Since the 40-Week Friday All-night prayer meetings began on Sep. 7, 2012, City Harvest Church has brought part of the offerings from the meetings to bless local charities. City News looks back at a number of them.
By Dawn Seow
The only nursing home for dementia patients, the Apex Harmony Lodge has seven residential wards with individual units, housing over 200 patients, and a day-care center that serves 20. Dementia patients have difficulty performing certain tasks and recalling information, hence staff and volunteers at the Lodge help stimulate the residents’ brains through simple activities like card games. The challenge the Lodge faces is in raising funds to pay for its daily operations. CHC donated S$10,000 to Apex Harmony Lodge, which goes towards meeting this need. Tan Ye Peng, deputy senior pastor of CHC who led the team on the visit said, “It was a privilege for us to witness how others are serving the community, and beyond that, it is good to support the work Apex Harmony Lodge is doing.”
Managed by the Children’s Aid Society, Melrose Home houses 65 children and teenagers whose parents or family members are unable to look after them. The home provides residence and also ensures the children attend school. The challenge Melrose Home faces is in finding volunteers who can commit to giving tuition to the children for a period of at least six months, so that the children can enjoy a consistent learning environment. Another challenge is the cost of running the center. While the government gives support, the home still depends largely on the donations from the public to sustain their operation. The S$10,000 donated by CHC went towards funding the operations of Melrose Home.
Pertapis Children’s Home houses underprivileged children from dysfunctional families, who are in need of care and protection. Apart from residential care, the children are given a supportive environment that allows them to develop healthily, both in their body and mind. Like many not-for-profit homes in Singapore, the home only receives a government subsidy for the school fees of each child. Pertapis’ challenge is to raise funds to pay for its daily operations and staff salaries. CHC’s team brought a donation of S$8,000. Tan said that besides giving a donation, it is also important to bring a personal touch: “It is always good to visit the homes and to see the works that they are doing; and also to let them put a face to the organization that’s making the donation.”
This halfway house meets the needs of ex-offenders and ex-drug addicts, providing rehabilitation programs, vocational training, and assistance with job placement. It also helps its residents to rebuild their lives, reconcile with their families and return to the society as useful citizens. Besides ex-offenders, The New Charis Mission also reaches out to the elderly and mentors youth-at-risk. “Our team visits a group of elderly people every Wednesday, bringing them food and necessities,” said Don Wong, executive director of TNCM. CHC donated S$13,000 to TNCM, which Wong said would go toward training ex-offenders and benefiting the community.
The Centre For Adults set up by Association for People with Special Needs is a place where people with mild intellectual disabilities develop skills for employment and get job placement. Besides providing skill-based vocational training, the center also trains its students in functional life skills. Different community-based activities, courses and overnight camps are organized to give clients a chance to live independent lives. CHC donated S$10,000 to the Center For Adults in support of its continual efforts to help people with special needs find their talent and worth in society.
St Luke’s ElderCare aims to help seniors age gracefully at home through integrated community care provided at its 11 centers across Singapore. At the day care centers, clients enjoy a full-day program that includes games, group exercises, and karaoke sessions, as well as physiotherapy in its Active Rehab program. The ElderCare centers also provide wellness programs to promote healthy living among the elderly. The CHC team visited the Hougang center bringing a gift of S$10,000. While the center collects a fee for its services, many needy clients are heavily subsidized and the centers run into deficit every year. The funds needed to improve the centers’ facilities and to conduct outreach programs are also dependent on donations from the public. The amount donated by CHC will go towards funding the operating costs of St Luke’s ElderCare centers.
The Handicap Welfare Association was founded in 1962 with the aim of helping people with physical disabilities lead an independent life. Clients are offered rehabilitation, skills training and job placement. The two major services offered by HWA are transport and rehabilitation services. It costs HWA S$60,000 a year to operate the vehicles they ferry their clients in. While the service is chargeable, the amount is heavily subsidized and barely covers operating costs. HWA is constantly looking for individuals or corporate organizations to adopt a van. CHC donated S$10,000 to HWA.
Offerings collected from the all-night prayer meetings also went to supporting educational and charity organizations affiliated to CHC, as well as members of the church who require financial aid.
• CityCare: S$8,000
• City Harvest Community Services Association
– House Of JOY: S$14,000
– People Of Destiny: S$4,000
– CHCSA Family Service: S$7,000
• City College: S$6,000
• City Harvest Children’s Church: S$6,000
• City Harvest Dialect Church: S$6,000