S'pore Rugby Union and Deloitte scrum together to spread festive cheer in South West district

National rugby player Christian Cooke hands Wahyudi Lim bags of consumables as part of the "Do Good, Send Love" campaign. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - The local rugby community came out in full force in support of a good cause on Saturday (Dec 12) morning, as players and officials from the Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) and various local clubs volunteered to distribute some 2,500 frozen bento sets and festive cheer packs to residents in Brickland.

The event kick-started the South West Community Development Council's (CDC) Festive Cheers @ South West programme and is part of the "Do Good, Send Love" campaign, which was initiated by social enterprise Elpis @ Hideout in March.

The SRU is also Do Good, Send Love's fundraising partner and in August had volunteered its help to deliver frozen meals to residents across the Central Singapore district.

SRU general manager Daniel Marc Chow said: "The previous event was almost like a pilot project and it turned out really well.

"In fact, at the time we had to turn away some people who wanted to volunteer, because of things like social distancing... and so this time round, since we had a longer runway, we made sure most of the clubs had an opportunity to reschedule and organise their time to come.

"We had a large turnout from our member clubs, and a good mix of all sorts of demographics across the rugby community. This shows the values we take pride in our game, taking care of one another and looking out for each other."

Almost 100 members of the local rugby fraternity, from clubs like the Singapore Cricket Club, Gaulois, Blacks RFC, Dragons, Titans RFC, Bucks and Oldham, scrummed together in support of the event.

Elpis chief social connector Germaine Lim said: "I'm thankful for strong showing (of volunteers) and this experience, because when you go up there and see the big smiles of the residents, that alone is very fulfilling, and makes all the effort we put in worth while."

Do Good, Send Love also received support from Deloitte, who are the largest patron for Saturday's leg of the initiative, donating $5,000.

About 40 staff from the professional services firm also helped distribute the frozen meals and cheer packs in Brickland.

Sports business group leader for Deloitte South-east Asia James Walton said that community involvement is "even more necessary" during this period when some families are still struggling to cope with the effects of Covid-19.

"We've been reaching out the last few weeks to all the organisations we know, asking how we can help because we have 2,700 (staff) in Singapore and there are a lot of people that want to volunteer," he said.

"It's been a very rough year, everyone is waiting for 2020 to end and hoping that 2021 will be better, so we're just trying to give a little festive cheer to families that have had a difficult time."

Low Yen Ling, Mayor of South West District, said: "We are deeply heartened that despite Covid-19, more individuals and organisations have stepped forward to join us in this Festive Cheers effort.

"This solidarity is vital and greatly appreciated as our South West community seeks to ensure no one gets left behind, especially in a crisis with an acute impact on those at-risk."

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