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December 20, 2002

Christmas wishes come true for under-priviledged children

From:, Singapore - 20 Dec 2002

By Suzanne Jung Sei Eun

It's not uncommon to see children anxiously waiting in line to have a few moments with Santa this time of the year.

But it's a bit more unusual to have a group of children use their hands to let Santa know what they want.

On Friday, twenty hearing-impaired children from Touch Community Services got more than time with Santa - they played games, signed songs, and went on a bus ride with a S$20 voucher each, to visit a toyshop for whatever present they wanted.

"We can see they are very excited and this is a wonderful opportunity. We really thank Sheraton Towers for giving the children such a beautiful and memorable Christmas," said the program manager of Touch Silent Club, Wee Bee Hong.

One such child who communicated her feelings via an intrepreter is 9-year-old Chua Jue Ying. "I like dolls. I had a good time here. Today is a special day for me."

All this was made possible by the hotel, Sheraton Towers, who says it was motivated by the success of its own deaf employees and so wanted to help these deaf children who come from poor homes.

"Our staff, our guests and patrons donate towards buying the voucher for them. So actually the children will have this very special Christmas like any other children do," commented Sheraton's marketing communications manager, Lee Kit Pui.

Some S$500 was collected during the past two weeks, thus enabling all the children to enjoy a shopping spree.

The hotel says it plans to extend the charity drive till the end of the year, after which the money collected will go towards funding the childrens' tuition fees at the TOUCH Silent Club.

Copyright © 2002 MediaCorp News Pte Ltd