The coronavirus has spared no one, and many vulnerable groups that already fall through the cracks, are experiencing exacerbated problems in the midst of the pandemic. In our last instalment, we covered some ways to help our local businesses that have propped Singapore up for decades. In this post, we share some ways that you can help to ease the burden for some local vulnerable communities.
While donations are always useful, they are not the only avenues to get you started on making an impact on the community. Check the below platforms out, for all the good you can do!
Beyond is a prominent voluntary welfare organization in Singapore, with a focus on helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break out of the poverty cycle. During this period of the coronavirus, they are providing assistance to families living in rental flats, who have had their household income drastically reduced. The family assistance fund ensures that these families will receive food, financial assistance, and internet connectivity. 100% of funds donated to this cause will go directly to the families.
There is also a volunteer training programme for those who are eager to interact directly with Beyond’s beneficiaries. The programme will resume after circuit breaker measures have been eased, which is soon! In the meantime, their Facebook page is a repository for updates on how they are assisting vulnerable communities right now, through partnerships with other local organizations. Check it out to see their efforts in action, such as distributing free computers to needy youth in a push for digital inclusion, various fundraisers with partner organizations, and personal stories that highlight how families have been coping with limited space and resources.
(Website: Food from the Heart)
Foodies, this one’s for you. Food from the Heart is a Singaporean charity organization that aims to fight hunger as well as reduce food wastage in a two-pronged approach. Their work includes things like bread runs (where their partners give excess bread to ‘runners’ for distribution every single day) and Community Food Packs, where food from donation drives and other sources are sorted and distributed to the less-fortunate.
Their programmes are considered essential services. So even during the circuit-breaker, they are open to volunteers at their warehouse, but limited space and safe-distancing means that only 16-18 people are required for each session. See here to find out more.
Endorsed by local media organisations such as the Night Owl Cinematics, #SGPAYSITFORWARD initiative is a nation-wide movement that lets you contribute by purchasing a care pack that will be distributed to vulnerable communities which are beneficiaries of partner organisations, such as Children’s Cancer Foundation, Metta Home for the Disabled, New Hope Community Services and more. The care pack is a kit of essentials that people in need may not be able to afford at retail price, such as disinfectant spray, antibacterial wipes, handwash, surgical masks, and more; at $25 (retail price $43). The supplies are meant to last a household for one month.
The ‘Forward’ component of the initiative is encouraged when you forward it to your friends and family. Prefer to contribute through action? Their dance challenge is one way you can spread the word, and squeeze in some exercise too.
Source: Stay Home Kakis
4. Stay Home Kakis
The elderly is definitely not forgotten during this time. An initiative started by NTU students Vinice Yeo, Jade Wong, and Vanessa Tan, Stay Home Kakis is a WhatsApp community that shares entertaining activities to help keep elderly active while at home. If you have elderly family members/relatives or know of older folk who could use the extra stimulation within their houses, they can easily join by clicking on tinyurl.com/stayhomekakis, which will let them join the Whatsapp group and receive activity suggestions.
The team is also looking for content creators and translators who can translate English into Malay, Chinese or Tamil. Those who can commit until the end of circuit breaker are welcomed. Contact: @vansiepoopoo, @yangyoseob, @eatingjade on Telegram.
Source: @wkwsci.weevo (Instagram)
5. SG Secondary Homework Q&A
Does that difficult math question from way back in secondary school look so easy now, in the face of quantum mechanics? You can put your newfound enlightenment to good use, and this Telegram chat group would help you do just that. Started by NUS student Charisse Su and peers, the Telegram chat calls for volunteers to help secondary school students with homework and revision, while Home-Based Learning is still ongoing. Some students do not receive the same support at home as they do in a school environment. You will also be reducing the workload of teachers in some way, who are now more stretched than ever.
Contact: @charisse12 on Telegram.
(Website: Youth Corps)
Those who prefer an elbow-grease approach to helping others, can put their skills to use with the many volunteer opportunities available here by the Youth Corps. There is a whole range of activities that you can involve yourself in, from preparing care packs for nursing home staff, to becoming a pen pal for seniors, or even attending online panel sessions to learn more about society and the community.
Want us to feature people or organizations you know of that are helping out right now? Let this writer know at firstname.lastname@example.org!