I’ve nothing to be afraid of: Vivian Pan

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Vivian Pan, 31, founder of the Single Parents Support Group (SPSG)

By Laura Zhang

Facing the controversy of fundraising for a cancer-stricken single mother, Ms. Vivian Pan, founder of the Single Parents Support Group (SPSG) explained to The Independent in an hour-long interview on how she got fingered for wrongdoings. She stands firm of her innocence and blames the netizens of being too vitriolic in their remarks.

On June 1, Ms. Pan sent out a plea for donations on Facebook on behalf of a single mother, who is diagnosed with stage two cervical cancer. Vivian asked, “$1 from you is all I plead for”.

The post went viral and was well-received as the woman’s condition tugged at many heartstrings. By 5th June, the plea has garnered almost 1,500 shares and more than 800 comments, and some people offered financial and other forms of assistance.

However, netizens and donors turned skeptical when the donations of groceries were rejected.

Three police reports have been lodged against Ms. Vivian Pan after Jazz Yew, a netizen, cautioned people to be beware of “scams” by Pan.

“I’m disappointed with the media”, said Pan to The Independent, “it is unfair to portray me as a cheater without even bothering to clarify with me.”

Pan recounted that she and the single mother, who chose to be unnamed, we have been Facebook friends for 4 years. Pan paid her a visit on 30th May at her rental flat upon receiving the request for “$40 NTUC voucher in exchange for 3 tins of Milo powder.”

According to Pan, the single mother has no relatives besides her two children. Her 1-room rental flat is worn and cramped, with leftover hawker food as there is no one to help out with the chores.

“I immediately decided to help this woman. I didn’t know how to do it properly, so I wanted to start something simple, such as collecting $1,” She said, “I didn’t expect to receive so much money.”

Upon being asked why other forms of assistance has been rejected, she said, “there’s literally no space in her apartment to stock those bulks of groceries. People typically send in $60 worth of stuff.”

“I believe donors should respect the condition stated as well, which was simply a dollar.” She pointed out, “why would I want to ruin my reputation. If I’m down, who will run the organization and take care of my kids and mother?”

She told the TISG that she had personally donated $500 alongside with some essentials from IKEA as well.

She also explained the reason why the recipient account is hers instead of the intended woman. “Once her bank account receives money, the benefits for her medical bills will be forfeited.”

“I wasn’t even handcuffed and put behind the bars. The police officer gave me words of encouragement after the statement had been documented.”

She also highlighted that “peaceful dialogue is important. Social media is not a platform to destroy people. I am willing to provide answers face to face.” She also added, “Singaporeans are creating jokes on this country as they turn against each other.”

She admitted her mistake in not handling the matter professionally and resulted in a lack of transparency, as it was the first time she had initiated a fundraising project.

She spoke that the case has been closed. She had uploaded her bank statement and transferred the funds collected to the single mother in front of police officers yesterday (7 June). “Everything is transparent now. I don’t mind showing the police everything weekly to prove my innocence. I make sure my Facebook is active, despite receiving disheartened remarks every once in a while.” She lamented that it was hard on her when she in fact acted out of kindness.

The 5-digit fund collected within the span of five days has been saved in the single mother’s new bank account.

After series of harassments from netizens and police statement recorded, the woman apologized to Pan.

“I’ve had the worst 3 days in my life. However, I will still continue helping single parents because I know how tough this journey is.” Pan said.

Pan refrained from providing information on the lawyer, as mentioned by many netizens as “suspicious”. “He is a volunteer. The main point is I haven’t decided to work with him.”

She also admitted that she had got MPs’ support with applications of subsidies of some single parents. MP Lee Bee Wah hugged her yesterday and remarked in Mandarin, “hao ren nan zuo (It’s hard to be a kind person).”

She asserted that she would never initiate fundraising anymore. “I will only focus on providing counselling, job-matching and befriending single parents from now on.”

The identity of the single mother remains to be undisclosed as she needs to be protected from potential harms from gossips and people around her.

Pan jokingly spoke that “it’s a blessing in disguise. I became famous after this event. Now more single parents are expected to be helped by me and my organization.”

She would like to express gratefulness to those who trust and support her. She also urges the society to spare attention on the needy minorities, instead of spreading hatred.

Pan plans to hold joint event for single parents to look for full-time jobs, including opening hawker stalls for them under the name of SPSG.

57 COMMENTS

  1. There will always be risks of being accused of misdeeds when money is involved. This is made worse by social media today. Maybe that is why not many kind-hearted want to step forward and offer help. Vivian has a good heart to help others, but was not prepared for this episode as a young woman. I hope she will do well in her life, whether she continues to help others or give up to pursue her personal goals.

  2. Even if she revealed the name of the intended recipient, the same bunch of clowns will continue their vitriolic drivel about both of them being Facebook ‘friends’.

  3. Some of the things she said just don’t tally. How come the cancer patient has no bank account? Even if she don’t know about social services this Ms Pan should direct her to one. Nobody is going to donate perishable so even if 100 donating what harm can it cause?

