Friends of a family in need demonstrate that love isn’t just saying it, it’s doing it.
Contributed by Debbie Huang
It began with a tragedy. A family had lost one of their daughters to a burst stomach ulcer, leaving them in shock and grief.
The family of four carried out the funeral ceremony with the help of relatives and friends. Among their friends were two City Harvest Church members who saw that the family had many needs and decided to take action to help them.
When the two first stepped into the family’s three-room flat, they were astonished at the condition of the home. It was filled with old and unwanted appliances—three old refrigerators, six hardly-working television sets, a few untouched rice cookers and some coffee tables donated by charitable organizations and friends. The flat was in total disarray. There were items everywhere and one had to tiptoe to get anywhere in the house. It was clear that the home had not been cleaned for a very long time. The stench overwhelmed the two friends, who were shocked to discover that their friends had been living in such unsanitary conditions for many years.
After spending some time with the family, the group discovered that the parents had mild intellectual disabilities and were unable to ensure the well-being of their daughters.
Seeing that they alone were unable to help this family effectively, the two church members recruited another six volunteers to clean up the flat.
On the morning of Jan. 24, the group of eight arrived at the family’s flat with housekeeping equipment. Their aim was to improve the living conditions of the house. Within five short hours, they had replaced two mattresses, pillows and bolsters which were infested with bed bugs, removed bags of expired food from the kitchen and cleared four trash bags filled with unusable items. They also re-arranged some furniture in the house to free up space and make the home conducive for living. The volunteers then made a trip down to Cash Converters to sell off the extra used items and appliances for a small sum of money, which they returned to the family.
By 6 p.m., the house had been transformed into cleaner and more livable space. Besides providing physical labor, the volunteers were determined to let the family know that they are not alone in this crisis, by keeping the line of support going. They spent time talking to the parents, and provided companionship for the family.
The youngest daughter will be taking her GCE N-Levels this year. The group found her a tutor, Ang Tingya, 17, a Ngee Ann Polytechnic student. Ang said, “I could see passion in her eyes, when she said that she wanted to study hard and enter into her desired course in ITE. I want to help her achieve her dream.” It moved the volunteers to know that their beneficiary’s desired course is Community Care and Social Services—she, too, wants to contribute to society.
One of the volunteers, 24-year-old Melody Huang, a property agent, told City News, “It was indeed an experience for me—my heart goes out to the youngest daughter who is the only child in the family who does not have intellectual disabilities. I believe that there is so much more that we can do to provide a better environment for her to grow up in and that she can live a normal life.”
One of CHC’s main missions is to “Find a need and meet it, find a hurt and heal it”. These eight church members have demonstrated that showing love means meeting the needs of those who need it.
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