our future with a genuine heart for the community. Let us give them a round of applause.
I would also like to thank the sponsors and partners who play such a crucial role in making BBSG possible year after year. Some of you have contributed your time as volunteers, your donations, and your technical expertise, and all of this has been essential to the success of the BB Share-a-Gift project.
To the long-time sponsors and partners of BBSG, thank you for your generosity and leading by example in making Singapore a more caring and more gracious society.
May we continue to bring cheer to all in the upcoming festive period.
Thank you all very much and Merry Christmas ahead of time.
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