It’s a tale of purpose, passion and grit as we overcame the odds to achieve the feat.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges to fundraisers. These difficulties had led SingHealth to cancel its annual President’s Challenge (PC) last year. However, this year, the SingHealth cluster – led by SGH – went ahead with PC2021 to mark 200 years of medicine in Singapore and the SGH Bicentennial.
The prospect of outdoing previous years’ efforts had seemed daunting especially in the midst of this pandemic situation. Yet the SingHealth cluster – led by SGH this year - managed to raise more than $1.37 million for the SingHealth President’s Challenge (SHPC) - a record since we started lending a helping hand in 2004 to the annual community outreach and fund raising campaign.
SGH alone raised $561,332, more than the $550,000 target for the entire SingHealth. For this, SGH was given the ‘Most Kilat Fundraising Institution’ award.
The game changer
Observes Organising Committee (OC) member Michael Chong, “The inclusion of the Pay Now QR code in the traditional pledge cards was a game-changer this year. More than half of the total donation achieved for PC2021 were collected digitally through a mobile app. This quick, easy and safe way to donate was pivotal in encouraging more people to give,” added Michael, from SGH Finance & Accounting Division, who had worked with DBS Bank to make digital donation possible.
But most of all, “It was our passion, courage, a strong can-do spirit and a whole slew of fundraising activities undertaken all year long,” said Dr Gan Wee Hoe, Chairman, SHPC.
SGH Charity Bazaar
“What is a bazaar without the usual physical stalls? How are we going to raise funds when staff are busy fighting the pandemic?” These doubts set in when SHPC Co-Chair, Elena Mohd Ayob from Nursing, was first tasked to lead the SGH annual Charity Bazaar in April this year.”
Our SGH nursing colleagues rose to the occasion - in spite of their intense workload - and garnered over $120,000 in charity bazaar sales.
Colleagues from Obesity Centre and Regional Health System Office of Integrated Care preparing their food items in their staff pantries for the Charity Bazaar
Nursing colleagues achieved this by setting up virtual stalls on SGH Workplace. They sold a wide variety of items from home cooked meals to potted plants and specially curated self-care packs. Colleagues spread the word via email, word-of-mouth and WhatsApp messages to encourage colleagues to buy, buy and buy.
Ward 58 sold cute balloon sculptures at the Charity Bazaar
An all-time Bazaar favourite – homemade shepherd’s pie by Sister Kamsiah of Ward 52B - brought in almost $8,000. This was despite losing the traditional source of buyers from the public and restrictions on staff movements. “Outsiders were not allowed into the hospital, and staff could not cross over to other wards to buy or collect the ware. Therefore, to conform to the safe management guidelines, orders were delivered to the entrance of wards and we staggered the collection time so staff won’t congregate," added Sister Kamsiah.
Ward 63 packing and getting ready their vadai fritters for sale.
SGH Runners did loops around Marina Bay in the wee hours of the morning.
This was conceptualized as a 200km relay run with 200 pairs of runners from across SingHealth to commemorate 200 years of medicine and celebrate SGH’s bicentennial. Not only did the Relay exceed its target with over 450 runners who covered 231km, it also raised more than $50,000 through Giving.sg and other donation platforms as well as registrations fees.
The Digital Relay Committee in their Command Centre at SingHealth Tower Level 15 were up fixing last-minute issues the night before the relay.
Said Nidu Maran from Nursing, who oversaw the organizing of the Relay, “We could have hired an event management company to do it, considering the scale and complexity of the run, and the fact that we were in the middle of fighting a pandemic. It was a tough call – we were asking a lot of our people - but we decided to do it ourselves so that all the funds raised would be channeled to the beneficiaries, instead of paying vendors.”
SGH200 memorabilia sale
SGH staff love any excuse to shop, shop, shop. Colleagues snapped up over $50,000 worth of limited edition SGH200 tea mugs, laptop bags and tissue boxes. Exclaims OC member Agnes Chin from Learning & Career Development, “The committee had to raise orders four times to fulfil the high demand! Colleagues from our purchasing unit, ALPS, told me that they have never experienced repeated orders for charity sales before.”
SGH200 memorabilia items snapped up by buyers
Says OC member Dorothy Kwok from SGH Finance & Accounting Division, “Due to the pandemic, we had to put up with shipment delays, as well as rack our brains on ways for staff to collect their memorabilia as many were on WFH. But this was all worth it when everything was snapped up.”
Silent auction and sponsorships
Another creative fundraising effort by SGH Finance & Accounting Division was the silent auction of the Bowyer Block replica autographed by senior management. This raised over $8,000.
The Bowyer Block replica, autographed by SGH senior management
“We also reached out to solicit sponsorship towards this worthy cause and raised over $50,000,” recalls OC member, Hong Xiaowen from SGH Call Centre & Telecommunications.
A Night To Remember
From the word go, colleagues from SingHealth institutions snapped up $60,000 worth of tickets with more than 400 people tuning in to watch the virtual concert on 17 September. The Medical Humanities Office of SingHealth Duke-NUS Medicine Academic Clinical Program organized this ticketed event and
art exhibition. They rose above the challenges such as coordinating staff from various institutions to create seamless recordings of their performances, while adhering to the strict safe management measures required of us as healthcare workers.
Performers across SingHealth recording their performances at a studio for the “A Night To Remember’ concert.
Says Mumtaj Ibrahim, Organising Chairman from SGH Communications, “It is easy to look out for others in good times, but to do it while mired in challenges of our own, and then outdo ourselves – that is awe-inspiring, SGH. I am glad that President’s Challenge created yet another opportunity for us to pull together and show once again the inherent nature of SGH people, motivated always by passion with purpose.”
For the Makan Surely initiative, HODs bought local food and kueh lapis to treat their staff. Net proceeds of over $5,000 went towards the fundraising efforts.
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