10 Ways To Help People In NEED In Singapore During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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Given the devastating impact of Covid-19 in Singapore and around the world, there’s no better time than now to extend a helping hand.

So if you are willing and able, consider making a donation to support the vulnerable members of our community. Even a small donation can make a huge difference during this difficult time.

With that in mind, here are 11 resources helping marginalised communities in Singapore during the pandemic for those who wish to pay it forward.

1. SGUnited


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Launched by Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee, SGUnited is a one-stop portal for Singaporeans wanting to contribute toward the national response to the COVID-19 outbreak through donations, volunteering and joining community-led efforts. The platform, which was developed by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, also links to resources to help people wishing to kick-start their own projects. The website also shares positive stories about how Singaporeans are stepping up to serve their communities during this tough time, and encourages visitors to leave words of encouragement for frontline workers and volunteers.

2. The Courage Fund


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The Courage Fund was first established in 2003 when Singapore was hit by the SARS outbreak. Today, it is once again rallying the community to provide relief and support to those affected by COVID-19. Donations to The Courage Fund, which has already raised over S$5.9 million, will be used by Community Chest to support patients, healthcare and frontline workers, vulnerable Singaporeans, as well as dependants of individuals who have succumbed to the virus.

3. #LoveYourLocalSG With TripAdvisor


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As the hospitality industry continues to suffer as a result of the pandemic, TripAdvisor is encouraging domestic consumers worldwide to support their local businesses during these difficult times through a globally run initiative. #LoveYourLocalSG is the Singapore edition of this movement, which hopes to extend a helping hand to local enterprises. Consumers can easily access deals, takeaways and deliveries in support of the 20,000 local travel-related businesses listed on the Singapore website. This initial phase of #LoveYourLocalSG focuses on providing a consolidated platform for F&B businesses, through which consumers can further help them with gift card purchases.

4. HAGAR Singapore


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HAGAR is an international non-governmental organisation committed to the recovery and economic empowerment of women and children who are survivors of human rights abuse. To date, Hagar has assisted some 1,700 affected migrant workers and existing HAGAR clients with care packs comprising essential face masks, hand sanitiser and Vitamin C. Clients who have lost their jobs or income as a result of the pandemic are also receiving additional economic and healthcare support during this critical period. In the upcoming week, HAGAR will also commence providing tele-counselling and hot meals to workers staying in dormitories. They are currently aiming to raise S$250,000 to help migrant workers who are unable to commence employment or continue work in Singapore during the circuit breaker, and to ensure they can continue their work in transforming the lives of women and children who have survived slavery, trafficking and abuse.

5. SHINE Children And Youth Services


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SHINE Children And Youth Services has been serving underprivileged children and youths with learning and socio-emotional difficulties in Singapore since 1976. Their goal is to enable children and young people to maximise their potential, which they do by providing school-based, centre-based and community-based social work and educational psychology programmes. They are currently raising S$90,000 for their COVID-19 resource fund to provide meals to children and youth during the home-based learning (HBL) period. Donations will also go towards the provision of laptops, computers and WiFi for students undergoing HBL, as well as grocery vouchers for those who are struggling to purchase essential items.

6. Eat For Good


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In the first of several collaborative initiatives aimed at making goodness part of daily encounters and experience, Company of Good, a programme by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), which empowers businesses to give back to the community, has launched Eat for Good to help support those in need of a meal and local F&B businesses. In the first edition, Eat for Good X Feed the City brings together F&B businesses to offer pay-it-forward meals to vulnerable groups in the community. Whether you are an individual or representing an organisation, you are invited to buy these meals. Your contribution will go to the F&B business – and in return, they will prepare a meal for someone who needs it.

7. Migrant Workers’ Centre


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The Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) is a non-governmental organisation that assists migrant workers in redressing employment disputes and educating them on their employment rights. They also provide opportunities and platforms to promote social integration between migrants and local communities. In response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases among the migrant worker community, MWC has started the Migrants We Care fundraising campaign, which aims to raise S$800,000 to help support migrant workers that have had to stop working and are unable to recover their salary, while also providing food, accommodation and other daily necessities.

8. Singapore Red Cross


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The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) is a humanitarian organisation dedicated to protecting human life and dignity by reliving human suffering. As the appointed National Blood Donor Recruiter, the SRC urgently needs those who are healthy and eligible to donate blood. Because the need for blood never stops, blood donations are considered an essential service and all their blood banks will remain open during the circuit breaker period. However, in order to shorten the time spent at the blood bank, you are encouraged to make an appointment before visiting. If you’re unable to provide blood, the Singapore Red Cross is also accepting monetary donations.

9. O’Joy Care Services


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O’Joy, which refers to “Oceans of Joy”, Care Services was founded in early 2004 by a group of social workers and professional counsellors to address the need for prevention and early intervention in case of mental health disorders and to promote healthy ageing among older persons. They do this by providing a safe environment where professionally trained counsellors can counsel older people, or any individuals who have issues with an older person in areas such as relationship issues, grief and loss, and caregiver stress. O’Joy is currently fundraising to provide phone and video counselling to vulnerable Singaporeans during the circuit breaker period.

10. Humanitarian Organisation For Migration Economics (HOME)


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Founded in 2004, HOME is a Singapore-based charity dedicated to empowering and supporting migrant workers who find themselves victims of human rights violations and suffer abuse and exploitation. In light of COVID-19, HOME is aiming to raise S$800,000 to help migrant workers cope with the disruptions from the outbreak and to allocate resources to areas where they are needed most. For instance, the termination of employment, unpaid wages, as well as inadequate access to healthcare and medical aid.

By Gracie Stewart, Text adapted from Harper’s Bazaar Singapore / Additional Reporting: Kirstie-mae Baptist August 2020

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