A property estate company eschews house-viewing appointments for one day to help the less fortunate.
Contributed By Sharon Tan
Author of the classic, Life’s Little Instruction Book, H. Jackson Brown Jr. once suggested, “While earning your daily bread, be sure you share a slice with those less fortunate.”
Based on this maxim, a couple set aside their real estate business operations for a day to bring their administrative staff and property agents on a mission to clean up and refurbish the home of an aged couple.
Recommended to them by City Harvest Community Services Association, Steven Goh and Elly Gui, owners of Landz Realty came to know of Lim Huat Kim’s heartrending predicament—his wife, son and daughter all suffer from mental disabilities.
Due to frequent fits, Mrs. Lim’s cognitive growth was hampered, resulting in an unstable mental condition. Both their children also suffer from epilepsy, affecting their mental capacities, social interaction and communication capabilities.
Lim, who is in his 60s, is the sole breadwinner. He works as a cleaner to provide for the family of four. He also supports his own aged grandfather who is in need of medical treatment. To make matters worse, Lim’s wife recently suffered a fall, which means that Lim now has to look after her.
“When we heard about the plight of this family and the financial burdens they faced, my husband and I were very keen to help them,” said Gui. “Beyond mere financial contributions, we felt that it would be most beneficial and practical if we visited their home to help improve the family’s living conditions” They also decided to rope in their staff.
On March 28, early Monday morning, the “home-makeover team” set off with their cleaning equipment, paint brushes and large tins of wall paint to the Lims’ home in Bukit Batok.
As the entire project had to be completed within one day, it provided the staff members with an opportunity to build up teamwork and display group bonding—critical qualities vital to the success of any organization. The group had to work together to clean the toilets, plaster holes in the walls and give the entire flat a fresh coat of paint. Said Goh, “Although our bodies ached at the end of the day, our heart was overwhelmed with joy seeing that we were able to bring happiness through our acts of service.”
The team also bought new bedsheets for the whole family as the existing ones had not been washed for a long time and were bug-ridden. In addition, they furnished the home with a brand new refrigerator and wardrobes, and gave the family supermarket vouchers for groceries.
Furniture was shifted, junk was discarded and appliances were repaired. The day was, without a doubt, a far cry from their usual day-to-day operation, but it was meaningful for each individual.
Gui stated, “A preacher once said that God has blessed us, so that we may bless others. God has given us so much to be thankful for. It is fitting for us to give back to society.”
Gui leveraged on her role as an employer to mobilize manpower for this project. She added, “Not only did we help the Lim family, our own staff members gained a valuable lesson through giving and serving the community.
Said Krystine Tan, a volunteer from CHCSA who worked hand-in-hand with Landz Realty, “The family members’ eyes lit up with joy and excitement when they saw their new wardrobes arrive. Prior to that, all their belongings and clothes were in boxes or strewn all over the house. Now they have a place to store their possessions.”
Beyond this one-time act of giving, the team from Landz Realty will also be helping the family on an on-going basis by continuing to provide them with food and groceries.
NEW JOB FOR A DAY
“It was a very memorable and meaningful experience for me. Although it was physically demanding to clean and refurbish the home, I was glad that our bosses were proactive to be hands-on, leading the team on the ground to help the family in practical ways through cleaning, painting and providing new furniture.”
Caroline Tan, senior admin exec
“This is my first experience in community work. Though tiring, it is definitely meaningful. I’d love to do this on a regular basis.”
Kelvin Goh, associate director
“It’s rewarding to be able to contribute and help the lives of others. I’m thankful for the privilege to work alongside my fellow colleagues in this project.”
Philip Kao, senior associate director