Four local companies engage in a joint corporate social responsibility effort to benefit 75 senior citizens.
Contributed By Enoch Seet
“Huat Ah!” roared a crowd of elderly senior citizens as they tossed their yu sheng exuberantly at their tables in Roland Seafood Restaurant, welcoming the Year of the Rabbit and proclaiming their hopes and dreams for 2011.
Coming from various voluntary welfare organizations such as Care Corner (Toa Payoh), Evergreen and Rochor Kongsi, the 75 individuals were beneficiaries of a joint corporate social responsibility effort by four enterprises. The Happy “Huat” Year Lunch Party held on Feb. 18, was sponsored by Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, and host restaurant, Roland Seafood Restaurant. Staff from the Samuel Seow Law Corporation and Catalyst Advisory Services Pte Ltd took time off their busy schedules to roll up their sleeves in service of the elderly. The CSR event was planned, managed and executed by CityCare Ltd.
MUSIC IN THE AIR
Led and emceed by Samuel Seow, founder of the above-mentioned law corporation, the event kicked-off with two highly popular games among the senior citizen generation: “The Price is Right” and “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.” Laughter filled the air as both elderly and volunteers strove hand-in-hand to discover the prices of various household accessories, many using their age-old wisdom in market bargains to guess the prices. In the “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” segment, the elderly sang to golden oldies among the dialect groups, such as “Tian Mi Mi” by late Taiwanese songbird Teresa Teng and “Ji Ba Ban” by Huang Yi Fei. At this point, a sense of nostalgia, and the cultural richness of the 1930s and ’40s popular music scene permeated the air.
This was followed by the highlight of the day, a sumptuous eight-course lunch for the elderly. Volunteers from the Samuel Seow Law Corporation, Catalyst Advisory Services and CityCare got actively involved in bringing dishes to the tables, serving the food, and showing their care and love for the beneficiaries. A warm atmosphere of cordiality, and a shared affection between volunteer and elderly emerged through the service rendered from the former to the latter.
Throughout the lunch, several elderly took turns “karaoke-ing,” expressing their aesthetic, creative side, obviously not faded even in the twilight years of their lives.
The atmosphere was spiced even further with the arrival of local artiste, actor and host Keagan Kang, who served and entertained the elderly, much to the surprise, delight and enjoyment of beneficiaries and volunteers alike.
Following the lunch and games, the beneficiaries participated in a lucky-draw, with winners walking away with household accessories such as rice cookers, electric kettles and portable food warmers.
In the concluding moments of the event, the beneficiaries were presented with goodie bags containing toiletries, food items and other accessories that were essential for their basic needs, courtesy of Song Fa Bak Kut Teh. This was in demonstration of the corporate desire to meet the needs of the elderly community through practical means, to support their day-to-day living.
In sharing their gratitude for the event, one elderly beneficiary, Madam Goh, expressed her happiness at having won prizes in the games and the lucky draws.
Director of Catalyst Advisory Services, Stanley Quek, encouraged his entire staff team to volunteer for this event. He commented, “We think that it is very meaningful and we like to play a very active role in helping those in need. Sometimes we take for granted the things that we have.”
Finding the party a fulfilling occasion through community work, actor Kang said, “interacting with the elderly has been a joy, there is something childlike about them that makes it delightful to spend time with them; one of the elderly citizens reminded me of my own grandmother, and I felt an affinity with her.”
The Lunar New Year “Huat” Party aimed to serve the socio-economic needs of the elderly. It demonstrated the effect on the community through the synergistic collaboration of businesses, individual volunteers and community groups for the common cause of societal betterment.
CityCare is a not-for-profit organization that believes in the synergistic collaboration of business enterprises, community groups and individuals to effect a positive transformation in society.
The organization aims to promote active citizenry by providing volunteering opportunities for organizations and individuals to genuinely care and demonstrate social responsibility towards the good of the community.
To find out more, please visit our website at www.citycare.org.sg.