Kindness and community have never been so important. During these unprecedented times there has been an amazing rise in incredible thoughtful kindness from individuals, brands and companies to support those in need throughout the pandemic. The impact of the Covid-19 virus has changed our outlook and the way we live our lives, shining a light on the importance of human connection and a sense of community.
Check out some of the amazing Singaporean companies, international brands and donors that are giving back during this time – from helping frontline health professionals to building lifesaving machinery and assisting less fortunate members of the community.
- #HOMEFORALL Campaign at Straits Clan – The Lo & Behold Group’s members club has forged a partnership with the Collective of Migrant Efforts among other NGOs and agencies for their #HOMEFORALL campaign. The initiative aims to help Singapore’s migrant workers with food support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chefs Daniel Sia and Damian D’Silva have been working hard to prepare 450 meals per day, 7 days a week from the Clan Community Kitchen to the Goldmine Energy Tuas Factory-Converted Dormitory (FCD) and Eng Soon Dormitory. For more information on how to donate please visit their website.
- Beng Who Cooks for the needy – Jason Chua and Zhen Long have started Beng Who Cooks, preparing meals for anyone in the community who is unable to afford meals during this pandemic. The young hawkers are rustling up Singapore-style Poke bowls for those in need and pairing meals with drinks from their neighbouring stall at Hong Lim Market and Food Centre.
- Lunch Boxes from Alma – Executive Chef at Michelin-starred Alma, Haikal Johari assists medical professionals by providing twice weekly lunch boxes for the staff at National University Hospital. Partnering with the popular Woodlands Sourdough bakery, each box contains Angus beef burgers, beef pastrami sandwiches and sourdough sandwiches piled high with delights including roasted cauliflower, hummus and smoked cheese.
- SGPaySitForward with Ninja Van and Night Owl Cinematics – An initiative that enables everyone to give back to the community. People can buy a $25 care pack which will then be delivered by Ninja Van couriers to the doorsteps of vulnerable individuals and families in Singapore. The care packs include items that will stop the spread of Covid-19 such as hand sanitiser, surgical masks and antibacterial products. Their aim is to distribute 100,000 care packages by 1st June, visit their website to donate.
- Food support by DBS Bank – Singapore based DBS Bank has donated an incredible S$2.5 million towards food support for the city’s most vulnerable groups. This has been used to give out more than 200,000 meals to the elderly and low-income families through The Food Bank. The initiative has also supported ItsRainingRaincoats by providing more than 100,000 meals to Singapore’s migrant workers.
- Qatar Airways assists healthcare professionals – The airline gave away 100,000 free tickets to healthcare professionals, in a bid to thank them for their amazing work throughout this pandemic. Throughout April, Qatar Airways Cargo increased their around-the-globe services by transporting 50 million kilograms of medical supplies and aid relief to impacted regions.
- General Electric and Ford create ventilators – These companies have joined together to manufacture the life-saving devices at a facility in Michigan, America. An expected 50,000 ventilators will be made with different settings to help improve blood-oxygen levels.
- PPE by H&M – When fashion giant H&M shut their doors, they pivoted to assist those in need within their communities. As well as donating to local charities, the H&M Group began producing personal protective equipment to hospitals.
- Jack Ma’s donation to curb Covid-19 – Co-founder and former Executive Chairman of Chinese technology corporation Alibaba Group, Jack Ma has donated millions towards the coronavirus vaccine research, as well as putting together a handbook of medical expertise from his home Zhejiang province in China. Ma has also ensured a major widespread operation through providing medical supplies, such as face masks and lifesaving equipment, to more than 150 countries.
- Twitter and Square CEO pledges $1 billion donation – The biggest donor so far within the coronavirus pandemic is Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square. Dorsey has already donated (at time of publishing) US$87 million out of his US$1 billion pledge.
- Captain Sir Tom Moore raises over £32 million for NHS Charities – A heartwarming story of an incredible 100-year-old war veteran who walked laps around his 25m garden in Bedfordshire, England. Tom’s initial plan was to raise £1,000 for the NHS, however he eventually raised an amazing £32,794,701 from more than one and a half million supporters. To mark his fundraising efforts and to celebrate his 100th Birthday, the Queen has awarded him with a knighthood as Honoury Colonel.
