Singapore—Many elderly folk in Singapore are still struggling to make a living despite it being one of the richest countries in this region. And because we have a deeply entrenched tradition of respecting our elders, many of us want to make sure they are taken care of in their twilight years.
One such good-hearted individual who likes helping the elderly is netizen Kilmar Wong. He conducts an activity called “Support the cardboard collectors day,” wherein discarded cardboard is collected from companies and households and then distributed to the elderly throughout Singapore who collect cardboard as their livelihood, in order to for them to sell it and therefore earn a higher income.
The Independent first wrote about Mr Wong last month when he drew attention via his Facebook page to an elderly Singaporean cardboard collector who only earns $30 after collecting 300 kilograms of cardboard. He appealed to waste paper recycling companies to increase their buying price as this would benefit the cardboard collectors tremendously.
On Sunday, March 24, Mr Wong wrote about an elderly woman, also a cardboard collector. She usually works at the Chong Pang residential neighborhood looking for cardboard and other recyclables. Mr Wong was in the neighborhood to give out goodie bags and Ang Bao packets.
He wrote in a Facebook post that while the auntie received the goodie bag, she actually refused the money, asking Mr Wong to give it to people who need it more than she does.
He wrote, “I came here to give her a goodie bag, she was so happy. She says she doesn’t want the Angbao and just wanted the goodie bag. She told me to keep the money and give it to the less fortunate people.”
Mr Wong seemed equally delighted to discover that the auntie is already being helped by the people in the area. He wrote, “From my understanding, the residents of Chong Pang have been helping her and gave her the carton boxes. Kudos to the resident of ChongPang. That’s a kampong spirit!”
Mr Wong told The Independent that he hopes more people will come forward to donate and help out the nation’s elderly, particularly those who depend on collecting cardboard for a living.
He is part of a group called “Bread & Butter,” which provides assistance to elderly cardboard collectors. Their motto: ‘Restoring Human Dignity to the Economically Displaced with Humanity Love.’
Mr Wong is inviting all Singaporeans to get involved with this endeavor, as they have an islandwide collection of cardboard on April 27. With a bigger number of people who participate in this endeavor, more of the cardboard collecting elderly will be given assistance.
The warehouse where they collect the material is at 2DX Transport, which offers free warehousing.
He said, “One ton of papers or cardboard equals one hundred dollars only. I hope to achieve 100 tons monthly and distribute the money” to the aunties and uncles who need it.
Mr Wong said that Bread & Butter’s current approach is this: “We seek to collect and consolidate discarded cardboard pieces across the island at our sponsored warehousing facilities, which we would in-turn (sic) send these cardboards to our beneficiaries- i.e. the cardboard collecting elderly scattered throughout the island. This is with the goal to aid and boost the amount of cardboard these elderly collectors able to sell (sic), which would in turn enhance their meagre income.”
Concerning Bread & Butter’s “Support the cardboard collectors’ day,” Mr Wong explained the endeavor further. “Every month we would be organizing a ‘support the cardboard collectors day’ at our warehousing facilities with the view to encourage individual households and corporations to deliver discarded cardboard from their homes and business premises to us for redistribution to our beneficiaries.”