NUS Students' Community Service Club - Project C.A.N.

Project C.A.N.

Introduction

Project Collection in Aid of the Needy, or affectionately abbreviated by volunteers as Project C.A.N., was first introduced in 2004 with the goal of collecting canned food and dried rations to redistribute to the less privileged. Through its activities, Project C.A.N. hopes to encourage the spirit of giving back to the community, while cultivating compassion and creating awareness for the less privileged. In doing so, Project C.A.N. also hopes to inspire volunteers and the community to do more to help the less privileged. Over the last 14 years, Project C.A.N. has reached out to the less privileged in Kreta Ayer, Bishan, Toa Payoh, Bedok, and Sembawang, amongst many other areas. In doing so, we have succeeded in integrating volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries together as one community through the Project. It has recently just concluded its 14th edition last July.


Project C.A.N. XIV

Project C.A.N., in its 14th year, aimed to collect canned food, dried rations, and basic necessities for the less privileged in the Kreta Ayer region. Working with Kreta Ayer YEC, we collected over 5992 food items weighing 3177kg. The items were then redistributed to the less privileged in the Kreta Ayer community.

Project C.A.N., which stands for Collection in Aid of the Needy, involves collecting canned food and dried food rations from the public to donate to the less privileged in a selected Singapore community, as well as generating awareness about the poor and cultivating a strong sense of volunteerism among youth.

This year, C.A.N. had a healthy eating, healthy living theme where we published a calendar that incorporated recipes, exercises and healthy living tips to encourage beneficiaries to lead healthier lives. NTUC shopping vouchers were also donated to the beneficiaries to encourage them to purchase fresh food that we were unable to collect and donate to them due to the shorter shelf lives. Another new initiative this year was the Breakfast Event held at Kreta Ayer CC, where we invited our beneficiaries for free breakfast, games and exciting performances.

Project C.A.N. XIV had 5 phases, namely C.A.N. Fundraising, C.A.N. Collect, C.A.N. Challenge, C.A.N. Sort and C.A.N. Distribute.

 

C.A.N. Fundraising

C.A.N. Fundraising was held in two locations: Bugis and Toa Payoh. Our volunteers approached members of the public to raise funds for NTUC shopping vouchers that were donated to the beneficiaries. The shopping vouchers were aimed at empowering the beneficiaries to make healthy food choices and to purchase fresh food that they prefer. We were extremely heartened to receive kind donations from the public. This phase took place in end-June over two days.

Organising committee members during the fundraising event

C.A.N. Collect

C.A.N. Collect engaged volunteers not only from NUS but also various institutions around Singapore to collect canned food items from residents under the Jalan Besar GRC. We reached out to approximately 20,000 household units to raise awareness for the beneficiaries that we are serving and encouraged them to donate to our cause. This phase took place in the first week of July which was the first instalment of the wholesome C.A.N. experience.

Volunteers going door-to-door to promote our cause during C.A.N. Collect

Volunteers carrying donated food items from the residents during C.A.N. Collect

Volunteers checking the expiry date of donated food items during C.A.N. Collect

C.A.N. Challenge

C.A.N. Challenge was phase 2 where volunteers were stationed at NTUCs at the Chinatown Point and Toa Payoh HDB Hubn. The volunteers canvassed for food item donations from the shoppers at the NTUCs and raised awareness for the beneficiaries that we were working with. This phase took place in the 2nd week of July.

A volunteer talking to a member of the public during C.A.N. Challenge

Our booth at Chinatown Point NTUC

Our organising committee members packing the donated food items

C.A.N. Sort

C.A.N. Sort is the 3rd phase of Project C.A.N. which took place over the third weekend of July. Volunteers from NUS got together to sort the collected food items into the individual food packs to be distributed to the families. These food packs were customized according to the health conditions and preferences of the residents receiving these food packs.

Volunteers checking for expiry date of the donated food during C.A.N. Sort

Donated items sorted into customised food packs during C.A.N. Sort

C.A.N. Distribute

C.A.N. Distribute is the last and final phase of the exciting C.A.N. journey. Volunteers got together on the last weekend of July to visit the beneficiaries and spend time with them. First, we had a breakfast event for the beneficiaries where they were treated to a buffet breakfast, games and exciting performances. Volunteers then presented the pre-packed food packs to the beneficiaries in their homes. In addition to that, the calendars and the shopping vouchers were presented to the beneficiaries to encourage them to make healthy eating and living options.

Volunteers attending briefing at C.A.N. Distribute

Volunteers with elderly beneficiary during C.A.N. Distribute

Volunteers with child beneficiaries during C.A.N. Distribute

Project C.A.N. XIV successfully concluded on the 31st of July after five meaningful phases. The success of the Project would not have been possible without the support of NUS CSC, Kreta Ayer CC YEC, our sponsors, generous donors, and our selfless volunteers. Thank you everyone who has played a part in Project C.A.N. XIV See you all at Project C.A.N. XV!

Thank you from all of us at Project C.A.N. XIV Organising Committee and see you next year!


Volunteers' Thoughts

CSC has provided me with countless memorable volunteering experiences while helping me forge many new friendships with like-minded volunteers throughout my four years in NUS. Although the role of Project Director is a challenging task to undertake, the dedication shown by my fellow OC members and volunteers never fail to spur me to work harder with them towards a greater cause. My biggest takeaway as a Project Director will be the opportunity to grow and learn together with my OC.
Justin, Project Director
My experience with Project C.A.N. so far has been pretty rewarding and eye-opening. We've gotten to see the inherent good in people who don't have much but are still willing to give to others, and those who need aid but still search their cupboards for whatever they can offer.
Keith, Group Leader
I have had an amazing time volunteering at Project C.A.N.. Although it was pretty tiring, I really enjoyed interacting with the residents while advocating for our project and requesting for their support. As it's my first time doing a door to door flyer distribution, it warmed my heart that most of the residents were kind-hearted and receptive to the message I was trying to bring across.
Chellene, Volunteer