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Throughout the past month, the number of Covid-19 patients in Singapore has surged. Worryingly, the vast majority of those infected have been Singapore’s migrant workers living in dormitories. To curb the spread, these accommodations have been declared as isolation areas and unsurprisingly, many have also been identified as Covid-19 clusters.
The climbing toll aside — at publishing, Singapore has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia — the Covid-19 outbreak has also brought migrant workers’ cramped living conditions to light globally. Many Singaporeans came to truly understand the living situation of the country’s 400,000 migrant workers for the first time, including financial insecurity and lack of access to healthcare, on top of cramped conditions.
A silver lining is that many in the local community started to ask the same question: how can I help our unsung heroes? Studies have shown that how we choose to spend our money or time impacts our happiness and emotional well-being. Evidently, giving to those less privileged than us activates the reward area of the brain which makes us feel happy.
A number of volunteer-run organisations as well as charities in Singapore have rallied together to assist our migrant workers with daily necessities while they’re in isolation; from monetary contributions, donation drives for meals, snacks, beverages, games, clothing, data cards and more are also ongoing in our city. We’ve highlighted some ways that you can help. We ask that you consider extending a helping hand to our migrant workers who build our roads, our buildings, and ultimately, our city — for which, we are deeply grateful.
- Migrant x Me is a social enterprise that is committed to raising awareness of the migrant worker community. Continuing to build an inclusive Singapore through fundraising efforts, donations go towards long-term education programmes, emergency funds for workers in need, future events to bridge the local and migrant communities. Throughout this pandemic, the money has also gone towards forming care packages including data top ups, vitamins and masks.
- Healthserve is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing healing and hope to migrant workers. Through their medical clinics, casework, social assistance, advocacy, research and outreach programmes they work to address the complex and intertwined needs of migrant workers – from medical to legal, physical to emotional, mental to social. All donations from 10th April will be directed to HealthServe’s general fund to support their operations that helps more than 10,000 migrant workers every year. All outright cash donations for $50 or more will receive from IRAS 2.5 times the value in tax-deduction.
- Migrant Workers’ Centre is a non-government organisation whose mission is to champion fair employment practices and the well-being of Singapore’s migrant workers. MWC has set up a fundraising campaign where charitable donations will go towards food and accommodation costs as well as everyday essentials such as toiletries. It has also partnered with Alliance of Guest Workers Outreach to distribute care meals and packs to more than 250 dormitories.
- TWC2 is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to promoting equitable treatment for migrant workers, they strive to help workers through difficulty and throughout this pandemic they have been assisting in a number of different ways. You can donate through their giving page and the money goes towards phone top-ups so that the workers can speak to their families and friends back home.
- Majulah Belanja has joined together with other charities to raise funds and collect goods. The charity is focusing on addressing immediate needs such as food, basic necessities, promoting meaningful occupational engagement for health & well-being and consolidating resources for an online support hub. Volunteers can assist to ensure that the needs of those in Singapore’s dormitories are met through answering requests on their website – from phone chargers, to fans and toiletries.
- ItsRainingRaincoats is an initiative that aims to spread kindness to migrant workers in Singapore by improving the lives of workers through imaginative, innovative and authentic strategies. They recently launched Mad Wish, Making A Difference While I Stay Home. At this time, where migrant workers are stuck in isolation and the vast majority of the Singapore workforce works from home, the organisation launched a remote programme for learning English. As many migrant workers have expressed interest in improving their English, it is an ideal time to skill up. Conducted purely online, anyone can volunteer as long as you can speak English and can spare 45 minutes a week!
- City of Good is a vision of a Singapore where individuals, organisations and leaders come together to give their best for others. It is run by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre. The #SGUnited portal has been put together by NVPC after consulting with charities on their needs. There is also an online form specifically for donating in-kind to migrant workers.
- It’s Raining Raincoats is also pooling volunteers and resources together to match donors and migrant workers. They update their social media channels regularly as they have their ear to the ground on changing daily needs. For more information on how you can help, follow their social media channels for details on donating goods such as old phones, games, colouring pencils and more.
- #CYC300kMaskChallenge is run by heritage made-to-measure tailor CYC. If you have a sewing machine and some basic skills, we urge you to join the movement. CYC provides the template for anyone who can commit to making 300 masks in 10 days or less. While they have enough volunteers for now, those interested can still sign up to be part of their waiting list or database for future needs.
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