April 23, 2015. 5:35pm. Another email pinged in my already overloaded inbox. But this one had me staring intently at it for a full minute, then tears welling in my eyes, and finally hugging teammate Geetika and both of us jumping for joy in the office.
It was from the Charities Commission informing us that Aidha had been approved as an IPC (Institution of Public Character). A small, short announcement marking a major milestone for Aidha.
This coveted seal of approval means that we have met the government’s stringent regulatory and financial requirements and we have shown that our mission and work benefits the Singaporean community. As with all IPCs, it also means that donations made to Aidha will receive a tax deduction of 250%. And because this is SG50, the government has raised this deduction to 300% until Dec 2015. So, for every $100 donated, donors will be eligible for a tax deduction of $300. Hopefully, with a little more funding avenues now open to us, we will be able to reach out to even more students and conduct more programmes.
This milestone for Aidha is for every single courageous and determined student who has worked so hard; every single mentor and volunteer who has shared their time and talents so generously; every single donor and supporter who believed and stood loyally by this small charity; every single Board member who guided and kept a watchful eye; every single staff member, past and present, who helped advance the organisation; every single employer who did their small part to encourage and motivate their helpers; and for Veronica Gamez and Sarah Mavrinac who did all the hard work in the early days.
We have been so fortunate to have the loyal and generous support of many people along the way. To each and every one of you, a heartfelt thank you for all you have done to help us grow and get to this stage. We simply could not have done it without you.