One heart in the fight against COVID-19
Find out how some CCT tenants showed their support for the community and how you can lend a helping hand.
Every little bit counts when it comes to supporting the community in times of crisis. All it takes is the willingness to help and the determination to put words into action. CCT tenants like TSMP Law Corporation at Six Battery Road and GIC at Capital Tower are among those who didn’t think twice when it came time for them to step up.
Spreading love and appreciation
Stefanie Yuen Thio, joint managing partner at TSMP, was away on sabbatical when COVID-19 first hit Singapore. “Social media was filled with posts of medical staff in uniform being shunned in the MRT, scolded for sharing the lift or refused service by hawkers,” she said. She understood the public was reacting out of fear of contracting the virus but it still broke her heart to read such stories. “These healthcare heroes were putting themselves out at the frontline at great personal risk, tirelessly fighting an unknown enemy, to keep Singaporeans healthy and safe.”
Within days, Stefanie had “Operation Hail Our Healthcare Heroes” up and running to encourage people to show their love and appreciation for medical workers, mobilising her professional and personal network.
Under the operation, she launched a number of initiatives, some in collaboration with other companies and organisations. She and TSMP worked with Golden Duck, a homegrown “start-up with a big heart”, who co-sponsored and delivered 2,000 packets of their gourmet snacks to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for their nurses, cleaners and administrators.
They also organised bento lunch drop offs for SGH hospital staff using funds they raised. “[We] rallied pledges of sponsorship for catered lunches to be sent every weekday to the hospital to boost morale,” she said. Their good intentions caught on and soon, real estate companies were working with their F&B clients to send meals to other hospitals like Tan Tock Seng and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.
In addition, Stefanie provided a seed donation to the Sayang Sayang Fund, a Community Foundation of Singapore Impact Fund set up to support those impacted by the epidemic. The fund had a S$500,000 target, with half allocated to purchasing S$5 taxi vouchers for hospital staff so that they can get home comfortably after being in the frontlines.
TSMP also tapped their long-running outreach programme Handprint where TSMP volunteers packed and sent out 1,000 thank you gifts to SGH frontliners with useful items they might need during their shifts. These included a reusable bag, thermal tumbler, antiseptic wipes, pain relief items and snacks.
Stefanie was moved by the support they received: “The overwhelming generosity shown by Singaporeans and foreigners working on our shores is the kind of collaborative spirit that gels us as a nation.” She believes that foreigners working in Singapore were eager to look for opportunities to help the community they call home.
“Charity is not only something you should do when you’re semi-retired and have amassed your nest egg. Don't ask if you have the time and resources now – just do it,” she shared.
Giving back and building a more inclusive community
The passionate staff at GIC were also eager to contribute their time and effort for the community through their company’s global movement “With Love, GIC”. Launched in early 2020, the initiative was created to give GIC employees resources to reach out and help communities affected by COVID-19. Like their other community programmes, “With Love, GIC” aims to build a more confident and inclusive community for the long term.
GIC’s Singapore office focused their efforts in giving back to the community and not leaving anyone behind. They packed and sent care packs to frontline workers and vulnerable communities, and during this unprecedented time, where schools had to close, they showed their support for low-income families by putting together activity packs for their children to help them better engage in home-based learning. To achieve all these initiatives, GIC worked closely with community partners such as AMKFSC Community Services, AWWA, Engineering Good, and SGH.
To help alleviate the financial anxiety that vulnerable groups face, GIC also contributed to organisations that continually support low-income families in meeting basic needs, such as AMKFSC Community Services, Beyond Social Services and AWWA. They also supported the Singapore Strong Fund to support 100 ground-up projects by Singaporeans to help affected communities here.
“With Love, GIC” puts the company’s core values into action — PRIME, which stands for prudence, respect, integrity, merit and excellence — and aims to create long-term value in the community and to support their employees’ professional and personal development.
*This initiative was completed before the introduction of circuit breaker measures in Singapore.
“I’m really glad for the opportunity to contribute in a purposeful manner for those in need during these challenging times,” said Desmond Soh, project lead at GIC. Project lead Han Hwee Chin is thankful that they were able to do their part before circuit breaker measures were implemented: “There was such tremendous support and collaboration among GICians, especially when we had to move things quickly due to implementation of the safe distancing and circuit breaker measures. I’m so glad that our joint efforts have helped families in need.”
How you can help
Looking for a way to do your part for the community? CapitaLand is bringing forward this year’s Gifts of Joy – a community outreach programme – to June 2020, to support the immediate needs of children and youth of Rainbow Centre and their families affected by COVID-19. CapitaLand will be organising a fundraising campaign called “Gifts of Joy – The Essentials Edition" to support the 388 beneficiaries with household groceries. Click here to donate to the campaign.
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