In picture 1; Uncle Eddie and his deaf & mute brother, two of our
beneficiaries from CuffRd/Little India. (Photo by: Mediacorp)
Picture 2: 80 year old Madam Aw. Walks from Whampoa to Toa Payoh every day to sell her boxes.
“They get taken for beggars sometimes as they poke through the trash, by people who exclaim “eiyuh!” in disgust. Impatient drivers honk as the duo push their laden trolleys along the road.
“My brother cannot hear the cars horn,” said the man who asked to be
known as ‘Eddie’. “When I tell them he cannot speak or hear, most say sorry.
Others curse and say, ‘****, lah, I don’t care’.”
The 63-year-old has long since learned to swallow his pride and let such
comments slide, over 20 years of doing what he must to look after his deaf-mute
brother, who is 68 and diabetic.
This includes scrounging for odd jobs, in between forays to pick and
sell cardboard around their Serangoon one-room rental flat, in any weather.
“We’ve collected in the rain. I got sick. It's okay when (my brother) falls sick; I cannot fall sick, because I am basically his ears and head, so he’s in trouble,” said Eddie, who pushes a trolley stacked with cardboard higher than his 1.5-metre frame.
A good day is when the brothers collectively make about S$20. That’s with a haul of nearly 200kg, depending on price fluctuations. Said Eddie: “After a long time, our bones start to ache. It really hurts.”
Article excerpts from Channel NewsAsia Online.
MEAL FUNDS FOR THE BOX COLLECTORS
In recent years, we've seen an increase in the number of elderly box collectors in Singapore. Many of them, in their 70s and even 80s, do not have other means of earning and have resorted to collecting cardboard boxes to make a living in order to support themselves. There are those among them that are childless and there are some whom are not financially supported by their own children. Collecting and selling boxes is not exactly the kind of job that an elderly should do. These box collectors start their day early, going through dumpsters, looking for cardboard boxes to be sold for mere 8 - 10 cents for every kilogram of cardboard boxes. For their effort, many only earn just $2-$3 at the end of a rough day. That's barely enough for a plate of rice in Singapore.
Happy People Helping People Foundation hope to raise funds every month to pay forward at least 1 meal a day for each of the box collectors we are helping in Toa Payoh, Cuff Road and Kreta Ayer. Currently, with the help of our meal sponsors, we have paid-forward meals for 100 box collectors for the past months. That's a total of close to 3,000 meals every month thanks to all the meals sponsors that contributed to this meal fund. We hope to extend our help to other box collectors from other estates as well. However your support is really crucial to us. Help sponsor their meals. Give them the opportunity to have more rest and some allowance for other expenditures.
For every 1 meal - $3 (Typically rice + 1 veg + 2 meat)
Last month, we raised a total of about $24,846. We have paid for meals in Cuff Road (28 people), Toa Payoh (48 people), Kreta Ayer (30 people) and 4 other individuals. (These individuals are box collectors too, however we do not pay for their meals at the specified coffee shops below due to inconvenient distance. Their meals are paid at different stalls near their homes. They are at Bedok Interchange, 86 Whampoa Road, Lorong 25A Geylang, 190 Toa Payoh and 150 Bishan St 11) Photo proof of receipts can be shown upon requests via PM on our Facebook page. They are also uploaded on our Happy Sunday albums. We have also paid for NTUC vouchers for each of the box collector. Extra funds are used for outings and lunch/dinner outings. Last week we brought 2 bus loads of them on the Duck tours and buffet dinner with the balance of the funds.
Note: Any balance will be used to purchase NTUC vouchers to be distributed during our monthly Happy Sundays and also for their monthly outings.
Below are the coffee shops where the box collectors collect their meals from:
1) Yi Fa Mixed Vege Rice
& Porridge located at Block 21 Toa Payoh
(**Previously they collected from Xiang Man Yuan Restaurant located at Toa Payoh Lor 8 Industrial Park)
2) Sin Tian Chen Mixed Rice
and Vege Stall located at Block 31 Kelantan Lane
(**Previously was from Yi He Eating House located at Blk 638 Veerasamy Road)
3) Jin Fu Coffeeshop, Up & Up Mixed Veg Rice Stall located at No 83/85. Keong Saik Rd
(DO support these stalls. They have been very supportive to us throughout this journey.)
Do help us spread word about this
cause. Hopefully with your generous contributions, these elderly box collectors
no longer need to depend on the little earnings that they get by selling
cardboard boxes to eat.
Please share and get more people involved <3
For more info with regards
to this project visit our Facebook page at : www.facebook.com/happypeoplehelpingpeople