As Coronavirus continues to spread, here’s how we can support healthcare workers, migrant workers, delivery and taxi drivers, and others on the frontlines of the Covid-19 fight in Singapore
You’ve probably seen the Cornavirus memes about simply staying home and social distancing — Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.
If you’re lucky enough to be personally unaffected by the Coronavirus, in addition to doing your part by practicing good hygiene and following government guidelines, why not show your support for those on the frontlines fighting Coronavirus?
First off, there are the countless healthcare workers who’ve done an amazing job keeping everyone safe. From GPs to doctors and nurses at the NCID, to ambulance drivers and the detectives doing the extensive contact tracing that has set Singapore apart from so many other countries in the world, there are thousands of heroes out there working around the clock, away from their families and loved ones, to help keep the rest of us safe.
And while day-to-day life has certainly changed for everyone during the Circuit Breaker, there are many people feeling the pinch as the rest of us enjoy the luxury of being able to #StayHome. Think about the delivery drivers dropping off online groceries or Amazon orders, or bringing you your dinner. Think about the taxi drivers – who’ve felt an immense crunch due to the drop in business travel and tourism – who are still bravely taking people to the hospital and also pitching in deliver food. Or the grocery store cashiers who’ve had to work extended hours to handle manic panic buyers. A big smile and heartfelt “thank you” is the least we can do – consider tipping drivers generously if you have the means.
There are 300,000 Malaysian workers who work in Singapore every day; many have made the difficult decision to leave their families for over a month due to the Malaysian lockdown. Thousands of them have had to scramble to find a place to stay, and it’s been heart-warming to see the outpouring of support from local businesses and hotels to help house these people who are giving up so much to keep our economy going.
Finally, consider that migrant workers now make up nearly half of of the positive coronavirus cases in Singapore, in part a result of cramped living conditions and challenging work hours. Migrant workers are a huge part of Singapore’s essential workforce, and now is the time to help those in need, and say a giant thank you to those who continue to keep the country up and running.
If you’re like us and looking for a way to say thank you and express your gratitude, read on for our running list of initiatives and special perks to say thank you to doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, Malaysian workers and others. From hashtags to free burritos and coffees there are ways big and small to say thank you to these heroes.
Adopt-a-Bento is an initiative organised by The Peranakan Restaurant and The Saturday Movement where, for just $10, you can provide two bento meals for frontline healthcare workers. To date the drive has provided 12,000 meals and bubble teas to deserving healthcare workers, and they’re still going! Donation rates start at just $5 for a bento box and $2 for a bubble tea.
Cheer for Them is a new initiative that aims to collect 100,000 messages of gratitude to send to frontliners. In particular, you (or your kids) can submit digital artworks (or you can physically mail in drawings or paintings if you prefer), while selecting which industry (medical, supermarkets, facilities) you would like to thank. It’s a super easy way to express your appreciate to everyday heroes!
The Courage Fund was originally set up in 2003 to support Singaporeans affected by the SARS Outbreak. Today, in the same spirit of uniting the community to support one another through difficult times, donations to the Courage Fund go toward supporting individuals and families, affected by the COVID-19 situation, including healthcare workers, frontline workers and volunteers. The National Council of Social Services is also coordinating in-kind donations of essential supplies like masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers to support the social service agencies. As of March 31 the Courage Fund has already raised nearly $6 million to support Singaporeans affected by COVID-19.
FriendsOfMigrantWorkers is a newly-created initiative that rose up in response to the devastating outbreak of Covid-19 amongst migrant workers in April 2020. The group set a goal of raising $20,000 to provide medical help, daily essentials, and social assistance to migrant workers in Singapore, and raised it in just four days! They’re leaving the campaign open for a full week; click here to donate.
Fave has introduce “Gift-a-Meal“, which allows you to donate a meal to a person in need whenever you purchase a meal for yourself or your family. Just be sure to purchase a meal from the #GiftAMeal collection and follow the steps from there!
