I’ve never contributed to the Sharity Gift Box.

In the past, I typically just walk by the booth without even checking out the wishlist. I don’t know why I never thought of taking a closer look.

This year, I got an email asking for adoption of wishes. After opening the Excel attachment, I couldn’t stop scrolling…

School bag and stationery set, rice cooker (small), rice cooker (medium), iron, standing fan, Spongebob Squarepants Tshirt, kettle jug, blender, radio, short-sleeved shirt and pants, wallet, watch, super single mattress, table fan, toaster, ladies’ shoes (covered toes), thermal flask (2 litres), sport shoes and clothing for going out, adult diapers, shirt, shoes and bermudas (any colour)…

Many people need the same things. Things that I’ve too easily taken for granted. Most wishes haven’t been adopted, and I hate myself for having ignored the Sharity box so easily in the past.

Somehow, reading the list with the recipients’ names, age and wishes makes it hit home especially hard.

Just this morning, I read in the ST that Singapore had the biggest wage gap among 20 developed countries in both 1996 and 2006. In 1996, the top 10 percent of wage-earners earned 4.9 times more than the bottom 10 percent. This increased to 5.7 in 2006. Not only did Singapore have the biggest wage gap, it also had one of the fastest widening gaps.

In comparison, Norway, which is at the top of the table, has a wage difference of 2.0 in 1996 and 2.1 in 2006. Even the US, which ranks just above Singapore, has a wage difference of 4.6 and 4.8 in the two respective years. Singapore is at the bottom, though if you flip the table, I guess we are at the top.

I haven’t decided which wishes to adopt yet, but I definitely will contribute. If you can spare the cash, do contact the Boys’ Brigade. Food donations are welcome too.

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