It is true when they say there is strength in adversity.
As early as February when the pandemic begun evolving rapidly, gifts of appreciation to our healthcare workers, such as cards and sweet treats from patients and the public, started streaming in. As the crisis raged on, more gifts-in-kind poured in from various sources, one of which came from those who best understood the magnitude of the circumstances – fellow NHCS colleagues.
(L-R) Some of the earliest morale boosters went to the then-newly established Triage: citrus drinks from fellow NHCS colleagues; and numerous bentos sponsored by pharmaceutical partners through active coordination by Programme Development department. “A good friend of mine who owns a children’s art studio saw how hard our healthcare colleagues were working and asked if we could possibly do something together to thank them. That sparked an idea!” said Elaine Goh from Vascular Laboratory.
Together with Abrakadoodle Art Studio and support from The Association of Apex Club of Singapore (“Apex Singapore”) where Elaine volunteers at, she galvanised a donation of 1,500 care packs and more than 50 pieces of art works to NHCS staff, “All the items in the care pack actually came separately. We wouldn’t have been able to successfully distribute them without staff from various departments volunteering their time and effort to pack them nicely.”
Various departments pitched in to pack 1,500 care packs for all NHCS staff, including Elaine (middle).
(L-R): Prof Terrance Chua, Medical Director (second from left) and Amy Tay, Chief Nurse (extreme right) officially received the gifts-in-kind from the representatives of Apex Singapore and Abrakadoodle Art Studio; Items in the care pack gifted to each staff; and heart-warming works of art expressing hope and appreciation drawn by children from the art studio. ANC Zeng Wenying is another staff whose volunteer work brought her into contact with a kind sponsor, “One of our volunteers works for a vegetarian restaurant and was keen to do her part for healthcare workers through providing delicious vegetarian meals. I thought it was a very kind gesture so I connected her to our Corporate Development colleague who then helped to coordinate the sponsorship.” ANC Zeng shared that she received good feedback on the food and felt glad to have lent a hand in spreading cheer.
Departments such as Security, Housekeeping and Vascular Lab enjoyed lunch bentos kindly sponsored by Supreme Vegetarian and Old Hong Kong Kitchen, both brought in through staff efforts. Countless forms of appreciation gifts also made their way in through staff network - pizza, herbal tea and cosmetics; you name it, we got it - warming not just the bellies but the souls of our healthcare workers.
(L-R) SNM Foong Jia Yi from Ward 56 presenting a cosmetic kit to a nurse; Cardiac Clinic representative receiving lunch bentos; and throat-soothing drinks from an anonymous sponsor to the triage team. Worker bees behind the scenes
Behind the scenes of each welfare distribution lies a team of hardworking staff - from Corporate Development to Human Resource, doubling up as part-time gifts- evaluator, receiver, packer and distributor. Much of the credit, too, goes to staff volunteers from various departments who chipped in to help.
Staff volunteers from various departments worked harmoniously together to pack sponsored items so that they can be collected conveniently by staff. With each of us coming together to support and lift one another up, these difficult times might prove to be one of the most memorable in our lifetime. Let’s keep strong and let the One Heart spirit burn bright!
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