Kampung spirit starts here: 10 practical ways you can help in the coronavirus crisis
As an ordinary Singaporean, you might wonder how you can actually make a difference in this battle against the coronavirus. To help you out, here are 10 practical ways you can get involved right now!
1. TREAT OUR HEALTHCARE HEROES TO KOPI
Ever work in a danger zone for up to 24 hours per shift? It’s crazy tough. But we can help our heroes get through it even in simple ways like buying them a drink.
Operation #BoosterShot is one way you can bless healthcare workers in Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.
Your contribution will help send free cups of coffee from either Starbucks or The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf their way! Instead of shunning our frontline workers, let’s honour them.
2. FEED NEEDY FAMILIES
Food charities are facing a shortage of produce and personnel, owing to factors like hoarding and fear of infection.
You can either volunteer or donate to help our less-fortunate countrymen. Here are some places to get you started.
3. CREATE 7,000 CARE PACKAGES FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS
Be Kind SG is putting together 7,000 care packages for the frontline fighters of Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. Each care package includes health drinks, snacks and cards of encouragement.
Sponsors are still needed to donate items like halal-certified snacks (nuts, lozenges, herbal candy, mints, dried raisins/cranberries) and self-care items (eye/beauty masks) to complete the care packages.
4. USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD LOVE, NOT FEAR
There’s been a lot of ugly behaviour on social media amid the coronavirus outbreak. Think toxic comments and mockery all over the internet.
But we can use social media in a better way – a new hashtag #SGwholecommunities collects wholesome stories of Singaporeans doing good and loving one another.
You can read and add to this new narrative here.
5. WRITE A “THANK YOU” CARD
A local family has put together a Gift of Peace thank you card to encourage everyone to write a note to the unsung heroes who are keeping our nation going during this time.
From the taxi drivers who are continuing to help us get around smoothly, to the construction workers who have not stopped repairing our roads, reach out to someone who could use some love today! Feel free to download and print this digital template, add on your own note or drawing, and pass the card to the recipient with the brightest smile.
A social enterprise has also kickstarted a small movement called Operation Transmit a Simple Thank You to encourage Singaporeans to remember not just the people who are combating the virus, but also those who are helping us go about our usual routine. To that end, it has created five different thank you designs that you can save and send as a photo along with your own note of appreciation note.
6. DON’T FORGET THE HOMELESS
Homeless Hearts of Singapore has been taking to the streets to give out masks and hand sanitisers to the homeless, while also taking their temperatures. Beyond that, they are also educating rough sleepers on how to look out for coronavirus symptoms and how to cope in the crisis.
You can volunteer, donate or collaborate with them here.
7. GIVE YOUR MASKS AWAY
In the face of the mask shortage, initiatives have sprung up to distribute masks to people who need them more, such as the elderly, young children and individuals working on the frontlines of the crisis.
If you’d like to help, visit Contribute.sg for the five drop-off points to donate new masks or other sanitising items.
8. OWN A BUSINESS? BLESS SOMEONE TODAY!
More and more businesses are extending love and gratitude to healthcare workers by offering free food. For instance, Old Chang Kee is giving out free curry puffs to hospital staff, while Curry Times is serving free chicken vegetable soup to medical personnel.
So if you’re a business owner and have the capacity to bless our guys – don’t hold back!
9. DONATE TO CHARITIES
World Vision’s dedicated coronavirus response team in China is aiming to provide nearly 400,000 people with emergency health services and personal protection equipment in Hubei and and eight other provinces. Find out more here.
The Singapore Red Cross is also working to deliver assistance and support to China’s worst-hit communities. They are still raising funds to achieve this goal – get the deets here.
10. BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
Hoarding helps no one.
For instance, mass-buying disinfectants can deprive people who really need them, like the diabetic man who attempted to purchase alcohol swabs for his insulin shots, only to learn that they were sold out.
The same applies to panic-buying at supermarkets. As Singaporeans we need to learn how to look out for one another, and we can start right here today.
You can also volunteer or donate to various coronavirus-related efforts via the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre’s giving.sg page, a new initiative that was just launched on Wednesday. More listings are expected to be posted over the next few days.
Similarly, Emmaus Strategies is collating a list of initiatives on their page, Ideas to Transmit Thanks.
This season, we’ve definitely seen love in action through acts of kindness across our island. Here’s a bonus read for you.