From The Straits Times    |

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. Check out Janice Yap’s story…

Dress Cos Hair Ash Loi/Sonder Hair, using Keune Haircosmetics Singapore Makeup Zoel Tee, using Estee Lauder

You’d be surprised that some children have never celebrated their birthdays because their families couldn’t afford it. Early last year, I set up Birthday Blessing & Single Mom Community SG page on Facebook. It’s a page where people can contact us to make birthday donations for underprivileged children, and an online support group for single mums.

A few volunteers and I use these donations to organise birthday parties for underprivileged kids at their homes and childcare centres. I feel that the most innocent victims are the children of divorces. I wanted to do something for them… to make their lives a little better, and bring a smile to their faces in my own small way.

I know what it’s like being a single mum. I went through tough times, dealing with the heartache of a failed marriage, and the anxiety when I was pregnant with my daughter, who’s now three years old.

I was also burdened with the thought that my daughter would never have a complete family, and I dreaded the unkind comments and criticism that I would possibly face.

I got back on my feet with the support of my family and friends. But it made me realise that not every single mum is as lucky as I was.

My job as a real estate agent gives me the flexibility to organise these group birthday parties. Each party costs about $80, and a friend and I buy the cake and gifts like swimming floats, clothes, stationery, or anything the kids or mums may need. Sometimes, I spend a little bit more out of my pocket if the donations are limited.

So far, we’ve celebrated more than 30 birthdays, and the community now has over 300 followers, including single mums. What makes my heart full is seeing the kids smile and laugh during their birthday celebrations.

This article was first published in Her World’s May issue. Grab a copy today!