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How Project Stable Staples and David Hoe helped over 1,000 individuals living in rental flats to cope during circuit breaker

David-hoe

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David Hoe, who grew up in a rental flat, has raised over $85,000 through the initiative he started.

When it comes to creating a ground-up initiative to make an impact, Project Stable Staples (PSS) has certainly done it.

Led by David Hoe, 33 and Francesca Wah, 28, the initiative is supporting over 1,000 individuals from 215 families in rental communities impacted by COVID-19 and are suffering from income losses during the circuit breaker. 

Currently, these families are given $5 worth of grocery vouchers to each member fortnightly, to help them get some "stable staples" - hence the name of the initiative that has raised over $85,000 so far.

The initiative started as both David and Francesca were concerned that families living in rental areas would be affected badly.

"I've been visiting some of the residents staying in rental blocks before circuit breaker and I realised that a number of them have either lost their part-time jobs or experienced some reduction in their part-time hours.

"As a result, they are having difficulties making ends meet. I bought some groceries for those families whom I visited, but I knew there was only so much I could do as an individual," said Francesca.

Having grown up in a rental flat, David experienced firsthand how a loss of income can impact such families. He went onto Facebook to state his concerns and even used part of his salary to help some families tide through.

Francesca subsequently reached out to David, and the pair started the initiative in partnership with BLESS (Bringing Love to Every Single Soul).

Apart from David and Francesca, six others are also involved in the initiative - Gillian Peck, Jesslyn Lim, Laurence Putra, Boon Hao, Kelvin Choong and Alicia Wang. They all perform different roles such as IT, finance, marketing or even engaging with the beneficiaries.

Heartened by the impact PSS has had on its beneficiaries, David said: "This is only possible because we have a team of volunteers who contributed their skills and time in designing our collaterals, engaging our beneficiaries over the phone, maintaining our website, procuring and mailing the vouchers."

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David even used a portion of his salary to help those in need.
PHOTO CREDIT: LAURENCE PUTRA

Along the way, a few social service agencies and family service centres have also reached out to PSS to help their clients.

David and PSS have even extended help to the families that did not meet their initial criteria, as they did not want to turn away cases where there is a compelling need.

Running the initiative for over six weeks has given David the time to make some personal reflections.

He believes that as long as everyone comes together to contribute, making a positive difference is not impossible.

"Everyone can play a part in tiding Singapore through this pandemic, be it choosing to stay home or settling for a "new normal" by catching up with friends online instead of physically to prevent community spread," said David.

"If you intend to do something to help others, then do it together to the best of your abilities. As cliché as this sounds, the team has been able to reach our initial milestone of $60,000 because we did it together. Every one of us has our own set of strengths and if we could harness on our strengths to serve a common cause, we are able to go far.

"Alone, we can only do this much, but together we can achieve so much more."

If you are keen to help PSS and contribute to their cause, you can do so at their website here.

BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: LAURENCE PUTRA

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