City Harvest Community Services Association held a Silver Charity Dinner to raise funds for the House Of JOY.
Contributed By Joshua Chang
City Harvest Community Services Association held their Silver Charity Dinner on Aug. 19 at the Raffles Town Club ballroom. The event was targeted to raise funds for their new elder care center, the House Of JOY. Guest of Honor for the night was Gerard Ee, chairman of the Council for Third Age, an independent organization that hopes to promote active ageing among seniors.
The night was alive with celebration and flavor, showcasing the talents of the elderly. The first of these was a performance by the Silver Beats, a group comprising youth and senior citizens, using pots, pans and barrels to create a unique musical sound. Every guest that night received a unique, hand-made quilted fabric poster sewn by the beneficiaries. Highlight of the night was a short drama depicting the real life story of one of the seniors who had received help from CHCSA.
The essence of the evening was a prevailing sense of generosity, love and respect that the donors had for the beneficiaries, as they turned up to support the House Of JOY. Samuel Lan, 31, a financial services manager, related his personal reasons for supporting this cause, “A place like the House Of JOY is great for the elderly to gather and form a community to spend their time.”
“Supporting the House Of JOY is a worthwhile cause because we are helping them to gain self esteem. The place is also strategically located and is definitely a good place to reach out to the elderly living in the area,” said secondary school teacher Tan Kok Siang, 35.
This same sense of generosity and love was also prevalent among the volunteers. “Volunteering has definitely brought me satisfaction. I can learn a lot of things from the elderly and I feel happy when I see their progress. When they first came, some of them were very shy, but now they are more open and joyful,” said Rosereen Tiang, 47, a sales coordinator.
The House Of JOY is the culmination of many years of hard work put in by the staff and volunteers in improving the lives of the elderly folk. As an expansion of their Community Outreach Program to the Elderly—or COPE—their objective is to bring hope and joy to the elderly and a sense of confidence for the future.
The center conducts programs such as language and computer courses so as to help the seniors connect better with younger generations. There are also sessions for the elderly to have open discussions with each other about various issues in life such as depression and self-esteem. The House Of JOY takes the elder care center concept to a higher level by actively encouraging volunteerism among the senior citizens; changing the common mindset that being elderly means being a liability to society. Those who have benefitted from the programs take the initiative to welcome and lead newcomers in activities.
Looking ahead, the center hopes to involve the seniors in charity projects, such as selling handicrafts to support other causes and to work with youth.