1. 3M Singapore
  2. 3M Green Challenge
  • Mrs Bala, 73
    The iron lady who overcame life’s adversities

    Married at the age of 13 with nine children and a husband who left for another family, Mrs Bala was determined not to crumble under the adversities that were thrown to her. Read more (click to expand).

    When Mrs Bala’s husband racked up debts and the family was forced to move out of their three-room flat, they moved to a rental flat. After her husband left her, Mrs Bala struggled financially as the responsibility of bringing up nine children fell on her shoulders. She eventually set up a small home business selling snacks to friends, coffee shops and bakeries as she needed to spend more time with her children. Today, Mrs Bala is still relying on her food business to earn her keep.

    A proud mother of nine children, Mrs Bala’s children have grown up to become accomplished individuals in their own fields. Mrs Bala is currently living on her own but her children and grandchildren visit her occasionally.

    Suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and clogged arteries, Mrs Bala has a lot of worries in life but listens to music to take her mind off her worries. Her advice to the younger individuals: Be kind, worry less.

  • Mdm Mariyam Bee Bte Kanny, 78
    78 years old and still a diva

    Married with five children, Mdm Mariyam is a beautiful 78 year old who actively volunteers at the Kembangan Chai Chee SAC. As the first runner-up in the 2012 SAC Mother’s Day Beauty Contest & Celebration, Mariyam enjoys intimate make-up moments with her daughters.

    Currently living with her husband in a rental flat, Mariyam has been an active volunteer at the Kembangan Chai Chee SAC for the past decade. Mariyam also enjoys her time at the SAC for the range of activities including outdoor outings and internal contests.

    An Indian Muslim born to a Cantonese mother and Indian father, Mariyam enjoys spending time at the SAC with her inter-racial friends, with whom she converses with in dialects including Hokkien, Teochew and Mandarin.

  • Mr Ong Hock Soon, 70
    Constantly living on the edge

    As a divorcee, Mr Ong worries about his daily finances and not having enough to pay for his rental home. He has not been in contact with his wife and children since his divorce in 1999.

    An active volunteer at the Kembangan Chai Chee Senior Activity Centre (SAC) for the past five years, Mr Ong’s volunteering duties on a day to day basis include giving out breakfast and lunch to the older seniors and keeping them entertained. At 4 pm everyday, he leaves the SAC for his hawker assistant job that lasts till 11pm.

    Mr Ong is happy to volunteer at the SAC as it’s a platform for him to give back to the organization that has rendered him help when he was out of job in 2010/2011. At the SAC, he also looks forward to the activities which include karaoke sessions, hanging out with his friends with board games and occasional outings around Singapore.

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Contact Us

Who can I contact for more information?

For enquiries about organizing a roadshow for your organization, school or interest group, please contact Ms Raine Ong from South East CDC. For other enquiries, please contact Ms Jerilee Aw from 3M Singapore.

Who were the beneficiaries?

View the 3M Step-Up Challenge 2018 video below!

Results from 2013 – 2018 campaigns

Who can I contact for more information?

  • For enquiries about organizing a roadshow for your organization, school or interest group, please contact Ms Raine Ong from South East CDC. For other enquiries, please contact Ms Jerilee Aw from 3M Singapore.

Look out for more information in 2020!

About 3M Green Challenge

  • Riding on our longstanding partnership with South East Community Development Council (CDC), we are back with a brand new community initiative this year!

    We believe in an equitable, inclusive and sustainable world, so we think, work and act to drive meaningful change that endures. This year, we hope to gather 18,000 members of the public to join us as we take sustainable actions while giving back to the vulnerable families in the South East district.

    From simple actions like using recyclable bags when shopping, bringing your own utensils to taking part in eco-workshops, every step counts. Together, let’s create a more sustainable world for future generations!

How did 3M Green Challenge work?

From 31 August to 31 October 2022, for every sustainable action taken by a participant, 3M Singapore donated one household or cleaning product to the beneficiaries.

At the end of the campaign, 3M donated a total of more than $102,000 worth of products to 3,000 beneficiaries to vulnerable families.

Members of the public from all walks of life were encouraged to contribute by upcycling, growing their own vegetables, attending eco-related workshops, picking up litter, and more!

