When Singapore’s circuit breaker was introduced in April, Victoria Neo, 23, and Jaslyn Quek, 26, decided that they should do more for the elderly. The two final-year business students from Singapore Management University (SMU) said they both have a “soft spot” for their own grandmothers.
Concerned about the wellbeing of other elderly residents who still had to work despite the risk of Covid-19 infections, the close friends started the #STAYSAFEAHMA campaign on their Instagram pages.
Their target was to raise $2,000 to prepare care packs for 100 elderly people. However, in a span of just three hours, they managed to raise close to $10,000 thanks to the immense support from their friends and followers.
“The response we had was so unexpectedly overwhelming, we actually ended up closing donations way earlier than expected because we were afraid we did not have the bandwidth to manage everything,” says Jaslyn.
With the extra funds, they decided to procure better products for the care packs and distribute them to more elderly.
The distribution drive was delayed though, as some items couldn’t reach them in time due to tightened circuit breaker measures. One of their product suppliers, for example, had to close as the business was deemed non-essential.
In the end, the duo managed to distribute the care packs to 320 elderly workers as of 24 May.
“Looking back, we realised that not everything will be perfect along the way. We had to adapt throughout this whole process,” said Jaslyn, adding that it was incredibly rewarding to see the elderly residents “smiling from ear to ear” when receiving the care packs.
Jaslyn and Victoria also acknowledge the power of social media and its influence.
“It is really heartwarming to see people [giving] to a cause that resonates with them on a personal level,” said Jaslyn.
She feels we should “let those with less have a little more”, as they deserve to know that they are cared for too.