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Charities see rise in sales during Lunar New Year

Some voluntary welfare organisations are taking full advantage of the Lunar New Year to woo customers. Profits earned from this peak season are channelled to fund their programmes.

SINGAPORE: Some voluntary welfare organisations are taking full advantage of the Lunar New Year to woo customers.

Profits earned from this peak season are channelled to fund their programmes.

The baking arm of the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore’s (MINDS) social enterprise unit gives jobs to adults who have moderate intellectual disability.

This also prepares them for employment and integration into society.

Some clients from MINDS have been baking pineapple tarts for sale.

MINDS said the money goes back to cover costs and trainee allowances.

Ng Rei Na, senior manager of social enterprises at MINDS, said: "When we have a good product, people would want to buy it because they are killing two birds with one stone - on one hand, they are helping the charity to earn an income and on the other hand, they are also getting what they want."

Other voluntary welfare organisations have also set up social enterprises as a way to help those in need of a paying job, and at the same time build their skills.

One such example is The Helping Hand, a halfway house in Serangoon.

It helps ex-offenders re-integrate into the society by providing them with housing, meals and a job, all under one roof.

Apart from grants and donations, The Helping Hand also gets income from its furniture business and moving services.

Residents at the halfway house do everything, from selling to delivering furniture.

During Lunar New Year, sales jumped by about 30 per cent.

Benny Chua, supervisor of furniture sales at The Helping Hand, said: "For most of our customers who came in to buy the furniture, they know that they are doing this for a good cause. Most of them know that we are all ex (-offenders) and they are willing to support us and help us."

The Helping Hand said profits earned go back to fund its operations and salaries of residents. 

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