SUPPORT OUR YOUTH TO BECOME BEYOND AWESOME!: LOCAL CHARITY, TRAVEL STARTUP JOIN FORCES TO BOLSTER FUNDRAISING EFFORTS
A trip to Singapore’s Art Museum with Blessings’ volunteers and youths. Founder Emily Teng is seated, second from the right.
SINGAPORE, AUGUST 25 2020 - For the last four months, instead of making his way down to the Tan Boon Liat Building at Outram for his twice weekly lessons, eight year old Adam* (not his real name), logged on to his sponsored computer from home and spent the good half of his Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons learning how to cook, listening to stories, or solving Math problems through fun e-lessons with his pals from Blessings in a Bag (BIAB).
A non-profit organisation, BIAB has been rendered non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, they ploughed on with their work which they strongly believe has far-reaching consequences to its beneficiaries - children and youth from under-resourced communities as identified by social workers.
Adjusting to circuit breaker mode
Earlier this April 2020, when the nation officially moved into circuit-breaker mode, Blessings in a Bag had to close their physical space where they held semi-weekly classes for children ranging from 6 to 18 years of age.
Other activities that had to be halted include their popular thrift shop sales held regularly at their HQ, as well as learning excursions where the class visits the zoo, bird park, or meets with industry leaders from firms such as Twitter and F45.
A visit to Twitter’s headquarters
In spite of the situation, Blessings in a Bag adapted and overcame its hurdles.
Since the circuit breaker, they have adjusted their lessons and moved to online platforms such as Facebook to hold virtual programs so as to ensure continual access to learning and enrichment for their beneficiaries.
Community building efforts, in which the team journeys with the families of 90 children and youths, their family members, and neighbours from the Redhill and Outram districts, through engaging in ongoing projects and activities, and hearing their stories and feedback on the various BIAB programmes, were brought to the virtual space with increased frequency. Meanwhile, the team continues to deliver donations in the form of grocery vouchers and food to the households.
Joining hands with travel tech startup - BlackBook
BIAB has recently launched an online fundraising campaign - Support our youth to become Beyond Awesome! The campaign will fund BIAB’s initiatives that include empowering its key beneficiaries, as well as actively nurturing a community of volunteers and change-makers through a mentorship program that encourages self-directed growth and development.
This year, they have partnered with BlackBook, a soon-to-launch local startup in the travel space, in a coin-for-dollar matching campaign, awarding donors with travel rewards for when the time to travel arrives.
“Blessings in a Bag was called just that because of the blessings carried in the suitcases of travellers to communities in need when we first started. When BlackBook approached us for a collaboration, it reminded me of our beginnings and the challenges we had to overcome to get to where we are today,” said Emily Teng, founder of BIAB.
“It was a timely reminder not to let COVID-19 get the better of us. Just as Blessings began with travellers, we are excited to continue our journey with BlackBook to make an even bigger impact on our communities.”
For every dollar donated to the campaign, donors will get one BB coin, which is BlackBook’s rewards currency on the travel platform. Donors can utilise the coins for their hotel booking globally when BlackBook launches in Q4 2020.
At its launch, BlackBook will give travellers access to the largest hotel inventory, a unique rewards conversion program in which earned reward points can be converted to cash, and an intuitive trip planning tool.
“The travel business has taken a hard hit but we knew we aren’t the only ones that are impacted. We were actively on the look-out for who we can rally around in these difficult times,” said Iqbal Jumabhoy, founder and CEO of BlackBook.
“It is often said that travelling is the best form of education, and though it is on pause for us at the moment, it is vital that learning for our children never stops,” said Iqbal.
One of BIAB’s youth in a program
To learn more about how you can help, please visit https://blackbook.sg/community.
To donate |
BlackBook corporate website |
Coin-for-dollar matching campaign details |
BIAB corporate website |
Pre-register for a BlackBook account & receive 200 BB coins |
BlackBook makes it easy for travellers to discover, book and plan their trips, and accompany them to explore the best of what each destination has to offer - every step of the way. BlackBook’s real rewards program benefits travellers instantly, and can be converted into cash. Based in Singapore, BlackBook is an all-in-one travel app built for maximum convenience delivered through an integrated & seamless mobile and web experience. BlackBook is slated to launch in 2H 2020.
About Blessings in a Bag:
Blessings in a Bag is an award-winning, globally-recognised community organisation powered by youths for youths – with a vision of a world where every young person is celebrated for who they are and who they are becoming; resilient, compassionate and loving agents of change who uplift their own communities.
Through one of its signature programs, Beyond Awesome, the organisation is on a mission to journey and support under-resourced children and youth through increasing their social capital, provide access to meaningful opportunities and experiences, and surround them with an intentional circle of support through committed volunteers.
Over the years, Blessings in a Bag has been the go-to-organisation for people to give in-kind, give financially and participate in acts of service to support programs, provide vital necessities to local communities within Singapore, and empower the next generation of volunteers.
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Blessings in a Bag
+65 9671 0858