Two years ago, I wanted my birthday to be celebrated in a simple but meaningful way. To veer away a little bit from “me, myself & I” and channel it to sharing blessings with others. I was grateful for the chance to have spent some time at the Red Cross Home.
It was Saturday when my friends gathered to spend few hours of our time at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled. We helped out in feeding the residents, serenaded some Chinese songs (we tried very hard!), gave some stuff as a form of small gifts to them. Initially, we planned to visit during Christmas season as our way of “gift giving” but many of my friends flew back home and just came back after New Year. It was good to see friends coming from different circles gathered together to devote their time to be with these “differently-abled” folks (I read somewhere, it’s politically correct term instead of using “handicapped”). And refreshing to see kids take part in our visit.
Overall, my friends conveyed it was a priceless experience. Some couldn’t control their emotions upon seeing the physical condition of the residents. Like, during the first time I saw them, I couldn’t help but broke into tears.
On a personal level, I was again confronted by my existentialism views — about life’s purpose – the existence of an individual based on their acts of free will. If these people who have been living there for all of their lives and seeing only that 4 corners of the room — what are they living for? Some were born in the 50s and 60s…and every day of their lives are all the same. They couldn’t eat on their own, couldn’t talk, couldn’t see, couldn’t think well – but they can respond through a sense of touch, through their feelings. They cry, they laugh, they shout, get angry, has tendency to be violent and all kinds of expression. It is apparent they hunger for human connection… To think that they are less fortunate and we are fortunate is I think, condescending. We cannot judge them. We only need to love them. They need compassion.
Currently, the Red Cross Home housed 112 residents, 9 are children, consisting of Chinese, Malays and Indians. Some are in full diet while some on special diet. If you wish to spend some of your precious time to visit them, or just be with them, volunteer in kind or in cash, below is the contact details and location address of Home:
Singapore Red Cross Home for the Disabled
8 Lengkok Bahru #04-01 Family Link @ Lengkok Bahru Singapore 159052
Tel No. 65 6762 1029 II Fax 65 6474 1029
Many thanks to Mr Kenneth Ng for accommodating us at Home. Thanks as well to my friends and friends of friends who take active participation to make this event possible. To Danica and younger sister – kudos to the parents who inculcate volunteerism to their children at their young age. (Photo courtesy of Ms Jackie Yamat, thanks sis)
To wrap up, I wish to share the lines when asked about my thoughts on volunteerism:
“I believe that we are mere stewards here on earth and that everyone has a duty to serve humanity in anyway we can to the best of our ability so when chances are presented to us regardless of where we are in this part of the world, go for it.” – http://www.redcross.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/SRC_News_Issue_3_2011.pdf
Thanks for being here! 🙂