COVID-19: Singapore Red Cross to distribute care packages to seniors living alone

Singapore Red Cross volunteers. (PHOTO: Singapore Red Cross)

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Red Cross (SRC) will be providing customised care packages and psychosocial support calls for seniors living alone, as well as sanitation kits for volunteers and staff who are providing humanitarian services to the vulnerable.

These initiatives are aimed at providing support and relief for the vulnerable in Singapore, especially the elderly, in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, said SRC in a media release on Friday (3 April).

Each care package will comprise a mixture of food, medical, hygiene and household items. They will be customised for each elderly beneficiary, attending to their most immediate and essential needs.

The care packages will initially be distributed over the next three months, and will benefit 1,000 seniors across SRC’s ElderAid, Medical Chaperone/TransportAid, and Home Monitoring and Eldercare services.

Receiving new referrals

SRC will also reach out beyond its regular beneficiaries and receive new referrals, particularly from social service agencies that have suspended their services during the COVID-19 period.

With volunteers pressing on with fortnightly home visits and weekly befriending calls to the seniors, SRC will safeguard all 2,000 volunteers, fundraisers and staff with sanitation kits and personal protection equipment such as masks and gloves to each of them.

SRC is also providing psychosocial support to its beneficiaries via home visits and telephone calls, and will be extending the helpline service to all its volunteers within this month.

“These are extraordinarily trying times. It is critical that we intensify our efforts to uplift the most vulnerable in our community, who are among the hardest hit,” said SRC secretary-general and chief executive officer, Benjamin William.

“We are immensely grateful to our volunteers and fundraisers for standing by us and working with pride, whilst careful to comply with preventive and precautionary measures, such as social distancing. They remain in high spirits, knowing that their work is making a difference in the lives of our vulnerable beneficiaries.”

Support to Asia Pacific communities

SRC will also contribute more than $800,000 worth of humanitarian relief items to communities in the following Asia Pacific countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, North Korea and Iran.

The support includes personal protective equipment (PPE); medical supplies including thermometers; hygiene and sanitation kits; as well as the dissemination of health messages in the community.

The first batch of PPE, such as medical surgical masks, has been secured and will be shipped out in the coming days to frontline health workers in those Asia Pacific countries.

Donations to Singapore Red Cross

To make a donation to SRC to support the local COVID-19 response efforts to help the elderly and vulnerable, the public can go to this GiveAsia website.

Alternatively, they may mail their cheque to 15 Penang Lane, Red Cross House, Singapore 238486. Please include full names and NRIC/FIN numbers at the back of the cheque for auto inclusion of tax deduction.

There will be webinar moderated by GiveAsia where the public can find out how the SRC is helping the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be on 9 April from 2 to 3pm, and those interested can sign up here.

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