Residential Life

A Gift of Life: Blood donation in a pandemic

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Photo from left to right: Xin Min and Janice, NUS Nursing Students from Singapore Healthcare Society.

19 February 2021

As a Nursing student, I have had many opportunities to learn about usage of blood products in hospitals and I can understand why they are literally called the “Gift of Life”

During Singapore’s Circuit Breaker period from 7 April to 1 June, blood banks across Singapore saw a steep decline in blood stocks and I wondered if there are other ways to encourage people around me to donate blood during a crucial time of need?

After brainstorming with my Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) and some of my King Edward VII Hall residents, we decided to plan for a social media initiative to encourage hostelites to be blood donors. While I was contemplating on methods to maximise donor outreach, there was a sudden realisation that I could look beyond my own hostel community and explore partnerships with other student organisations in NUS.

I reached out to the JCRC Presidents of the other six halls and suggested a combined Halls of NUS (HONUS) publicity campaign to recruit blood donors. The JCRC Presidents responded with enthusiasm and readily supported me whenever I needed their assistance. In partnership with the Singapore Red Cross, the seven Halls of NUS launched a concerted effort together on our social media platforms to rally our residents to head down to the various blood banks from 3 to 5 July 2020.


Photo from left to right: Jothi , Hua Fong and Han, Residents of King Edward VII Hall.

Subsequently, we were also joined by students from the various Residential Colleges (RCs) in NUS and also the Singapore Healthcare Society (SHS). With everyone’s effort in galvanising their own student communities, a total of 86 blood donors turned up at the various blood banks and 36 of which were first-time donors!

Through this encouraging experience, I’ve learnt to be more adventurous in exploring both ideas and partnerships and to pay less attention to self-doubts that may discourage me from trying.

I would also like to thank the student leaders from the various Halls of NUS (Kent Ridge, Sheares, Eusoff, Temasek, Raffles, PGP House), Colleges of NUS (CAPT, Tembusu, RC4, RVRC, Cinnamon, Yale-NUS) and also SHS for partnering us on this journey of giving, couldn’t have done it without you guys!

I hope that this collaboration will also pave the way for more connective forms of leadership and I look forward to the next time we work together for a common good!

Interested to find out more about NUS King Edward VII Hall and our other initiatives?
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Instagram: @kingedwardviihall
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Hong Xian Li, Year 4, NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies