Deepavali’s just around the corner on Nov 4 and it’s not going to be quite the same this year. We’re not just referring to the pared down celebrations this year due to current Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, we’re talking about migrant workers who’ve been restricted to their dormitories for most of the one-and-a-half years since the Covid-19 outbreak hit Singapore, away from their families and unable to celebrate the Festival of Lights. 

The majority of some 300,000 migrant workers in Singapore have been largely confined in their dormitories since last April, long before KTV clusters or confusing Covid-19 acronyms were a thing. Other than heading to work, they've not been allowed out — save for several hundreds who were permitted to go out as part of a pilot programme last month — much less celebrate Deepavali. 

But homegrown community organisation ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR) wants to lift their spirits and bring some cheer to them this Deepavali with its ongoing Deepavali Festive Drive happening from now until Nov 13. They're looking for donations of food and funds, as well as volunteers to distribute donations to the migrant workers.

Here are three ways you can help.

#1: Send food, festive goodies or even care packs to migrant workers
Members of the public can sponsor and deliver Diwali snacks, goodies or pizzas from a list of partners that IRR has collab-ed with for this initiative.  

How does it work?

You can order pizzas from Alt Pizza and Pizza Hut, or samosas from Gourmet Ready directly and have them sent to IRR's address. Take note that the food deliveries must be placed via here (for Alt Pizza), here (for Pizza Hut) or here (for Gourmet Ready) and delivered to IRR only on Nov 13, as this is part of the Drive & Distribute donation event (more details below). 

If you'd like to donate other items, you can put together your own care packs or donate festive treats such as vadai, Indian sweets, chocolates, fruits, baked goods, ice cream, or even bento lunches. Care packs can comprise snacks and necessities (for example, 3-in-1 coffee, murukku, soap, shampoo, and data cards). You will then have to contact IRR's volunteers to arrange for delivery. 

More details can be found here.

#2: Volunteer to deliver the donations to migrant workers on Nov 13
If you’ve got your own transport, you can also help by distributing donated food and snacks at IRR’s Drive & Distribute event on Nov 13 — just register and wait for more details to come your way.

#3: Donate money
The funds raised go toward the Ray of Hope campaign, which will be used to purchase essentials such as groceries, toiletries and meals for migrant workers. More info here.

Photo: ItsRainingRaincoats/Facebook