This may be a time of uncertainty, but it’s also a time to come together as one.
The heart of a country and its people is truly revealed in upheaval and uncertainty, which is why we’re so grateful to call Singapore our home in a time like this. Covid-19 may have wreaked havoc across the world, but communities are battling it with courage and neighbourly love. In Singapore alone, we’ve got countless stories of good hearts and kind acts. But if you’re wondering how to help ease the burdens of others, we’ve got some suggestions for you – from financial contributions to volunteering your time to donating blood.
Show support for local
Local businesses need us to stand behind them now more than ever! To give ’em a little boost – so they can ride through the storm – choose small companies and independent brands to support. Try restaurant deliveries, get a gift card from Singaporean restaurants, bars and shops (organised by neighbourhood via ChopeAndSave), purchase promo coupons on iSaveSG to help those affected by the pandemic (100% of profits go to the merchant), or shop merch from now-closed establishments like The Projector.
Alternatively, you can join Facebook groups like Hawkers United – Dabao 2020 or Singapore Restaurant Rescue to find out what eateries are offering and who could use a helping hand to tide things over.
Help migrant workers
The migrant worker community in Singapore has been hit hard by the coronavirus, and many kind souls have come forward to help them in their plight. Here’s how you can contribute: Purchase $10 data top-up cards to help them stay in touch with their loved ones at home (an initiative by volunteer group ItsRainingRaincoats). Non-profit organisation Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) has also set up a fundraising platform to top up the workers’ pre-paid SIM cards.
You can chip in via the Hope Beyond Borders campaign on Ray of Hope as well – the money raised will be used for food, masks and other necessities. Plus, the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund is calling for donations to help provide food, accommodation and daily necessities for the community, as well as give displaced workers who are unable to recover their salary a token amount.
As for H.O.M.E., the local charity is supporting these workers by offering financial assistance, shelter for those unable to go home, legal assistance, and counselling for workers in distress.
Oh, and independent visual arts space Objectifs is also on board to help with its print sale. The collective effort by eight Singaporean photographers, kickstarted by Darren Soh, offers works by him and other names including Nicky Loh, AikBeng Chia and Gareth Phua. All proceeds will go to organisations like the Covid Migrant Support Coalition and H.O.M.E.
Donate masks and sanitisers
Calling for the community to spread generosity, not hate or fear, Contribute SG is asking for donations of new and unused surgical or N95 masks and other sanitising products. Households that don’t need these items can seal them in zip lock bags and pass them on to collection centres to help those in welfare organisations, medical institutions and NGOs, as well as frontline workers and low-income families.
Give blood, save a life
Besides dispatching aid in the form of humanitarian operations in China, the Singapore Red Cross has been sending volunteers across the island to offer help and hygiene advice to its beneficiaries. These include the elderly and the vulnerable, so as to prevent panic caused by misinformation. You can show support by making a monetary donation or giving blood at any of the four blood banks in Singapore.
Contribute to The Courage Fund
Originally established in 2013 during the Sars outbreak, The Courage Fund provides relief for people in Singapore affected by Covid-19. So far, it has raised more than $5 million, and donations will go to vulnerable individuals and their families, including patients, volunteers, and healthcare and frontline workers. To help ease their struggles, any monetary donations, anonymous or not, are appreciated.
Find opportunities to help
One platform, multiple initiatives. A government campaign launched in Feb, SGUnited collates all the community relief efforts going on so you can easily pick one (or a few) to donate, volunteer, support or share.
Here’s also where you can get all your #goodvibes for the day, with everything from sweet stories of kind acts to messages of appreciation for healthcare heroes. Volunteer charity programmes include befriending and peer support for vulnerable families, as well as donations to help support frontline workers and disadvantaged families.
Pitch in with the rest of the world
Covid-19 knows no boundaries or backgrounds, which is why every country across the world is struggling to contain it. But as challenging as it is for us, it’s especially tough for the vulnerable, including those with pre-existing medical conditions, the elderly, wage workers and the homeless.
If you’d like to reach across borders to lend a hand, US-based non-profit GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund is appealing for donations. So far, more than US$1 million has been raised, and the target is to hit US$5 million. Funds will be distributed to send doctors and nurses to communities, purchase masks and ventilators for hospitals and clinics, deliver essential goods to families in need, feed underprivileged children and more.
Be a good neighbour
Reviving the kampung spirit of our past, GoodHood SG is a ground-up initiative that’s all about kindness and paying it forward. The app connects you with your neighbours so you can request and offer help for those in your estate. Apart from making new friends, you can chip in for the community by offering to run errands or do grocery shopping for the home-quarantined.
Plus, those taking this time to declutter can bless neighbours by giving away items that are in good condition. You can also list your services on the platform if you’d like to offer manicures or meals for those who can’t leave the house.
Stand up for Singapore
On Valentine’s Day this year, volunteers from community group StandUpForSG rallied support from the country to bring gifts and messages of encouragement to healthcare workers. The campaign may be over, but the gratitude doesn’t stop there.
If you’re keen to be involved in the #braveheartsg efforts, just sign up to show your interest in assisting with everything from packing items to transporting goods to contributing funds. Or follow their Facebook page for regular inspirational updates.