SINGAPORE, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Overseas Bank (UOB) colleagues and customers from across the Bank's global network raised more than S$1.65 million in a month for the UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund. The funds raised will help frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable communities around the world as they face unprecedented challenges from the pandemic.
Throughout the month of May, UOB ran the global fundraising effort across its 18 markets namely; Australia, Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Vietnam.
The UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund is an initiative under UOB's #UnitedForYou COVID-19 Relief Programme, which demonstrates the Bank's long-term commitment to help see communities through to better times.
Mr Wee Ee Cheong, UOB's Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "In times of crises, our community is never stronger than when we unite to care for those among us who may need a helping hand. I am grateful for the unwavering support of our colleagues and customers across the globe who readily contributed to the UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund to support our frontline healthcare workers and the vulnerable in our local communities."
The UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund will help drive the initiatives of 31 beneficiaries across the world which support frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable children and families.
In Singapore, the funds raised will support two initiatives, namely The Community Foundation of Singapore's Sayang Sayang Fund – Healthcare Face Shields Project and Food from the Heart's School Goodie Bag Programme.
Through The Community Foundation of Singapore's Sayang Sayang Fund – Healthcare Face Shields Project, UOB will provide funds to produce 500,000 3D-printed face shields for frontline healthcare workers from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). These face shields were designed by the NCID for more comfort given the longer-term use while providing more effective protection for the wearer as compared with traditional personal protective equipment such as masks and goggles.
Ms Catherine Loh, Chief Executive Officer of The Community Foundation of Singapore, said, "The current protective equipment, such as goggles used by healthcare professionals during this pandemic is not designed for prolonged use and many experience discomfort over the course of their work shifts. We are grateful for UOB's donation, which will enable us to increase and to accelerate the production of face shields that are designed to make it safer and more comfortable for our frontline healthcare professionals as they continue to combat the spread of COVID-19."
UOB colleagues in Singapore included in their donation to TTSH personalised notes to thank and to encourage Singapore's frontline healthcare heroes.
Care for disadvantaged families and children
The UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund will also go into providing essential food supplies to close to 900 families from disadvantaged backgrounds with school-going children for a year as part of Food from the Heart's School Goodie Bag Programme.
For Mdm Amilah, a 41-year-old single mother who earns $400 every month as an assistant in a bakery, the monthly food supplies provided through Food from the Heart's School Goodie Bag programme will help her care for her five children and elderly father.
"The regular supply of food packs lightens my financial burden and provides peace of mind, especially during the end of the month when my money is running out. I have a big family to feed. Besides my children, I am also taking care of my ailing father. I have also begun making sardine puffs from the food items that I receive through the Food from the Heart's School Goodie Bag programme and selling them as a home business. This additional income that I can earn makes a difference for my family," Mdm Amilah said.
The UOB Heartbeat COVID-19 Relief Fund follows the Bank's other initiatives over the past three months to help ease the burden and stress faced by vulnerable groups in the community. One such initiative is the UOB My Digital Space, an education programme which aims to bridge the digital gap for children from disadvantaged backgrounds across the region by providing them with digital learning kits comprising a new laptop for each and online learning resources. More recently, the Bank rolled out in June the UOB Art Explorer, an online visual arts programme designed to bring the benefits of art to homes around the world.
About United Overseas Bank
United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) is a leading bank in Asia with a global network of more than 500 offices in 19 countries a nd territories in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Since its incorporation in 1935, UOB has grown organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions. UOB is rated among the world's top banks: Aa1 by Moody's and AA- by both Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. In Asia, UOB operates through its head office in Singapore and banking subsidiaries in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as branches and representative offices across the region.
Over more than eight decades, generations of UOB employees have carried through the entrepreneurial spirit, the focus on long-term value creation and an unwavering commitment to do what is right for our customers and our colleagues.
We believe in being a responsible financial services provider and we are committed to making a difference in the lives of our stakeholders and in the communities in which we operate. Just as we are dedicated to helping our customers manage their finances wisely and to grow their businesses, UOB is steadfast in our support of social development, particularly in the areas of art, children and education.
SOURCE United Overseas Bank