Singapore—Anthony Houlahan has managed to keep himself mentally and physically fit during the circuit breaker period. He also raised S$42,000 for the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
Mr Houlahan is a telecoms manager by day, and like the rest of the country, has been working from home since April. Originally from a town in Wales called Merthyr Tydfil, he’s made his home in Singapore for the past 18 years.
His efforts to raise money to help children who are ill have landed him on BBC, where he was featured in a news video on Thursday (June 4) as well as locally in The Straits Times early last month.
He told the BBC, “I needed to get out of the house, just for my own personal mental health and sanity. And I thought, well why not combine that and use this free time and energy to do something for good?”
On the website, www.fooddeliveryriderforcharity.com, it says that his goal is to raise S$100,000 for the Children’s Cancer Foundation “to help improve the quality of lives of children with cancer and their families.”
He will be working as a food delivery rider for the next three weeks, until June 21.
While on the BBC video Mr Houlahan is seen in the green GrabFood shirt, he is now working with foodpanda.
“foodpanda have very kindly agreed to provide a direct financial contribution to our campaign to support the Children’s Cancer Foundation to enhance the lives of children and their families,” he wrote.
Secondly, the company is also actively promoting Mr Houlahan’s fund raising campaign.
The third reason for his shift to foodpanda is that he says he will earn more money per hour working for them. “They have a better system of scheduling shifts and jobs, less wait time at restaurants and less distance between deliveries. This enables me to do more delivery jobs per hour.
And, foodpanda pays more per delivery. I have done 3 shifts with foodpanda so far and based on that experience I believe I will quite significantly increase my hourly earnings by working with foodpanda and not GrabFood.”
His quest to give back has not been an easy one, given Singapore’s warm and at times, rainy, weather and sometimes hilly terrain.
The most he has ridden his bike on one day to make food deliveries is 77 kilometers , doing 21 deliveries.
“That was tough,” he told BBC. “But I’m trying to eat well, get lots of rest, and so far, touch wood, that’s keeping me together.”
The Straits Times reported that Mr Houlahan is alone in Singapore during this time since his wife and two daughters are in the United Kingdom. He has openly expressed his love for Singapore, saying the country has “been great” to him. His children went to school here, and it’s a place he’s “very fond of and a big part of his life.”
And therefore, when he was given “a chance to do something for people in Singapore who need help,” he took it. He added that the people who ordered food have been supportive, and have given him tips to add to his fundraiser. “That makes a massive difference to me.”
Mr Houlahan usually makes S$6 to S$7 for every delivery, but many in the public have contributed to the cause. The difficulties of the job of a food delivery rider, he said, has given him a newfound respect for those who do it daily to support their families.
On Thursday, he thanked the BBC for featuring his cause, and encouraged the public to make donations to the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
If you would like to support Mr Houlahan’s efforts click here.—/TISG