Some examples of actions contributed were:

  • Reducing plastic waste: Bring your own recyclable bags when shopping, water bottle, utensils or lunch boxes. 
  • Recycling: Recycle plastics, cans, papers, e-waste, etc.
  • Upcycling waste: Turning old clothes into tote bags or old bottles into planters
  • Reduce water or utility bills: Use as much natural light where possible, switch off or unplug electric devices when not in use, set screen free days, take shorter showers, turn off water while brushing teeth, install water saving fixtures. 
  • Create a green space: Plant a tree, your own garden, take part in vertical farming, or community garden 
  • Learn about sustainability: Attend eco-related workshops or seminars to gain knowledge on eco efforts
  • Pick litter and clean the public spaces: Estate cleaning, beach cleaning 
  • Choose green commutes: Ride bicycle or use public transportation
  • Choose green products: Use environmentally free or biodegradable products
  • Food sustainability: Donate food before it expires, clean plate
  • Others

In addition, participants also shopped for a good cause at selected FairPrice supermarkets with purchase of any 3M products in October 2022.

  • 30 min of exercise  =  1  3M product donated
  • 9,000 hours of exercise  =  $126K of 3M products donated



Who were the beneficiaries?

The beneficiaries were the vulnerable families residing within the South East District of Singapore. Learn more about some of them.

What did the beneficiaries receive?

  • Each beneficiary received a 3M household product pack worth $34. The items were Scotch-Brite™ General Purpose Cloth, Scotch-Brite® Gentle Clean Scrub Sponge, Scotch-Brite® Easy Clean Scrub Sponges, Command™ Medium Utility Hooks and Command™ Broom Gripper.

Campaign Highlights

Click below to watch the video.

Get in touch with us

For enquiries about conducting sustainable activities for your organization, school or interest group, please contact Mr Muhd Izhar Abubakar (Muhd_Izhar_ABUBAKAR@pa.gov.sg) from South East CDC. For other enquiries, please contact Ms Flora Ang (fang3@mmm.com) from 3M Singapore.

Siti, 31
As a single mother, Siti, an administrative and customer service staff, has been single-handedly providing for her two daughters, aged 2 and 13, and mother, 61. She is grateful for her mother’s wonderful moral support for her and her daughters, and hopes to provide even more for them.

Her eldest daughter has grown up to be an independent teen, but like any other parent, Siti wishes to have more time to spend with her. While she has worked several jobs in the past, including cleaning supervisor roles, Siti has greater ambitions of studying and working in the accounting or engineering industry in the future.

At work, Siti has suggested to her supervisor to cut down their reliance on paper. And at home, she often brings her own bags to buy groceries.
Patty, 35
After her husband was deemed unfit for work having torn his shoulder ligaments and battling diabetes since a young age, Patty’s family has had no working income for the past 4 years.

Every day, Patty spends her time preparing meals, and bringing all three children, aged 3, 5, and 7, to school and back. On top of this, Patty prepares medicine for her husband, and spends 3 to 4 hours coaching her eldest daughter with her homework.

Her greatest worry now is her young children falling sick, especially during this pandemic. As such, Patty sets aside some money to buy vitamins for her children. To supplement their income, she has also been trying to look for a job that allows her to work from home.

Patty also teaches her children how to be sustainable, by sorting rubbish, and bringing her own eco-bags and takeaway containers.
Mr Hambali B.M., 32
Mr Hambali used to turn to drugs when he faced life challenges. First when his parents announced their divorce on his 20th birthday, then again when the pressure of having to support his mother and younger brother financially became too overwhelming.

Today though, Mr Hambali has turned over a new leaf for good and is learning to accept emotional support from family and friends. He is currently a resident at the Pertapis Halfway house and is undergoing rehabilitation. Besides performing daily duties at the house, he is also obtaining a driving license through the Drive for Change programme that attaches residents to moving companies.

Looking forward, Mr Hambali eagerly anticipates spending more time with his wife and young son, re-entering the hospitality industry as well as furthering his studies in the field.
Mdm Noorizan, 40
Despite having her own family to worry about, Mdm Noorizan, a part-time fast food restaurant worker, dedicates much of her time to taking care of her cousin who has Stage 4 cervical cancer. She accompanies her cousin to and from chemotherapy treatments, who is currently waiting to proceed with surgery.  

