Colour Me – Add Colour To My Life Beneficiary: Poor and needy elderly living in Chinatown through Heart to Heart Teacher-Mentor: Organizing Team: Start Date: 26th January 2012 End Date: 9th June 2012 Funds Raised: $1190 Funds Donation Date: 31st May 2012
1. Executive Summary Project Overview and Goals
Through the sale of self designed “Colour Me” notebooks, Colour Me aims to raise $1000 for the poor and needy elder living in Singapore. The donations will be used to purchase food supplies for the elderly as well as to help them cope with their basic necessities, rental and utilities bill. Execution The fundraising was carried out over a period of 4 months and Colour Me has successfully raised a total sum of $1190.00, far exceeding our $800 target. The donations were handed over to a representative from Heart to Heart Service on 31 May 2012. Also, the group visited the elderly living in York Hill estate on 9 June 2012 to pass them a portion of the donation. The organising team has benefitted greatly from this service learning project and are pleased that we managed to make a small difference to the lives of these elderly.
2. Planning and Preparation by Organising Team Planning The main aim of Colour Me is to raise a target sum of $1000 for the poor and needy families under the care of the late Teresa Hsu. Keeping in mind this aim, our group decided on the framework and the scale of our project. In order to raise the target sum, Colour Me has decided to sell self-designed note books. In addition, we had also planned to create a Facebook Page to inform the public about the plight of the poor and needy elderly living in Singapore. Our theme is centred on “Colour Me – Add Colour To My Life.” This theme brings across the message that by purchasing our notebooks, the buyer is effectively adding “colours” to the lives of the needy in Singapore. Furthermore, as the organizing team members are going to participate in the food distribution activity, the experience will definitely add meaning to our lives too as we start appreciating what we have. Our group has decided to sell notebooks because we feel that they are useful and practical hence many students will be more willing to purchase them. Also, the cost price of notebooks is low so they can be sold at a price that is comparable to those sold at book stores. These notebooks will also aid our team in our goal to create awareness for Heart To Heart because with book purchased, there will be a small bookmark attached about Heart to Heart Service and the people under their care. Preparation i.
Resource and Budget Item
Expected Profit $1400
Our group managed to get a quotation from Image Printers Pte Ltd of 500 notebooks for $600 so each book will cost $1.20. Each book sold at $4.00 will garner us $2.80 profit, hence if we were to sell all 500, we would be able to raise a total of $1400.
Sale of Merchandise After the notebooks have been purchased and collected from the supplier, we pasted a simple flyer in the notebook to inform the buyers of the beneficiary of our service learning project so as to raise awareness of the plight of the poor and needy elderly in Singapore. We had a total 6 school booth sale to sell to the students. We set up a booth in the canteen to sell our notebooks and the response was well. We managed to sell more than 400 books, exceeding our target set originally. Also, to boost our sale of notebooks, we booked a booth in a flea market to sell our notebooks. Though the response was not as well, we managed to recover our cost price and even earned some profits.
Closure After 4 months of fundraising, Colour Me has successfully raised a total sum of $1190.00. Our project came to a closure when the organizing team went down to 12 and 13 York Hill to distribute food supplies to the elderly as well as to pass them a portion of our donation in the form of a red packet. The rest of the donation will be handed over to them in small portions over the next few months by the volunteers from Heart to Heart Service.
3. Service Objectives Colour Me aims to raise a target sum of $1000 for the poor and needy elderly under the care of Heart to Heart Service. The donations will be used to provide basic food necessities to these poor elderly living in one room flats in Chinatown. Also, the donations will assist these elderly in their utilities bill and rental fees. Through the provision of basic food times, these needy elderly can then obtain necessary nutrients and be less susceptible to illness. Colour Me also hopes to raise the public awareness of these poor and needy elderly, urging them to do a small part in improving the lives of these elderly through donation or in any other possible way.
4. Learning Objectives for organising team and volunteers The organising team hopes to: i. ii.
Develop organizing skills such as those pertaining to learning how to plan in a logical and realistic manner. This is vital in service learning project. Learn how to liaise with external organizations for the manufacture of merchandize and execution of our project.
We hope that our volunteers would learn to: i. ii.
Convince others on the significance of our merchandize in addressing the social cause. Be more aware the poor and needy elderly living in different parts of our country.
