Volunteers from City Harvest Chinese Church bring the joy of companionship to the elderly at Fei Yue.
Contributed By Dawn Seow
Sixty-five volunteers from City Harvest Chinese Church spent two days celebrating Parents’ Day with the elderly folk in Fei Yue’s Seniors Activity Centres.
“These elderly folks are mostly from low income families and many of them have been abandoned by their children,” explained Lau Lee Pai, a social worker from the center. “The party organized by the volunteers brought warmth to them.”
The CHCC members organized the parties with the aim of bringing some fun into the lives of the elderly, and at the same time, to appreciate them as parents. Even if their own children did not do so, the CHCC team wanted to show these senior citizens that their efforts as parents were not insignificant.
The first party at Fei Yue Seniors Activity Centre on June 16 reached out to 45 elderly folk, while the second event, held at Fei Yue Teck Whye Seniors Activity Center on June 21, brought enjoyment to 38 residents.
Lau also told City News that some elderly live far from the center, but thanks to the volunteers who took the trouble to pick them up from their homes, these individuals did not miss out on a meaningful event.
“It takes me 15 minutes to walk to their homes, so it may take even longer for the elderly to walk to the center. The volunteers not only went to their house to pick them up for the celebration, they also sent them home after the event,” added Lau.
Sun Xiao Yun and Chen Ya Zhi, who hosted the event, led the residents in some simple games to warm the crowd up. The elderly participated enthusiastically during the sing-a-long sessions and was very responsive during the sharing session.
The highlight of the party was a magic show performed by one of the volunteers, Ian Lim. The 15-minute show drew much laughter and gasps as the elderly watched every act in amazement. They were disappointed when the show ended—many exclaimed, “No more?” in Mandarin after Lim’s last act was over.
Following the entertainment, the elderly folk were treated to some light refreshment and each one brought home a goody bag prepared by the volunteers.
Leong Yan Chee, a pastor of CHCC, said that the elderly were deeply touched by the effort the volunteers made.
“They kept saying thank you and shaking our hands after the event,” he said. “They were very happy and wanted us to come back again.”
While much effort was put into the organization of the party, that was not the secret to the success of these events. Leong noted, “Winning [the elderly’s] trust and showing genuine care and love is the real challenge as many organizations and corporations have held events for them. I am very proud of the Chinese Church volunteers who really demonstrated love to these elderly, and they felt it.”