This group of volunteers raised funds for new bedframes, and brought fun to the residents of a children’s home.
Contributed By Alan Truong
After months of planning and preparation, members from three cell groups under the pastoral care of Goh Yock Kiang, a pastor of City Harvest Church, raised thousands of dollars to purchase new bed frames for children residing at a children’s home run by the Singapore Children Society.
The home is a “place of safety” for abused and neglected children in need of protection, or those whose parents are currently unable to provide reasonable care due to various issues. The home houses more than 70 children, aged 4 to 18.
The group’s coordinator, Zack Cheong, 27, and his team discovered the need for new bedframes when they met with the staff of the home for an initial planning meeting. When the team shared this news with the other members in the subzone and pitched the idea of raising funds to provide the bedframes, the other members unanimously wanted to be part of it. Within three weeks, the group had raised over S$3,500. Even friends of the members who heard about their project contributed to the fund.
What began purely as a bid to meet needs turned into a fun-filled event for the children of the home. Before the group’s visit, new bedframes were bought for every child and delivered one morning while the children were at school.
On April 9, the group of 29 made their way to the home, where the children were eagerly anticipating them. Helpers and beneficiaries were divided into groups, and the fun began with a variety of energizing games, kite-making activities and wound down with a pizza lunch as well as prizes for every child.
“It was heartwarming to see the sun-burned and tired faces of our volunteers,” said one of the cell group leaders, Olivia Lau, 29. “They did their best to mingle with the kids. Some of the adults piggy-backed the kids under the hot sun on their back so that their newly-made kites could catch the wind and fly.”
Another incident that touched the volunteers’ hearts was when one little boy refused to keep his prizes. Lau recalled, “He told one of us to keep it, and to bring it on our next visit. He also told us to wear the same color T-shirts, and the same accessories so that he would recognize us the next time. Initially we thought he was being cheeky as he kept playing pranks on us and refusing to return to his dormitory.
“Finally, it dawned on us that he couldn’t bear for us to leave.”
“Children are our future,” said one of the volunteers, Justin Keh, 27. “It’s good for us to cultivate a nature of care and love, so that the next generation can follow suit. For me, it feels good to be able to bless other people.”
The commitment of the members was commendable. One man, whose wife had just had a baby a few days before the visit to the children’s home, stayed the full day with the children as a games coordinator. Lau shared, “When I thanked him, he said he and his wife had been wanting to do this for months, and it was a pity she could not come on the visit.”
This project is just one of the subzone’s many group efforts. “We are committed to doing a community service every quarter. This is our second project, and we hope to keep going,” said Lau.