All around Singapore, young and old are doing their part in helping the less fortunate during the COVID-19 crisis. We've seen governments, large corporations, celebrities and citizens all contribute to communities that were financially affected. Relief efforts range from donating to charities to donating blood, so there is plenty of opportunity for people to give back. However, since quite a bit of relief efforts entail having to go into a public place, people who may not be able to leave their homes may feel like they're missing out on giving back as much as they want to. Luckily, there are still plenty of things you can do. For those who are unable to to participate in community give-back but still want to help, we've compiled a list of legitimate charities and activities that you can participate in from your home.
1. Donate Part of Your Solidarity Payment to Support Low-Income Families
If you are financially well-off and can afford to do so, you can donate some of your solidarity payment to #WeCareSG via giving.sg. Even before the crisis hit, the bottom 20% of income earners spent more than they earned per month just to survive. Now these families are struggling even more, especially if they lost their source of income. Your proceeds will go towards helping low-income families who can't afford to own their own home and live in rental HDB flats. You are not obligated to donate your entire Solidarity Payment. You can donate a portion of it or any amount you can afford. Your donation efforts will also be issued a 250% tax deductible receipt.
2. Support Migrant Workers
Due to their living arrangements, migrant workers have faced some of the most troubling infection rates in Singapore. Combined with their lower wages, this puts them in a particularly vulnerable position. There are 3 fundraisers you can donate through giving.sg to if you want to help migrant workers with healthcare costs, housing and food.
Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), an organization that has been protecting migrant workers since 2004, will put all donations towards helping secure housing, meals and healthcare needs for migrant workers. Their ongoing fundraiser aims to provide ongoing support for migrant workers beyond COVID-19. You can donate any amount you want or you can choose a set amount.
The Collective of Migrant Efforts (COME) has created a fundraiser called #HOMEFORALL Migrants that aims to help migrant workers get meals. They also work towards improving hygiene and internet connectivity for the workers.
Lastly, you can donate to Migrants We Care, a fundraising initiative set up by the Migrant Worker's Assistance Fund, which puts your donations towards food and accommodations, daily necessities and financial assistance to migrant workers who were furloughed or displaced.
3. Help Healthcare Workers & Those Affected by the Virus
If you want to provide assistance to people who had family succumb to the virus (whether they were frontline workers, healthcare workers or volunteers), you can donate to the Courage Fund. This fund is created by the Community Chest, which is the fundraising arm of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). You can donate to the cause at giving.sg or learn more about the fund at National Council of Social Service. You can donate as little as S$10 and the donation will be eligible for a 250% tax deduction.
4. Help At-Risk Kids Stay Engaged During the Circuit Breaker
To help at-risk kids engaged in healthy and fulfilling activities during the circuit breaker, you can help support #ENGAGE, a fundraiser initiative created by the RICE Company. The RICE company is a not-for-profit arts organisation and registered charity that aims to help at-risk children by providing them with training programmes in music, dance, art and theatre. By donating to the #ENGAGE fund, you will be helping RICE support schools, provide hot meals and teach children art skills, through online lessons. All donations will be eligible for the 250% tax deduction.
5. Show Support for Local Businesses By Shopping Online
You can also support COVID-19 relief efforts simply by shopping or ordering online from local businesses. You can check out the website of your favourite restaurant and see if you can order delivery from them directly. This may be cheaper for you and better for the restaurant as third-party apps charge a variety of fees both to you and to the restaurant. Since online food delivery can get pricey with high minimum spends, use your cashback credit card to offset some of the cost. Some cards may offer rebates as high as 15% for online food delivery purchases.
You can also support local artisans that may be having a difficult time due to store closures. If you're interested in supporting local artisans, the CRIB Society put together a handy pdf that lists a plethora of local businesses ranging from clothing to beauty and spa products.
We're All In This Together
During times like these, no amount of help is too little. Millions of people are struggling all around the world due to the impacts of COVID-19. A large portion of that population have also been negatively affected, either because they or someone they loved got sick or because they suddenly lost their livelihoods. Even if you can't afford donating hundreds of dollars, donating whatever you can to a cause that resonates with you can help get people back on their feet. The list above is far from exhaustive, but it can give you a sense of who you can donate to. For more charities you can donate to, check out Giving.sg.