ChariTrees Light Up 2021: Tales of the Future
New Initiatives Encourage Communities to Come Back Stronger Amidst the Pandemic
- ChariTrees Light Up 2021 welcomes new beneficiary – SOTA Endowment Fund (SOTA EF) – alongside existing beneficiaries, #Engage and Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
- The line-up of ChariTrees features a design by a 13-year-old SOTA student
- Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade to be lit up for five weeks through Sun 26 Dec 2021
- Public donations here: https://www.giving.sg/trcl/charitrees2021
SINGAPORE 19 November – The 11th edition of annual fundraiser ChariTrees will see new initiatives in its efforts to further serve the community. President Halimah Yacob will officiate the Light Up Ceremony at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, this evening at 7.30 pm.
ChariTrees is an annual event that sees specially designed Christmas trees lighting up Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade to bring cheer to the public during the year-end-festive season as well as fundraise for charities.
ChariTrees 2021 takes on a new beneficiary, the School of the Arts Endowment Fund (SOTA EF), in addition to beneficiaries from 2020, TRCL’s #Engage Initiative and Samaritans of Singapore (SOS). SOTA EF addresses the need for long-term sustainability in providing SOTA students with bursaries, scholarships and other financial assistance. In this, ChariTrees seeks to reach a wider segment of the community as Singapore strives to bounce back from the obstacles brought about by the pandemic this last year.
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) carries out intervention and suicide prevention services and the #ENGAGE Initiative by arts and culture organisation TRCL provides vulnerable children with digital devices and digital-art programmes to equip them with know-how and creative skills.
Says Mr Tan Puay Kern, Chairman of the ChariTrees 2021 Organising Committee, “We are very grateful to our donors, sponsors and partners for their generous support toward ChariTrees 2021. As the year comes to an end, we hope this movement will be a source of encouragement to all as we look toward a brighter, more hopeful future.
“Even as we strive for better days, we must continue to remember those among us who might need that extra push. Together, we hope to inspire positive thoughts and actions that can bring communities closer, making this year-end season of giving all the more meaningful.
To date, ChariTrees has raised $315,000 for the charities. Platinum Donors include Franklin Templeton, Mind the Gap 200 Fund, Pavilion Capital and Sea Limited; Gold Donors: Allen & Overy LLP, Arrowcrest Technologies Pte Ltd, Certis, OUE, PAP Community Foundation, and Mr William Koh. ChariTrees is managed and curated by Global Cultural Alliance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of charity arts organisation TRCL.
ChariTrees 2021 is themed “Tales of the Future” and it seeks to celebrate Singapore’s future-ready mindset and optimism. The movement will highlight the efforts of 10 community heroes who are striving towards empowering the underserved through providing educational platforms and opportunities for growth.
Mr Phan Ming Yen, Chief Operating Officer, TRCL, added: “ChariTrees 2021 is all about optimism and hope in what the future holds. These specially-fabricated Christmas trees bring cheer to a year that has seen our communities take tentative steps towards a sense of normalcy.”
In line with its focus on the future, ChariTrees 2021 also involves a member of the community in the design of the trees. One of the four tree designs was co-designed by SOTA’s 13-year-old first year visual arts student Ms Choi Minjoo. Inspired by the traditional Christmas tree, the tree designed by SOTA is a reminder that tradition and the past is the foundation for the future.
Ms Mary Seah, Principal, SOTA, shared, “SOTA is thankful to be a part of ChariTrees 2021, and for the opportunity given to our student, Minjoo, to co-design one of the trees for this meaningful event. The donations raised from ChariTrees goes to our SOTA Endowment Fund, which forms a sustainable source of funds to provide for bursaries, scholarships, and other financial assistance to the students who need them. This enables us to make arts education accessible to more young aspiring artists. Minjoo’s design represents hope and light for our youth, to continue pursuing their dreams, even when the future may seem uncertain.”
The SOTA Trees will be joined by two new designs known as “Sail Trees” and “Pyramid Trees”, as well as traditional-styled ones to make up a dazzling line up of 30 ChariTrees which will light up the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade till 26 December.
Says Mr Gasper Tan, Chief Executive of SOS, “The ChariTrees movement this year marks a truly special celebration, especially amid a time where events have been curtailed due to COVID-19. Despite the ravaging pandemic, we want to remember this year as the year of social responsibility and to continue to build on existing efforts and find new ways to support mental health in our communities. ChariTrees also symbolizes the congregation of strength among charities, where we hope others may be inspired by the resilience and determination of our people to rise above, resolve and respond to adversities.
We are humbled to be able to spread a festive cheer along the Marina Bay precinct, but more importantly, also bring light to the importance of suicide prevention – strengthening advocacy among the community must continue to be an important pillar for our nation.”
ChariTrees 2021 partners include production partner Rich-Art Enterprises Pte Ltd, and venue partner Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
The media is invited to cover this event at the Simpor Junior Ballroom Level 4, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956, from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm.
Ms Kim Chan
ChariTrees 2021 is co-organised by TRCL, Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), and School of the Arts (SOTA). ChariTrees celebrates Singapore’s community heroes. From 2011 to 2017, ChariTrees was a fundraising initiative by the Community Chest.
The #Engage Initiative
The recent Covid-19 public health crisis highlighted the social impact of the “digital divide” more than ever. Through a collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE) during the Circuit Breaker TRCL noted three gaps in society: a lack of access to digital devices among certain groups; a lack of digital literacy; a need for wholesome and original creative content. #Engage by TRCL aims to build a digitally inclusive society through: Providing digital devices for vulnerable children, developing original arts and culture programmes which engender creativity, inspire the acquisition of new skills and impart wholesome values, and developing an annual online arts festival platform which showcases the creativity and voices of children and youth to the community.
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS)
Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) is a secular, non-profit suicide prevention centre. Since its establishment in 1969, SOS has developed into a professionally run and managed organisation. It adopts a holistic approach to suicide-related topics, focusing on prevention, intervention and postvention, an intervention conducted after a suicide for loved ones and friends. With the mission to be an available lifeline to anyone in crisis, SOS offers emotional support to people in crisis, thinking of suicide, or affected by suicide. All information shared with SOS is treated as confidential and people can choose to remain anonymous.
School of the Arts Endowment Fund (SOTA EF)
The School Of The Arts Endowment Fund (SOTA EF) addresses the need for long-term sustainability in providing SOTA students with bursaries, scholarships and other financial assistance. Your contribution will help make arts education accessible for the less privileged and play a significant role in nurturing cultural leaders of tomorrow.
TRCL (The RICE Company Ltd) is a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity with IPC (Institutions of a Public Character) status. TRCL seeks to harness the potential of the arts to benefit under-served children and youths in the community. TRCL manages The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, arts training centres (The Little Arts Academy and 10 Square Youth) and two wholly- owned subsidiaries (Global Cultural Alliance Ltd and Millet Holdings Pte Ltd). For more information, visit trcl.sg.
Global Cultural Alliance (GCA)
Founded in 2014, GCA is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on building communities and bridging borders through arts and cultural programmes. It is committed to developing an inclusive society and positioning Singapore as a cultural hub for the exchange of ideas and shared experiences. The team firmly believes in the transformative power of the arts and works with marginalised segments of society including individuals with experiences of incarceration, poverty or in need of mental health support. www.globalculturalalliance.sg