Millionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Cintamani is always decked out in the finest threads and seen at the coolest events (not surprising, he’s also the organizer of the upcoming Men’s Fashion Week). And the workaholic 36-year-old can’t seem to do enough as he makes it a point to give back to society. He heads Global Philanthropy for the Celton Group, hosting and organizing fund-raisers for the organization’s chosen charities like The Bone Marrow Donor Programme and the Singapore Disability Sports Council.
What is your focus?
One of the strongest causes I believe in fighting for is the welfare of children. This includes children from impoverished or underprivileged backgrounds (or countries) as well as those afflicted with chronic or terminal illnesses. It’s important to me because children are the life-blood of our society. The future of the world always begins with them and it is therefore our duty implied by nature to safeguard every child on earth.
Their well-being speaks immeasurable volumes about how the human race is currently doing. We are only too aware of the fact that there are still millions of children around the world that struggle to survive daily without having access to the most basic of necessities such as food, clean water, education or rudimentary healthcare on a regular basis, never mind the love and nurturing that is often absent from these children’s lives. Yet amazingly we are able to compartmentalize this awareness into the tiniest recesses of our minds to allow our self-imposed and personal priorities to take precedence over these startling realities. Clearly there is something seriously wrong with this picture.
Do you think there is enough emphasis on community service in Singapore?
Absolutely! As a nation Singapore is undoubtedly well ahead of the curve globally. Awareness of the world and community around you is best started at a young age, and I think Singapore families, schools and the government are indeed doing a great job of encouraging young kids and teens to become interested in community service early. At that age, you really do believe you can change the world, and it’s heartening to see young people becoming enthusiastic and actively involved in volunteering and charity work. The hard part is when you reach adulthood and things such as work and relationships take emphasis and become excuses for not having enough time to participate in community service. I do find that it is tougher for adults to remain actively involved because we all lead such hectic lives, but being of service to your community can and should be part of every one’s life, regardless of how busy you are.
Do Your Bit for Underprivileged Kids
How did you begin caring about the world around you?
Since I was young my Godmother, who worked tirelessly for over 50 years in numerous charities, instilled a need within me to be compassionate. Then as a young adult, work and my curiosity of life in general began to determine my travel to all corners of the world. I became very aware of the world around me and the disparities between how people lived and were treated. Despite being a prosperous nation, Singapore is also not spared its share of some of these afflictions, and to see it here in our own communities really brings the point home.
Why do you do it?
Philanthropy has become a passion, and as with all passions, you can’t imagine your life without it. It fulfills you, it excites you, it makes you want to share it with as many people as possible. It is also hard work and takes planning and dedication, but just to see the smile on a child’s face when you’ve made his dream come true makes it all worth it. Charity is not just about being altruistic, it’s also a very self-serving exercise—if the situation and an opportunity to help a person presents itself directly to you, and yet you are still able to step over that someone in desperate need, how will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror knowing that your personal action could have made all the difference?
Therefore, the act of charity in many instances also serves to satisfy your conscience and brings you great comfort in the knowledge that you mattered most to that one person whose life you so positively or even profoundly affected. Surely even the most disillusioned “Scrooge” among us would feel good.
Do Your Bit for Underprivileged Kids
• Have fun at the Run & Raisin’ Carnival
Not-for-profit charity organization TOUCH Young Arrows (TYA) will be holding their inaugural charity run and concurrent carnival event to raise $100,000 for disadvantaged children and their families. Register for the run and purchase ticket booklets before the event on Mar 12 at www.tyarunandraisin.com.
• Volunteer at MINDS
MINDS help provide intellectually disabled children with equal education opportunities, and they need your help. Call 6479-5655 or email their volunteer and donor management manager at [email protected].
• Grant a wish
The Make-A-Wish Foundation (Singapore) grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. You can help give these children wonderful memories to cherish. To be a wish granter, call 6334 9474 or email [email protected]