Members of Talking Hands end off the year on a colorful note.
Contributed By Lau Ber Nard
|CN PHOTO: Ferrine Seik|
City Harvest Community Services Association’s service to the hearing impaired, Talking Hands, held a Christmas event for 35 of its volunteers and 62 hearing-impaired individuals on Dec. 12, 2010 at the Jade Room Restaurant of Hotel Royal.
Talking Hands is a social platform through which individuals with hearing impairment can enjoy regular befriending, recreational and social activities planned for them, assisting them in building up a social support network to enable them to adapt to the mainstream society with greater ease.
The party kicked into high gear with an interesting ice-breaker game where each table had to work together to guess the items inside a big Christmas sock. After the game, food was served, and the guests were given a treat in the form of a silent skit performed in sign language.
The drama was about a deaf girl, Alice, who was disillusioned with life and was about to give up when a volunteer intervened and helped her see what she never saw—the inner strength she had that inspired so many people around her. The skit ended with a short slide presentation of various hearing impaired individuals who never gave up on life, who kept trying to live out their dreams and accomplishing great things, becoming successful in their field of work. As the song “True Colors” was signed, everyone present was encouraged to find the strength within themselves—to step out and be the best they can be, unique and talented in their own ways.
Next on the program line-up were the Talking Hand’s very own carollers who took to the stage to sign out familiar Christmas carols. When it came to the evergreen “Silent Night,” the lights of the restaurant were switched off and volunteers entered the hall with lit candles which were given to all, beautifully lighting up the restaurant and touching the hearts of everyone present.
Head of Talking Hands, Eileen Toh, proceeded to share a short message about Christmas. Toh shared about the different kinds of love and how the most powerful love is “agape love”—a selfless love for others. After the sharing, there was a time of appreciation where awards were given out to the three most outstanding hearing impaired individuals from Talking Hands, applauding them for their courage and tenacity in always looking on the bright side while taking steps out of their comfort zone.
The event ended with a lucky draw that saw guests seated at the edge of their seats as the grand prize was announced—an overnight stay at the Marina Bay Sands. Geraldine Kong, who received an award for being the friendliest hearing-impaired individual in Talking Hands, said that she was impressed by the Christmas celebration.
Truly, this Christmas party was different in that instead of hearing the usual screams and shouts of laughter, there was none. However, the excitement and joy could be seen and felt in hand gestures and expressions; faces glowing with the true joy of Christmas.