SINGAPORE - More than $1.37 million has been raised by the SingHealth cluster for President's Challenge 2021 - a record since it started lending a helping hand in 2004 to the annual community outreach and fund-raising campaign.

On Friday (Nov 26), Professor Ivy Ng, group chief executive of SingHealth, presented a cheque for $1,370,888 to President Halimah Yacob at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) museum.

This year's campaign, themed "Compassion with #OneKindAct", was led by SGH, which celebrates its bicentennial. It also marks 200 years of medicine in Singapore.

For the Challenge, the SingHealth cluster adopted five agencies that provide services such as home care and day care for the elderly and the sick, active ageing programmes and special education for children.

The agencies are Changi General Hospital HomeCare Assist, South Central Community Family Service Centre, Yong-en Care Centre, Metta Welfare Association and Rainbow Centre.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, fund raising had to take on a digital focus, said chairman of the SingHealth President's Challenge 2021 Steering Committee, Dr Gan Wee Hoe.

E-donations made up the bulk of money collected through pledge cards, and SingHealth institutions organised virtual bazaars selling items such as home-cooked bento sets, potted plants and specially curated self-care packs.

The two anchor fund-raising events were a virtual concert-cum-art exhibition on Sept 17, and a digital baton relay two weeks ago that had more than 450 staff run 230km in 24 hours, going past all SingHealth institutions and polyclinics.

"Members of our SingHealth family also managed to interact virtually with clients from the benefiting organisations," Dr Gan said.

The activities included a lantern-making workshop with seniors at Yong-en Care Centre, an arts and craft workshop with students at South Central Community Family Service Centre, and a treasure hunt and designing cupcakes with children from Rainbow Centre.