Wheels for GOOD raises $400,000 to cancel debt for needy families

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Click to EnlargeOver $400,000 was raised at Wheels for GOOD, a charity bike and carnival event organised by the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS) on 15 Aug 2015. Thus, 619 families will each receive between $2,000 to $5,000, through the Getting Out Of Debt (GOOD) Programme, where $3.07 million has been raised to help needy families clear chronic debt.

Wheels for GOOD also celebrated the twin milestones of Singapore’s Golden Jubilee (SG50) and the 130th anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS 130).

More than 300 cyclists participated in a 50km Scenic Ride to mark SG50, flagged off by MWS Chairperson Mr David Wong at 5.30 a.m. The 13km Fun Ride to mark MCS 130 drew 80 cyclists, and was flagged off by the Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, President of the Chinese Annual Conference of the MCS, at 6.30 a.m.

In his speech, Mr Wong said that while there has been economic progress in our nation, many in the community still struggle with debt. MWS will tap on debt management, financial education, and tutoring and bursaries for children as part of their 360-degree approach to help families get out of poverty and manage their finances better.

Brenda, a non-Christian, had gathered three other friends to sign up for Wheels for GOOD after coming across it in a newspaper advertisement. It was their first time signing up for a cycling event together. Her friend Ms Judy Chan, 37, also a non-Christian, found the ride “manageable” and “well-organised”, with the help of traffic marshals to direct the cyclists.

Her comments were echoed by Mr Terence Goh, 52, who cycled with his friends from ACS (Class of 1979) Mr Lionel Ong and Mr Gregory Pang, all of whom attend Barker Road Methodist Church.

Mr Charles Chin, 23, who attends Christalite Methodist Chapel, found it meaningful to come together to cycle as a body of Christ. He enjoyed the view from the nature reserve to Punggol waterfront, and having spoken to other cyclists who were non-Christian, felt that the event had potential for outreach.

The Rev Derrick Lau, Pastor-in-Charge of Methodist Church of the Incarnation, found the 13-km ride a “very positive and refreshing early morning cycle, together with supporters of Wheels for GOOD”, and said that we should encourage more of this to support the needy in society.

The top fundraiser for Wheels for GOOD was Mr Adrian Lim, who raised $6,180 and won himself a foldable bicycle.

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong graced the occasion as the Guest of Honour, and together with MWS patron Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup, Mr Wong, Mr Albert Lim (Chairman of the Wheels for GOOD Organising Committee), and Mrs Jenny Bong (MWS Group Executive Director), used confetti cannons to launch the carnival.

Minister Gan also joined over 200 people in entering the Singapore Book of Record for the longest bicycle rim-rolling relay. At Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, he visited the booths at the wheels-themed carnival, which featured games such as Human Foosball, Wheelchair Basketball, and Inline Skating Obstacle Challenge.

Bishop Dr Wee, in his opening prayer, recognised God’s great blessings, mercy and grace upon us a nation, “prospering us, giving us peace and stability so that we can celebrate occasions like these in sharing what we have received with those who need them.”

He thanked God for “the privilege of sharing, giving and blessing others with all He has given us” and prayed for “our love for You to be shown in the love we show our neighbours.”

Chia Hui Jun is Editorial Executive at Methodist Message (MM). Additional reporting by Grace Toh, Assistant Editor of MM.

 

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