Foo Say Thye – 2019 SG Silent Hero
1 September 2019 • 3 mins read
Foo Say Thye
Outstanding Adults Category Winner – 2019
Nominated by: –
In his “past life”, Mr Foo Say Thye was an institutional stock dealer, caught up in the ups and downs of the stock market, always on his toes, and with a temper to match. Today he is one of Singapore’s most illustrious volunteers, with a resume of beneficiary organisations that includes: Sree Narayana Mission, SWAMI Home, Christalite Methodist Home, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, the Jamiyah organisation, Serving People with Disabilities, PerWanit, more than a dozen Community Centres/Clubs, more than 50 schools, the Community Chest as well as its registered beneficiaries and individuals.
How did this profound transformation happen?
One day in 1994, Say Thye was invited to a friend’s wedding. This friend was a volunteer with disabled people. Among the guests at the event were his beneficiaries. “I felt inspired when I saw them at the wedding. I realised that what he was doing was meaningful and interesting.” By contrast, Say Thye’s own life felt meaningless.
“I wanted to help people. So, I told my friend that I wanted to be a volunteer as well.”
– Foo Say Thye mentioning to friend
Say Thye started volunteering with the Sree Narayana Mission. There was no turning back for him after that.
Say Thye particularly cares about elevating the self-esteem of those that he helps. His projects are aimed at raising the dignity of individuals and families, helping them to fend for themselves as much as they can and achieve self-actualisation.
A few examples of his volunteer work
illustrate Say Thye’s dedication:
– For the Christalite Methodist Home, along with a group volunteers he recruited, Say Thye wakes up before dawn to procure food at 6 am on a Saturday, in support of the Home’s breakfast programme.
– Around 10 years ago, Say Thye started the Goodie Bag programme – a food distribution event for financially needy families. Even though he was rejected by several supermarket chains, he persisted and eventually convinced Sheng Siong to take up the project. The programme, which initially served 1,000 households a year, today serves 10,000 households.
– Say Thye was also the visionary force behind Project 100=50, piloted by Heartwarmers volunteer group in 2017. Heartwarmers works with Sheng Siong and multiple CCs and grassroots organisations to help the lower middle class who fall short of the criteria for financial assistance schemes but still require some form of help. Under the programme, beneficiaries can purchase groceries and essential household items at a 50 percent discount, up to $50 per event.
– Year-end Back to School with a Smile programme encourages children from challenging backgrounds to get enthused about school. The children receive book vouchers, school bags, stationery and school shoes. Say They also started We Love Learning Centre, a centre where children from challenging backgrounds can drop by to read, study and attend tuition and enrichment classes.
Foo Say Thye was nominated for the “Outstanding Adult” Category for the SSH Awards 2019. He was the selected winner and received award from Guest of Honour: Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam –Deputy Prime Minister , at Shangri-La Hotel on 30th September 2019.
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Other 2019 Silent Heroes
Recognising humanity with an award that expresses gratitude of our society for their kindness towards fellow individuals, families, community and environment. Through this award, we look forward to inspiring more to become Silent Heroes. Someday soon, everyone shall be a Silent Hero, not only in Singapore but globally.