In my previous update, I shared that Run For Funds (RFF) will not be raising funds from the 2006 Standard Chartered Marathon.
The purpose of this email is to:
- Explain the reasons why RFF is not raising funds this year.
- Close the accounts for 2006
- Bring great news: EDB RFF chapter has spun off and raised >$45k for 2 welfare homes.
- Share what's new in 2007
1. Why RFF is not raising funds in 2006
Let's remind ourselves of the basis of funds disbursement.
RFF funds are released to help the needy:
a. When the need is assessed to be genuine after due diligence.
b. When it has been confirmed that the welfare system in Singapore is not able to assist (or further assist) the person / family / organisation in need.
c. At the point of need and is backed up by receipts / verified expense statements.
In 2006, Julian (the co-ordinator of the EDB RFF chapter) and I spoke with various welfare and non-profit organisations.
We explored how RFF can assist them to better help those in need.
For each case, we required the organisation to give us a written justification on why there was a need, how the funds will be used and provide at least 3 quotations from vendors if they were procuring items.
While we were greeted warmly each time, the follow-up from the people in charge was at best tardy which subsequently degenerated to non-response.
It is ludicrous for a donor to be chasing the recipient organisation for documents to support the donation, don't you think?
If they were really in need, wouldn't they have gone all out to give the info we needed?
This fails criterion (a)
My gut feel is that, with the NKF fall-out, Singaporeans are donating the "ex-NKF funds" to other welfare organisations.
With an unexpected surge of income, perhaps these welfare organisations don't see the need to work as hard to raise funds.
I had also planned to fund the medical expenses of 2 children: Tory (baby with hole in the heart who needed approx. $20k) and SL Ee (8 yr old with leukemia who needed approx. $20k).
Ee died from complications in Sept 06 before his bone marrow transplant.
His family was distraught.
Finding a bone donor match outside the family is like finding a needle in a haystack.
But it came too late.
My prayers are with this family in Geylang.
As for baby Tory, I decided to cancel my plans for RFF assistance for his surgery in end 2006 (delayed from July 2006 due to medical procedural matters).
I am not able to ascertain whether the case is genuine after 3 months of due diligence.
The baby's condition is real and his uncle (Ong) seemed like a genuine guy.
However, each time I requested to visit Tory's home in Batam, my request was turned down.
Ong became extremely evasive.
It reached a point that I threatened to report Ong to the police for being a hoax, raising public sympathy for personal gains.
Ong finally admitted that the reason why Tory's parents didn't want me to visit their home was because "they didn't want to be seen begging for money and didn't want to be disturbed."
My take is simple.
If I'm a parent and I don't have money to save my son's life, I will go down on my knees and beg.
Tory's parents obviously had other ideas or could raise money via other means.
Circumstances became dubious.
Hence failed criterion (a)
There were other cases like Tory that I came across this year.
Hence no funds were disbursed for these people.
These are the black sheep but I can assure you that there are many genuine cases out there that need our help.
My conclusion is that we just need to be more discerning when it comes to providing financial assistance.
As a result, we will be carrying over S$53k of funds to 2007.
In 2007, monies will go to:
a. Funding Maximise Your Potential Programmes and Pocket Money Funds at Geylang Methodist Primary and Secondary Schools and possibility other schools.
b. Cases of families, welfare organisations in REAL need.
2. Closing accounts
Carryover from 2005: S$ 7439.95
Funds raised by RFF Superfriends from SC Marathon 2005: S$ 23,976.00
Funds raised by RFF EDB Chapter from SC Marathon 2005: S$ 16,160.59
Extra tax credits from RFF donations in 2004: S$1,851
Tax credits from RFF donations in 2005: S$4,732
TOTAL IN: sum of (a) to (e) = S$54,159.54
**(d): An estimate of $1,800 was used for tax credits received for RFF donations to public institutions in 2004. The final confirmed credit is 3,651. Hence $1,851 is added back to RFF funds this year.
Expenses in 2006: S$1056.43
Carry over to 2007: (f) (g) = S$53,103.11
If you have queries on how the numbers are derived, pls give me a call or drop me an email.
3. Standard Chartered Marathon on 3 rd Dec 2006
The EDB chapter of RFF has been spun off.
This year, the EDB RFF Superfriends started their own social concern movement.
With the support of EDB Society (Alumni), the EDB runners will be raising in excess of $45k for 2 welfare homes from this year's run.
(They are now autonomous from RFF and will be in charge of funds raised in 2006).
This is SUPERB !!
This is in line with RFF's vision of creating awareness so others start something new to help those in need.
While the RFF Superfriends numbers have dwindled this year (esp when 2 have sustained shin stress fractures), we will be running for FUN, not FUNDS.
4. What's new in 2007
In 2007, my friends and I plan to structure assistance to the needy beyond their financial needs.
I've registered a new website www.leaving noonebehind.com
. before President Nathan coined the phrase in his speech recently J
The portal will be used to share info on how people can help by providing a listening ear to an old folk and single parents, mentoring kids on the fringe and helping bright but needy kids excel via tuitions schemes.
I'll have to give this more thought before it is executed.
5. Final thoughts
I thank you for your support for RFF in the past 5 years.
I look forward to celebrating the 10th anniversary with you all J
Oh, those of you who have received your RFF t-shirts, pls wear them on 3rd Dec and encourage your friends to start a social movement of their own.
Lagi better, wear the t-shirt, come to the end point @ City Hall to meet me lah
I should be there at 11.20am (after 5h 20 min) sun-burnt from my slow 42km run.