STAR and Patient Care Services pay tribute to the everyday heroes who MADE a difference in the lives of their beneficiaries.
It was perhaps the only invitation they had ever received that had “slippers” for the dress code, but for the 50-odd guests who turned up, it was all in the name of fun.
They were attending an appreciation gathering held on Mar. 9 at the Singapore Management University in their honor, as volunteers serving under STAR and Patient Care Services, service arms under City Harvest Community Service Association (CHCSA).
“A big thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart; I could never thank you enough for all the sacrifices you have made to serve”, said Jeremy Choy, a CHCSA board member.
The slippers dresscode was in reference to the theme of the day, “You never walk alone.” Recounting a recent news story about Choi Dae Ho, a Korean taekwondo coach in Singapore who saw an elderly, barefoot woman on the bus and took off his own slippers and put it on her feet, one of the organizers, Cheryl Sim, said, “I was touched that such a simple act of service could warm someone’s heart so much. You all did more than just random kindness. We will never walk alone because we have you guys.”
STAR is a family service provider under CHCSA that provides comprehensive care to about 110 low-families in the form of financial aid and socio-emotional counseling.
Under the PCS, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care patients receive socio-emotional support. MS Care is the only organization in Singapore currently serving about 80 MS patients, fewer than half of whom are able to work full-time.
Also under PCS, FIRST Hand reaches out to HIV/Aids patients through home and ward visitations as well as free grocery delivery for needy patients. Volunteers go through five sessions of compulsory training with Tan Tock Seng Hospital to provide palliative emotional support to clients.
“Passion is all that drives me to volunteer week in and week out,” said teacher Mirian Boh, 40. Both she and her husband, businessman Anthony Yap, also 40, provide basic necessities to families under STAR. “Providing food is a way we can meet their needs and from there we can help them walk out and live a victorious life,” said Yap.
Sometimes, it’s just about spending time lending a listening ear. “Just listening to my clients talk about their daily routine whenever I visit them at the hospital helps a lot”, said another volunteer, consultant Emily Chin, 40.
Quoting American author Edward Everett Hale, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do,” Sim encouraged everyone at the gathering to continue doing their good works.