25 December 2013 09:45 | By Ilsa Chan
Passing the hat around for a good cause

More are turning to the Internet and social media to raise funds for individuals in need. After all, the power is in the masses.

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Christmas may be the season of giving but Singaporeans, being a generous lot, aren’t just passing along a donation to charity or the less privileged during the festive season.

Despite the slower economic growth, the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre said it raised S$5.71 million online for charity in the first ten months of 2013, about 30 per cent more than the amount collected in the same period last year.

And in recent years, more people are also taking it a step further, turning to the Internet and social media to start fund-raising campaigns for individuals in need on their own. After all, the power is in the masses.

Most recently, when 33-year-old construction worker Sakthivel Kumaravelu was killed after being run over by a bus in Little India on December 8, several individuals rallied together raise funds for his family in India.

National Solidarity Party’s Nicole Seah worked with "key players from civil society" to collect funds, while freelance media artist Suresh Vanaz did so through social media appeals. All cash collected would be channelled through non-governmental organisation Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC), which is in touch with Sakthivel's next of kin.

Though the Sakthivel's demise is believed to have sparked a riot in Little India, Singapore’s worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years, these Singaporeans did not point fingers and instead came forward with offers to help.

Read on for more on how others have generously opened their hearts and wallets to help a friend in need.

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