Emergency relief fund aids vulnerable communities, prioritises special needs

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Amanda (not her real name) took on odd jobs to provide for her three children, two of whom go to special needs schools. When COVID-19 hit, these jobs came to a halt.

“I just want to make sure the kids have food, that’s the most important thing to me,” said Amanda. The 38-year-old is among the beneficiaries of the Uplift Fund. The family had gone for weeks without proper food, depending on instant noodles and food rations. Aside from their living expenses, Amanda also needs to fund her treatment for depression. Through the Uplift Fund, she received a one-time aid of $1,000 which went directly into meeting her family’s immediate needs.

Another beneficiary, Nicholas (not his real name), works in the hospitality industry. He was forced to go on a period of unpaid leave as tourist numbers dropped. For him, the money went to providing groceries for his family of five.

Many families like Amanda’s and Nicholas’ have experienced the negative financial impacts of COVID-19.

Operating in one of the hardest hit industries, Park Hotel Group, a leading hospitality company in Asia Pacific, understands the stress the community is experiencing. The Group wants to alleviate some pressure off the affected group and help them get back on their feet with the establishment of the Uplift Fund with YMCA of Singapore. In addition to the seed funding of $500,000, Park Hotel Group has launched a fundraising campaign amongst its team members, pledging to contribute a dollar-to-dollar matching donation to encourage giving and inspire kindness.

Since the launch in August, the Uplift Fund has received more than 1,000 applicants, raised over $715,000 from generous corporate donors and members of the public, and benefitted over 150 individuals and households. The goal is to raise $3 million to benefit some 3,600 individuals and households in need.

“There are many in need during these difficult times. We are honoured to administer this fund alongside Park Hotel Group, and hope this will inspire more Singaporeans to join us in giving and reaching out to those who are struggling to make ends meet. Every helping hand goes a long way,” said Mr Steve Loh, General Secretary & CEO, YMCA of Singapore.

Members of the public can contribute to supporting those in need by donating directly on the fund’s website – https://upliftfund.ymca.org.sg.

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