  This is not the first time she is dealing with cancer in her family. Not too long ago, both her late parents have sadly passed away from cancer.  

Still, Mdm Noorizan remains optimistic. She hopes her 7-year-old daughter, who is very active in school and The Hut’s programmes, will do well in her studies. She is also teaching her daughter sustainable practices, such as recycling and bringing her own bag when grocery shopping.  
Mr Tang, 74
Mr Tang has been retired for over 20 years, having previously worked as a mosaic tiler. At this age, he feels fulfilled spending his days upkeeping the house, taking a stroll outside with his wife and spending time with his daughters and grandchildren. 

To maintain his physical wellness, Mr Tang would go for a daily 2-hour brisk walking around the neighbourhood. As someone who spends a lot of time in nature, he takes sustainable actions, including recycling plastic bags and using his own takeaway containers, to protect the environment.

He is a loving grandfather who brought his grandchildren up, from changing their diapers to feeding them. They are now old enough to visit him and share stories. When his family visits for dinner twice a week, Mr Tang and his wife never fail to prepare a home-cooked meal to welcome them home. These are the heartwarming meals Mr Tang looks forward to every time.
Mr Ali Bukur, 82
At 82, Mr Ali may need a “tongkat” to assist him with walking and a wheelchair for longer distances, but he was once a professional body builder for seven years in his 30s. During the same period, Mr Ali also worked on a mooring boat. This career spanned 49 years, where he helped anchor big ships to ports.

Mr Ali then became a security guard but was eventually forced to retire due to a fall at work. Shortly after, he suffered another fall in the bathroom, and had to undergo an operation due to a blood clot in his brain. Luckily, he pulled through and is relatively healthy except for his mobility issues.

Mr Ali looks forward to visiting NTUC Health Day Centre for Seniors (Wisma Geylang Serai) everyday as well as weekly visits and outings with his five children. As he has had to rely on his family at home due to mobility issues, particularly during the festive periods, these 3M cleaning products will bring about greater convenience to not only Mr Ali but his family in their daily lives.
Ms. Chua Bee Lee, 63
Ms. Chua Bee Lee is possibly more active now than she was before she retired two years ago. On most days, she teaches line dancing at one of the neighbourhood void decks around Serangoon, helping residents to remember the steps and following along with them. Otherwise, Ms. Chua can probably be found reaching out to her community through one of the many volunteering programs she is a part of.

At 63 years old, the mother of two volunteers with her daughters; from the FairPrice Walk for Rice, to St. Luke’s Hospital and most recently, the 3M Step-Up Challenge. She says that she empathises with the people she helps because she knows what it feels like to be left alone.

Her volunteering work also prompts her to reflect more about her own retirement life and the ageing population in Singapore. She recognizes the power of fostering social connections with the use of technology, hence she tries to teach the seniors on the usage of digital tools, in hope for them to step out of the house more often and re-engage with their communities.
Mrs. Eileen Koh-Ling, 68
Mrs. Eileen Koh-Ling is an adventurous spirt in a 68-year-old body. Case in point, the only reason she didn’t bungee jump on her holiday to New Zealand was because of her family’s protest. That still hasn’t put off the determined grandmother of three from the experience, who hopes to still do it soon.

It was with that same spirit that she spontaneously took a public line dancing class in 1997 which has since evolved into a 22-year long passion for the sport. She spreads her love for the sport by teaching a class at the South East Community Development Centre twice a week and, more recently, at the Filos Community Centre where she has mature-aged students. What started off as a short-term project at Filos to teach them line dancing turned into an ongoing project, and a way for her to give back to her community by being not just a teacher, but also a listening ear.

So naturally, she signed up when she heard of the 3M Step-Up Challenge – admittedly, not knowing what it was all about at the beginning. But when she heard that she could redeem products for the needy by keeping active, she was all in.

Knowing that she may one day be at the receiving end of a helping hand, she does what she can to help others, whether it’s through line-dancing, lending a listening ear, or climbing some stairs, Mrs. Eileen Koh-Ling is stepping up.