April, a shy girl 10 years of age, said in between penning her brushstrokes onto paper, “I really like the art workshop and I’d want to do more. And I like the office a lot ‘cause it’s so colourful!” She was just one amongst the handful of underprivileged children who received early Christmas gifts from Hustle & Bustle, the integrated lifestyle group during their “Deck the Halls” Christmas Party and Toy Donation Drive.
As children from the nearby communities created artworks together with local artist Fish Jaafar and team members joined in on the fun, the public had been invited to take part in a Christmas market in The Common Ground work-and-play event space, as part of a concluding celebration for all the support and successes the company had received in the year. Participating vendors included local brands such as Papercranes Design nature-inspired stationery, The Duf Store accessories, Nut Culture artisanal vegan foods, Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, handcrafted Vinreh jewellery, zero-waste eco-store Troves of Gaia, Books Beyond Borders, INGUZ Gear, HomeBrew, Eat & Sip, and Eatsy App.
“We have always believed in being an important placemaker for the MacPherson neighbourhood by playing an integral role in working closely together with our district’s stakeholders and impacting the community,” said Michael Lee, Hustle & Bustle and The Common Ground CEO.
“And what better time to bring everyone together than Christmas time? What better cause is there than making children happy?” he added.
Promotions for the event included invitations for donations of toys for children of low-income families, and many answered the call, with even a donor dropping off a set of toys with hand-drawn love notes from her own children stating, “Dear Friend, I hope you will like this present from mommy and me.”
Apart from the toys and goodie bags, the children, along with guests were even treated to free ice cream. By the evening, the number of attendees at “Deck The Halls” had reached over 200.
Joyce, 25, a guest of The Common Ground had commented that the entire event and its activity line-up was such an interesting concept – of being able to make a company party not just a typical Christmas get-together, but a market with appealing displays and an outreach to the children and community all in one.
The day ended with dinner and revelries such as a beer pong competition to raise funds for charity, and a final countdown to the tree-lighting ceremony, complete with confetti-popping and a speech by Guest-Of-Honour Mr. Aloysius Arlando, CEO of SingEx, who congratulated the company and said, “Here is the making of a very exciting community.”