Do Good

#stayhome? As The Saying Goes: Charity Begins At Home

12 ways we can do our part today, whether lazing on the couch or prepping for mealtime

#stayhome? As The Saying Goes: Charity Begins At Home

Anchor Image: Succo/Pixabay

As Easy As Armchair Philanthropy

01 | Enable WHO’s Response

Amid a global crisis, Trump has cut US funding to the WHO. Politics aside, there’s something that can be done. Donations to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund will enable WHO and its partners to help countries track and understand the spread of the virus; ensure patients get the care they need; buy essential supplies and protective wear for frontline workers; produce evidence-based guidelines and advice; and fast-track development of vaccines and treatments. In March, the organisation appealed for US$675 million to fight the pandemic, and is now reportedly issuing a fresh appeal for US$1 billion.

02 | Pledge Courage

Originally set up in 2003, when Singapore was hit by the Sars outbreak, The Courage Fund has been resurrected to offer relief to vulnerable individuals and families affected by the new coronavirus. In tandem with this fundraising effort, the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) is also facilitating donations of essential supplies to support the social service agencies. Learn more and donate at The Courage Fund’s Community Chest-run portal.  

03 | Keep Giving SG

Tumbling into a sea of charities and social causes can be disorienting. Giving.sg makes it safe, easy and meaningful for anyone to give to the 544 registered charities supported by the site. Donate to Covid-19 relief efforts or explore a multitude of causes, including animal welfare, disability, elderly, education, humanitarian aid and women and girls advocacy. Also, if you are keen to get up from your couch post-Circuit Breaker, sign up to volunteer at organisations who need actual helping hands. The platform is backed by the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth.

Flex Our Community Spirit

(Image: Mike Erskine/Unsplash)

04 | Respect Migrant Workers

They built our homes and our city. Migrant workers are the cogs and wheels that make Singapore sing, yet they are vulnerable and oft-forgotten. A pandemic hit home our failures at caring for and empowering our wider community. Give or donate in kind, but also, arm ourselves with information and advocate for better policies, equitable treatment, and programmes that empower. Visit the websites of Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) and Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME).

05 | Get Neighbourly with GoodHood.sg

Bring back the kampong spirit with GoodHood.SG. Launched in March, the new app is a marketplace for neighbours to connect, help each other out, and even list services for free. Currently about 80 percent of posts on the app are from those offering help, ranging from buying groceries for elderly neighbours to offering cooked meals. It’s a simple way to keep in touch with what’s happening in our neighbourhoods and build stronger ties.

06 | Say it With Food 

First Dorscon orange and now Circuit Breaker — food charities have had to change their modus operandi amidst dwindling supplies and donations, changing regulations, and a shortage of volunteers. Help them help the elderly and underprivileged who require food essentials, ready meals and a warm smile on the side. Free Food For All provides free Halal meals to the less fortunate of all races and religions; Soup kitchen Willing Hearts prepares meals for roughly 6,000 people in need daily; The Food Bank Singapore is supporting both beneficiaries and local F&B businesses through its Feed the City (Take-away edition) initiative, which allows donors to pay for discounted meals at partners restaurants that volunteers then distribute; and Food From the Heart has a growing number of beneficiaries, requiring 80,000 food items a month.

We Have To Eat Anyway

(Image: Lily Banse/Unsplash)

07 | Install ShareTheMeal

You’re always on your phone, right? Fighting global hunger is as simple as a tap on an app and a donation of just US$0.50. That bit of pocket change will feed one child for a day. ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that reaches over 90 million people in more than 80 countries with food assistance each year. According to WFP, a severely malnourished child is nine times more likely to die — a statistic that will worsen as Covid-19 spreads. Make it a habit: Tap on one of the big yellow donation buttons each time you post a photo of your latest DIY culinary adventure to social media.

08 | Hawkers United

A grounds up initiative to give hawkers with no marketing capabilities or a means of reaching out to the public a space to do so, Facebook group Hawkers United — Dapao 2020 has grown to 220,000 members in under two weeks — a heartening response as many of the posts are by the hawkers themselves, or by regulars simply wanting to ensure that the aunties and uncles of their favourite food stalls pull out of this pandemic okay. Do scroll through before you head out to dapao your next meal.

09 | Chope Now, Save Later

With everyday life on hold, some of our favourite stores and eateries may have to close for good. One way to help local businesses “flatten the curve” of lost income from Covid-19 is to purchase vouchers for use at a later date. ChopeAndSave is a volunteer initiative platform that handily acts as a directory of gift-card issuing businesses ranging from bars and restaurants to bookstores and other retailers. Think of it as investing in your own future happiness and the well-being that comes with the knowledge that you played a role in supporting small business owners and their employees — so chope generously. 

Other efforts to consider this CB

(Image: Kalhh/Pixabay)

10 | Go Donate Blood

Every hour of the day, 15 units of blood are used in Singapore, while some 120,000 units are needed each year to meet the transfusion needs of patients. Blood-giving is essential, especially during lockdown. According to the latest stocktake (published 17 April 2020 by the Singapore Red Cross), our blood banks are low on B- and critically low on AB+ A- and O- blood types. Learn more at the Singapore Red Cross site, or book an appointment via SingPass to donate now. 

11 | Make it Home, Truly

Homeless Hearts of Singapore may have closed its (thankfully successful) appeal to businesses, religious organisations and individuals to take in the homeless during this critical time, but much still needs to be done in ensuring every homeless person has the support to reintegrate into the community. Financial donations go towards supporting them with clothing, food, necessities such as toiletries and pre-paid SIM cards, medical expenses, and laundromat coins. Also read their 7 tips to help for when you next encounter a person who sleeps rough.

12 | Support The Rare Disease Fund

Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people in Singapore live with a rare disease (defined as affecting less than one in 2,000 people), 700 of whom are children. Managed by the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) Health Fund with the support of the Ministry of Health, the Rare Disease Fund (RDF) provides long-term financial support for such patients whose medical fees typically balloon to more than $200,000 a year. Your donation gives hope and the opportunity for patients to lead a relatively normal life. (Ps: Purchase an A Magazine subscription, and every single dollar will be channeled to the RDF in your name) 

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