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Inspiring NTU student starts project to raise awareness about and funds for elderly cardboard collectors

Adrian uses funds raised to buy meals for the elderly




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Singapore—21-year-old Adrian Foo obviously believes that little drops of water make a mighty ocean. This student from Nanyang Technological University collects the five-cent coins that some people might find annoying or useless. But he does this not for himself, but to help Singapore’s elderly cardboard collectors, most of whom only earn four or five dollars a day.

With his Five Cents Project, which he started but a short time ago, he has collected $709.

While this may not seem to be a lot, this amount actually translated to 7,090 kg of cardboard that a collector needs to sell, as online publication The Pride points out in a story about Mr Foo.

Can you imagine how much work a senior citizen would have to do to collect 7,090 kg of cardboard?

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According to the Facebook page of Five Cents Project, if everyone in Singapore gave just one five-cent coin, this would amount to $281,935. However, when many drop their five cent coins or see one lying around, they don’t even bother to pick it up.

“At the core of the idea is the idea of contribution, that it does not require much of us, and no matter how insignificant we think our contribution is, that should not stop us from contributing because every little bit counts. We always say things like ‘I’m too busy to volunteer’ or like ‘I can’t even sustain myself, how can I donate?’ But the truth is we are all capable of giving, and as little as we can give, if everyone gives JUST a little, it can go a long long way. Wouldn’t the world be a much better, brighter and kinder place?

The vision is to have people recognise that they have the ability to give. Even five cents can make the difference.”

Mr Foo and his project are starting to get the attention of others. He was featured on the Happy People Helping People Community page on June 3, Monday, wherein the student was called “inspirational” for what he does.

#FIVECENTSPROJECTThis young chap here is inspirational. While other youths his age are busy on their Playstation,…

Posted by Happy People Helping People Community on Sunday, June 2, 2019

The post helped shed light on the difficulties elderly cardboard collectors go through daily and encouraged people to give their five-cent coins to his project.

“For these elderly cardboard collectors, in order for them to earn just 2 of these $0.05, they need to find and sell 1kg of cardboard boxes. ‘Finding’ actually means scavenging through disposed rubbish which is very unhygienic and dangerous. ‘Selling’ means having to push these stacks of boxes through our busy road which have been proven to be very dangerous (read: lethal) especially when you are old and can no longer see well and your judgement is no longer good.

For his first month, he managed to raise $709 and he used it to pay for our cardboard collectors daily meals. His project is ongoing so why not give him the support that he needs. Find as many $0.05 coins as possible and give it to him.”

Mr Foo was also supported by a netizen named Tan Kai Chih Roger, who wrote on June 2, “Get to know this young chap named Adrian from NTU. He got this brilliant idea of getting every S’porean to donate 5cents. Such a small donation act can be done by the young, old ones and even the poorest people while reaping the big reward together!

I shared my analogy with him that a tree with a great canopy and bear fruits starts from a small seed. The money will go into helping the elderly and needy families.

So do support #fivecentsproject and share this post! Rejoice!”

Get to know this young chap named Adrian from NTU. He got this brilliant idea of getting every S'porean to donate…

Posted by Tan Kai Chih Roger on Saturday, June 1, 2019

Even Mrs Ho Ching shared the story from The Pride about Mr Foo and his new advocacy on her Facebook page.

Mr Foo has been grateful for the attention his cause had gotten. “Wow, thank you so much! I got a shock from the sudden influx of messages,” he wrote on the Facebook page of Happy People Helping People. “You guys do an amazing job too! You have changed the lives of so many elderly, and inspired so many of us! Let’s keep going at it.”


Read related:Netizen spearheads cardboard donation drive to help the elderly earn a living


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