COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives in many ways. People lost their jobs, families were separated, the whole economy suffered a downturn. However through it all, Singaporeans stepped up and allowed our Kampung spirit to shine through. Ever since the start of the pandemic, donations have shot up. A national fundraising website Giving.sg received more than $2.2 million in donations just in February alone. Following the Solidarity payout from the government in April, many Singaporeans donated their $600 to those in greater need. Yet, these are not the only ways Singaporeans have stepped up.
1. Giving away free masks and sanitisers
From personally handing out masks at MRTs to anonymously leaving them in the lifts, Singaporeans took things into their own hands to ensure their community is protected.
Source: Must Share News
Singaporean Adrian Tan and his Vietnamese wife Yen Vy Vu Tran distributed 17 000 free masks outside Punggol MRT over a few days. The couple had bought these masks in Vietnam when they heard of the mask shortages back in Singapore.
In another story, residents of Punggol Field left masks, hand sanitisers and alcohol swabs in the lifts. It started at Punggol Field Blk 267B where a resident placed a bottle of hand sanitiser and some masks in the lift.
Following this, others paid this act of kindness forward and chipped in with alcohol swabs and even more masks. It was really heartwarming to see Singaporeans play their own small parts in this effort!
2. Creating safety videos in dialect
To inform the elderly on how to protect themselves during the pandemic, Ski Yeo and Eugene Lee, the couple behind LearnDialect.sg, created safety videos in Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew.
Hokkien Video done by Ski Yeo and Eugene Lee
When asked why they did this, the duo mentioned that although the government had released safety advisories in our 4 national languages, they were worried for the seniors are not fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English. They started on the videos during Chinese New Year and specifically used words that the seniors were familiar with in the videos, such as “包嘴的布 (bao zui eh bo)” for mask instead of the formal “喙罨 (tshui am)” in their hokkien video.
The buddies also followed up with more videos in the same vein when circuit-breaker measures were announced.
3. Buying food for those under Stay-Home Notice/Quarantine
After the announcement that students returning from China would be on a Leave-of-Absence for 14 days, students from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University began delivering food to their affected counterparts.
When COVID-19 broke out in the migrant workers’ dormitory and their dire living conditions were exposed, support started pouring in for them. Multiple campaigns popped up, calling for donations to help provide food and essentials for migrant workers across Singapore.
Individuals, like Eve Tan, also stood out in playing her part. On 14 April, Tan ordered $100 worth of food via Grab to be delivered to the migrant workers in Punggol dormitory. This story was shared by the deliveryman on his Twitter account.
4. Opening up their homes to stranded Malaysians
When Malaysia’s Movement Control Order started, many Malaysians who commute to Singapore daily were left homeless in Singapore. They took to sleeping it rough in various MRT stations across the island.
Singaporeans then stood up to support them, with many offering their homes or providing them with food and blankets. Among them were Mr Levin Foo and Ms Wendy Chiang.
Foo and his group of friends combed through MRT stations, parks and HDB Pavilions to hand out sleeping bags, blankets, hand sanitizers and masks to those sleeping rough. Chiang offered out her spare rooms for a small token ‘rental fee’ of $5 a day.
The Singaporean spirit is strong
Even as we continue to practice safe distancing measures deep into 2020, let us continue spreading the community spirit from our homes, by using our gifting platform to buy gifts that enable the less fortunate who are harder-hit by this crisis.