|PHOTOS: Alvin Loh|
A special service was held to herald in 2010 with gifts galore.
The ministry in City Harvest Church catering to people with special needs, Jesus For All Minds, witnessed a record-breaking crowd of 522 at its first weekend service of 2010, where six lucky recipients took home a hi-fi set or MP3 player each.
“We wanted to celebrate the start of 2010 by blessing the people,” said Lily Yong, supervisor and driving force behind the JAMs New Year Giveaway. “The lucky draw also brought back the new friends who came for our Christmas services,” she added.
While anticipation lay thick on both fresh and familiar faces, the loudest gasps and cheers of the day were saved for Cai Wei Jie, 21, a hair’s breadth away from missing her prize.
“We called out a few times for the winner, but she had gone to the washroom,” laughed Yong. Just as another name was about to be drawn, an elated Cai was brought to the stage by the ministry volunteers.
The gifts of hi-fi sets and MP3 players mark a hopeful beginning to the year for Cai and many others who come from lower-income families. “I have never won anything before in my life!” said Cai.
“A simple gesture of generosity is able to light up their lives and let them know that they are valued,” said volunteer Cher Jin Zhi, 28, a senior events executive.
It is this message that the organizers hope will resonate with JAMs members and the public alike. “We want to show that people with special needs are not simply takers but givers as well,” shared Santhi Singaram, 37, a ministry zone supervisor, who added that they are planning for three other care projects along the same vein.
“As the members experience the joy of receiving, we believe they will also be motivated to provide the same joy to others through their own generosity,” she said.