Coronavirus pandemic

Online game show to aid causes not directly linked to pandemic

While Singaporeans have been generous in supporting Covid-19-related causes in the past months, there has been at the same time a decline in donations for causes and charities not directly linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some organisations have even seen an 80 per cent drop in donations, said the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).

To help raise funds for these causes, NVPC has partnered theatre production company Dream Academy to produce an online game show starring home-grown artists and comedians.

Last month, NVPC did a pilot of The City Of Good Show and raised more than $21,000 for more than 25 charities such as Assisi Hospice, Metta Welfare Association and Muscular Dystrophy Association (Singapore).

From this week until Aug 5, an episode will be released every Wednesday at 8pm on NVPC's Facebook page. Each episode will have a link to a page for viewers to donate to the causes.

Each episode will feature the artists playing games together, with Selena Tan as host. Three others - Pam Oei, Siti Khalijah and Ghafir Akbar - will also be in all seven episodes. Celebrities such as Hossan Leong, Chua En Lai and Kumar have also been invited to each join an episode as a guest star.

Every episode will focus on a different cause, with the first being the arts and heritage. Other causes include disabilities, children and youth, and the community.

"We hope to raise awareness of the plight of these charities through entertainment, and in doing so urge the public to give their best for others and build a City of Good together," said a spokesman for NVPC.

Oei and Leong, who both volunteer every year at a gala lunch for the Arc Children's Centre - a daycare centre for critically ill kids - said it was understandable how non-Covid-19-related charities would be affected during this period, and hoped more funds could be channelled to them.

Oei added that she "couldn't think of a more fun way to do work", as she had a lot of fun playing the games, which involve improvisation and role-playing.

With the first episode raising awareness of the arts and heritage sector, Oei said this group is often forgotten. "Many of them are struggling now, so we want to use games, fun and humour as a force for good."

Leong, who guest stars in the first episode, said he took part because he wanted to give back to the community. "We all have to help one another."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2020, with the headline Online game show to aid causes not directly linked to pandemic. Subscribe