GrabCare in an initiative providing a 20% discount off rides for Healthcare workers at 12 hospitals in Singapore, including the NCID, Tan Tock Seng, Singapore General Hospital and others. Healthcare workers can register through their place of work, or email [email protected] for more details, then get the discount when booking a ride from any of the included hospitals. Be sure to use promo code UOBGRABCARES to get 20% (up to $3) off. Be sure to let the doctors, nurses, and medical technicians in your life know about this one! GrabCare is currently valid through 31 March, though we have a feeling it might be extended.
GrabFood is also doing their part to support local restaurants with a “Local Heroes” icon on the homepage to highlight smaller, homegrown restaurants. There are nearly 500 to choose from! In addition, GrabFood has teamed up with Coca Cola to gift your delivery driver a can of Coca Cola No Sugar (at no extra cost to you)! And of course good old-fashioned tips are encouraged as well.
#HomeForAll Migrants is an initiative by Collective of Migrant Efforts (COME) – a cross-sectoral partnership across NGOs, government agencies and citizens – that’s aiming to raise $800,000 to provide 20,000 migrant workers with rations over 10 days Their focus areas are food, hygiene, and Internet connectivity for the workers. For $40, you can sustain a migrant worker with two meals a day for 10 days; $400 supports 10 workers; $4000 for 100 workers; $8000 for 200 workers (an average dormitory size). If you’d like to learn more, you can also contact them at (+65) 9105 7891.
ItsRainingRaincoats is a wonderful organisation we’ve spotlighted around the holidays that collects toiletries and other useful items for migrant workers. As of April 2020 when the migrant worker community has been hit particularly hard by coronavirus, the organisation is doing more than ever to lead clothing and food drives to support them, and has created a dedicated Covid-19 site explaining all the ways you can help.
McDonalds is providing a Free Cup of Coffee (including lattes or cappuccinos) or tea for healthcare workers who show up in their uniform or show a hospital pass. No minimum spend is required.
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#LetArtSupportSG In support of all healthcare workers during COVID-19, the Gallery is offering free entry for all healthcare workers and their plus one to enjoy the ongoing exhibitions from 28 Feb 2020. We hope art can play a part in bringing comfort and relief to people in times of need. Also, join us in contributing words and drawings of encouragement through the hashtags #SgartforHCW and #nationalgallerysingapore on Facebook and Instagram to boost the morale of our frontline healthcare professionals. Selected artworks will be displayed at hospitals’ public spaces as a form of encouragement to our healthcare workers. This in collaboration with @singapore.medicalassociation
National Gallery, Singapore has created two unique hashtags that at once encourage creativity and showing support for healthcare workers. Throughout the month of March, encourage the kiddos to draw or paint a picture showing their gratitude, then use the hashtag #SgartforHCW on Instagram and Facebook, and selected artworks will be displayed at hospitals’ public spaces as a form of encouragement to healthcare workers. In addition, the Gallery is also offering free entry for all healthcare workers and their plus one to enjoy ongoing exhibitions; see the hashtag #LetArtSupportSG for more deets!
OurTreat aims to raise funds to buy restaurant meals for the frontliners working in the isolation and emergency ward of Singapore’s hospitals, each meal valued at about $15 per person. You can either donate directly (via PayNow) or arrange to donate up to 50 meals directly with the restaurant of your choice. Click the link or email [email protected].
Stand Up for Singapore is a community group that’s encouraging people to write thank you messages to frontline medical personnel using the hashtag #BraveheartsSG, on either Facebook or Instagram. The initiative started around Valentine’s Day, but has continued as Coronavirus has raged on.
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) is a local organisation that promotes equitable treatment of migrant workers in Singapore, and has long advocated for better and more humane labour policies. You can always make a direct donation to TWC2, but in light of the current Covid-19 outbreak among migrant workers they are also running a campaign to help top up migrant workers’ prepaid SIM cards, as phones are a lifeline to communicating with their families.
WhyQ is a new local initiative that allows the public to sponsor a meal (at $4 each) for healthcare workers. The campaign has been such a hit – with over 15,000 meals gifted so far – that it had to be paused to allow for delivery! WhyQ says it will be available to gift more meals soon; in the meantime you can also leave an encouraging message for healthcare workers on the encouragement wall, which is shared with medical staffers at Singapore General Hospital.
Do you know about other important community initiatives out there to say thank you? Let us know over social media or email us at [email protected]!
Lead image via ItsRainingRaincoats