Like many others, we were heartened to read about the wave of help following an appeal by Food Bank Singapore for volunteers. Obviously, not receiving a food bundle that one depends on would be a cause for anxiety even without this concerning Covid-19 climate. Hence, we were glad to receive a truck full of groceries from the Food Bank yesterday and will be distributing them in the next days.
Volunteers have stepped forward to help and we have a responsibility to minimize their risk and to implement precautionary measures as best as we can considering the limited number of thermometers and surgical masks at hand. Hence, we spent some time designing a food distribution process that prevents crowding and reasonably safe contact between volunteers and recipients. Volunteers registering participants will be masked and to avoid crowding, participants will be directed to different collection points and instructed to return home immediately and not linger. Registration will be done in small batches and collection points well spread out.
We will also be taking the opportunity to reinforce good hygiene with pamphlets in different languages printed courtesy of the neighbourhood’s constituency office and in each pack include a bar of antiseptic soap that hopefully will be a practical gift that brings a small comfort.
This past week, we have learnt of members in need of support and have responded in small ways. A 26-year-old restaurant worker was looking forward to going back to work after being extremely worried when he was on sick leave down with a high fever. However, he learnt that his workdays have been reduced because of the low footfall at his workplace and he needed some help to meet basic expenses. There was also a 48-year-old daily rated cleaner who was unable to earn an income because the Seniors Activity Centre she worked at was visited by an infected person and needed to be disinfected. For both of these members, we have provided transport allowance and food vouchers respectively.
Apart from receiving feedback from our 42 WhatsApp groups, we are now proactively calling our members to better appreciate how the Covid-19 situation is affecting them. One objective in doing so is to facilitate prompt visits to the doctor for those who are ill. We certainly do not want people delaying medical attention because they are unable to pay, afraid of bad news or feeling too weak. In any case, whether one is coping or not, we figured a friendly call would help lift spirits.
We aim to continue being a relevant and supportive presence for our members and will be drawing down from our Family Assistance Fund to meet immediate needs. This is a fund that is replenished by the goodwill of our community and if you would like to support our efforts, please click Covid-19 Response. I may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org should you need more information.
Wishing you health and peace of mind.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. — Albert Einstein