Scouts and Guides pen letters of encouragement to healthcare workers

President Halimah Yacob (left) speaks to members of The Singapore Scout Association. The Scouts and Girl Guides here are writing thank you letters to healthcare workers, to show their appreciation for the workers who are battling the Covid-19 outbreak. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
President Halimah Yacob (right) visiting the doctors and nurses who are working in the isolation wards at Singapore General Hospital. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Thousands of Scouts and Girl Guides are banding together to write cards of encouragement to front-line workers battling to keep the Covid-19 outbreak under control.

Six-year-old Boy Scout Zachy did his bit by penning a thank-you card, and then took the extra step of placing $7 of his pocket money in the envelope and urging the recipient to take a break and have a coffee on him.

Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff received the letters on Sunday (March 1) in a small ceremony at the campus overseen by President Halimah Yacob, who had earlier toured the hospital to speak with front-line staff.

There was special mention of Zachy, who was one of about 18,000 Scouts and Girl Guides who are taking part in the initiative, and his kind-hearted gesture.

The Scouts and Guides Cares letter-writing is being carried out in conjunction with the Community Chest and involves students from the Singapore Scout Association, Girl Guides Singapore and six other international Scouts and Guides Associations.

It was started by Mrs Melinda Murphy Hiemstra, the leader of a USA Girl Scouts Overseas (Singapore) troop, Troop 82, who was inspired by news of healthcare workers working hard to combat the virus.

Madam Halimah said in a Facebook post after the event that the cards may be a small gesture, "but it speaks volumes about our caring society".

Professor Kenneth Kwek, deputy group chief executive of SingHealth (organisational transformation and informatics), said front-line workers have been very touched by the support they have received from society.

A former Boy Scout himself, he said the Scout motto of "Be Prepared" is pertinent, with the Covid-19 outbreak.

"The way we are dealing with the crisis has a lot to do with the level of preparedness that we have put in place since the time of Sars (severe acute respiratory disease)," said Prof Kwek, who is also the chief executive of SGH.

"I think to a certain degree, we are all Scouts, because we're always prepared."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.