  4. Its transparency of $$$ that is the problem within Singapores Too many cases of misused of fubd meant for rhe needy. All these go down to social help organisations. An example is The saga of NKF sitting in business class when $25000 is peanur for the rich while some household dont earn half that much annually. So media is there to show true facts but dont add unverified allegations. But here we need to praise Vivian well done. Keep up and GB.

  5. Indeed a noble act of Pan. There’s nothing wrong with public skeptism because there were way too many crooks out there to cheat people. Many did so in the name of religion. Those acts have destroyed people’s trust for one another. It’s a disappointing society altogether.

  6. To be fair… the other parties did tried to clarify with her contradicting to what she said that they didn’t bothered to clarify. She avoided. Got shit on body 身上有屎?

    She avoided and therefore drawn upon herself this heap of misunderstanding. No one to blame but herself.

  7. Vivian I hope you not discourage by this incident in helping those single mum. Do what you think is right and don’t bother what others think. As long as your conscious is clear just carry on with your kind deeds. Those with negative thoughts are the one with ulterior motives. So turn a deaf ear on them. May God bless you.

  8. Yap tai San helping cancer patient cheat social services is never a good idea. MS Pan claimed in another post patient lost her Medifund subsidy. Cancer treatment so expensive what is she going to do now?

  9. If Ms Pan wants to do good deeds, she should just tap her own pocket.

    Spend her efforts invested in fund raising on doing some paid work n then pass the $ earned to the person she has identified as needing help.

    I seldom give to organised fund raisers who hang around temple doors, MrT exits n entrances, etc etc. Mentally I wonder why they don’t do some paid work with their time n give that money to the charities they say they are trying to help?

    I give instead to pitiful individuals who compete with the fund raisers, offering tissue papers for a dollar.

    I sometimes think why the fund raisers don’t help the needy right in front of them n instead collect for faceless n nameless individuals, sometimes in far away places!

  10. Advise:
    Seek a highly recognised organization to tend to the donations, even you may be the drafter.
    It’s inevitable others behaves skeptically towards you. They have their concerns and their worries.
    I’ve assisted and helped, I’ve been assisting and helping others officially and unofficially.
    I hardly handle matters, involves money. Unless it’s my own to spare. Not much.
    Have a recognised organisation to take charge of the money drafted before it’s handed over to the party that needed our helps.
    Then, work yourself to have your organisation eventually recognised to handle monetary drafter with supervision of AG.
    At the same time, collecting rations are critical to the party concerns.
    Money to their medical expenses. Rations to comfort and warm their hearts.
    Do not allow this little resistance dampen your eagerness to help.
    NamoAmitabha.

  11. It is far easier to accuse someone of pure kindness than to go after the muppets that are transparent in misusing the monies of others. If folks were uncertain of her kindness, ask politely how the monies will be distributed in a correct manner. But don’t shoot from the hip.

  12. There will always be haters and greeneyed monsters if you are successful in what you do , even for a good cause. As long as you are upright, please ignore these haters. Remember, people reading books without disturbing anyone on MRT also got hit with police reports against them. Many have been conditioned to think without using their brains.

  13. My admiration & gratitude towards Ms Pan for her initiative and good work but was just wondering (not accusing) since she has no experience in doing such work why doesn’t she try get help/tips from the various ministries and/or AWARE, religious groups? Just a thought.

  14. She made a mistake. Instead of trying to do crowdfunding over Facebook, she’d use Indiegogo or Kickstsrter instead. These 2 are crowdfunding platform which includes asking for donations. She will definitely get more money not only just Singapore and avoid all the craps from people. Crowdfunding can be used for many purposes including launching of new products. If using it to help my church to raise funds for its church building project. Also will be doing it for another international charitable organisation. If you run a biz, pm me if you want to learn how to use crowdfunding for your biz. One Aussie guy invented a beehive that can pump out honey
    automatically. He needs USD10k but got funded for USD 2.4 million!

  15. sibey alot of bo liao people… don’t donate then don’t donate lah… walau eh. i also no donate. different people have different views on things. not happy , don’t trust, don’t like that vivian’s face, don’t like single mom etc…don’t give …you like, then u give, up to each of us. simple as that.

  16. To be honest, all fund raising movement, MSF or whatever govt bodies, should vet through application before giving the go ahead. Anyone, I mean anyone including Tom Dick and Harry, can just ask for funds through social media. Too many crooks around looking for the easy way out.

  17. Ai yoh those Singaporean. 1 day they will fall into a situation like this CA patient. Ms Pan is trying to help. Why complain for such a small amount. If you all cannot or do not want to help just keep quiet. Making things difficult for someone helping the less fortunate will bring you numerous bad karma. Yes many do not believed this. Its ok just wait. Just for info bad karma comes in many forms. Sometimes not directly hit you but to your love one. So please if can help please help if you cannot or do not want please stay out of it.

  18. Don’t be backed down by the negative feedback. If your conscience is clear, why bother? If it is really coming from your heart and you are sincere, don’t be bothered.

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