When he was 16, Mr Freddie Chan tried not to be disappointed when he could not join members of his secondary school's outdoor activity club on a trip to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia.
Due to his family's financial situation at the time, the youngest of eight siblings knew money was too tight to accommodate overseas trips.
The founder and director of manufacturing company Swisotec Actuators now wants to ensure he can do his part to help children with their school needs.
He donated $100,000 to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund yesterday, presenting a cheque to the secretary of the fund, ST news editor Karamjit Kaur, at SPH Media in Toa Payoh.
Mr Chan said he was moved after reading stories and watching videos about beneficiaries of the fund.
The 52-year-old wanted to do his part to help them as he was reminded of his past experiences of not having enough pocket money.
"My family could not afford to let me go on that trip to Sabah when I was in secondary school, and although I wasn't upset, it was hard to not feel a bit disappointed seeing my peers go," he said.
"So I hope that by donating and contributing to the fund, I will be able to help all these students now who also have limited pocket money daily."
His company, started in 2004, manufactures products for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning industry.
Although a first-time donor to the fund, Mr Chan is no stranger to donating, having supported The Boys' Brigade as well as nursing homes in past years.
"We hope to make this a yearly thing and I'm looking forward to seeing how my contribution will help these children," he said.
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund has helped more than 180,000 children and youth in need and given out more than $80 million in aid since 2000.
It disburses about $6 million yearly to needy students from families whose per capita gross monthly household income does not exceed $690.
The fund gave out about $9 million in aid last year to close to 13,000 students, after it received the highest number of applications since its inception.
The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permissionBack