5. Evidence of learning and service objective met Colour Me has successfully raised a total sum of $1190.00, far exceeding our $1000 target. The representative from Heart to Heart Service was very appreciative of our efforts and pleased with the donations as they will definitely go a long way in helping these elderly and
providing them with assistance for many months. Therefore, our service objectives were definitely met. The organising team has worked very well together to ensure the success of this service learning project. Also, we managed to get a great discounted price for our notebooks from the suppliers, allowing us to obtain more profits than what was calculated before. No doubt we had a memorable and meaningful experience planning and executing this service learning project. The volunteers have managed to sell a significant amount of merchandise as well. It is undeniable that they have convinced many of our cause. The reflections done also displayed a greater awareness of the plight of the elderly in Singapore.
6. Reflections and Feedback Reflections from Organising Team Lessons Learnt Overall, we are extremely satisfied with the outcome of our project, Colour Me: Adding Colour to My Life. It showed us what we could achieve if we were simply willing to do something; it does not have to be complicated or intricate, but something simple and sincere. In the past, when we saw needs or gaps in the society, we often felt powerless. A recurring thought in our head would be: one day, when we’re more powerful, more influential, or have more time, maybe we could do something. However, through this project, we realised that we need not do everything, we just had to do something. It was really just that attitude of willingness to stand in the gap and do what we believed in. Hence, this project succeeded in changing our mindset that the individual was powerless in aiding the needy. We also hope that we succeeded in just urging the people around us and those who bought our books to be a little more concerned about the state of society. Through this project, we were also able to witness what one does not normally see beyond the clean, polished façade of Singapore. As we followed Mr Sharana Rao from the agency, Heart to Heart services, to visit the beneficiary and deliver the donations, we came into contact with many elderly folk and understood this often marginalised group better. Mr Rao recounted to us tragic incidences in their lives, as many of them, living alone in the secluded mature estates, were vulnerable to robbery even within their households. As weak and feeble as they were, they were no match against the thugs who took whatever little they had. These recounts made us reflect on the condition of our society, on how unscrupulous and ruthless people could be, and how much these folk were deserving of our help. We were given the privilege to understand better the interactions between these golden members of our society, and how joyful they were just to know that someone cared for them enough to bring them groceries and token amounts of money on a regular basis. Truly, these little acts are seeds planted in their lives, and give them reasons to have hope again. We believe that what we were able to bring to them far outweighed all the efforts we put in, and it was worth it. Implementation of Project
In the implementation of our project, we sold our books on a more personal level, selling the books to our friends and acquaintances, at the same time sharing with them our cause. We did so because we wanted to add a personal touch into our project. Also, from our experience, the common practice of just canvassing orders by sending out order forms has been over-done, such that many students became desensitized to this method, and often simply ignored the order forms. It is not to say that students have lost their altruistic side, but that they are inundated with charitable and social causes that they do not know where to begin. However, if we were to connect with them on a person-to-person level, we were able to invoke this attitude of giving in their hearts to make a difference. While the process was more laborious and time consuming, it benefited us as we were more involved in the process, and we believe people who originally would not have had the opportunity to help the poor were now able to do so. Indeed, we did face challenges in the sale of the notebooks. People gave us feedback such as “we don’t use notebooks” etc. We view this as lack of incentive to buy a rather common product, despite our efforts to innovate and create an attractive design. We concede that we could employ other simple methods that need not necessarily be time consuming, such as providing personalisation services of the notebooks. We could have liased with the artists in our school, to draw personalised images on the notebooks for our customers, and this would have allowed us to charge a premium. We would look to these means in future projects.
Reflection from volunteers COLOUR ME is a meaningful fundraising project that provides help to the elderly living in Chinatown. Being part of the project has indeed taught me that a small effort in charity can indeed go a long way to help those in need. In our daily lives, we should always find little ways to make a difference to the community, keeping in mind that there are people who need our help. This project would be even more meaningful if visits were organized for students to visit the elderly at Chinatown. Students can spend a day with them and engage in activities such as playing games and chit-chatting with them.
I am glad to be a part of this meaningful service learning project. COLOUR ME has provided me with an opportunity to help these needy elderly. Though selling the notebooks was not as easy as I would have thought, I am glad that I was able to convince many of this meaning social cause. Other than the sale of notebooks, COLOUR ME can come up with other self designed products to appeal to more.
7. Photos Sales of Books in School Canteen (May)
Sales of Books at Flea Market (27th June 2012)
Trip to give out food and money to needy families (9th June 2012)
Appendix Accounting Details
Expenses Order of 500 Books Booking of Flea Market Booth Total Expenses Revenue
Received by Image Printers Pte Ltd Residents' Committee
unsold books were donated.
Number of books
Sale of books at $4 each
Sale of books at $1.50 at Flea Market Donations Total Revenue Total Collected
Date ($) 2/3/2012 600
4/5/2012 11/5/2012 17/5/2012 18/5/2012 24/5/2012 25/5/2012 14* 27/5/2012
21 79 1800 1190