This year, Servathon, CityCare’s annual service marathon was all about adding colour to life through our impact on others.
The theme of Servathon 2015, which happened on Dec 11, was “Colours Of Life”. Every person lives his or her unique life like discrete points of lights. But when there is interaction, when our lives connect, there is an explosion of colours, and we encounter a spectrum of emotions and experiences.
The positive impact one has on the lives of others lay at the core of the service marathon, which ran for 12 hours. Servathon 2015 was jointly planned and run by 95 volunteers from CityCare and students from Caretalyst Clubs of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Institute of Management, Singapore Management University and National University of Singapore.
CityCare is a social enterprise that promotes volunteerism in Singapore. Servathon is its flagship event, and this year’s edition encouraged volunteers to add vibrancy to the lives of beneficiaries and in turn, obtain new perspectives towards these communities. Starting from two different places—one at Gan Eng Seng School and another at New Charis Mission—the volunteers were split into two routes: each had to complete three different projects which targeted different groups of beneficiaries: people with disabilities, youths-at-risk, the elderly and children with chronic illnesses. These were Project Sparked (conducted twice), a sports clinic teaching youths-at-risk frisbee and tchoukball; Project Voila! which brought terminally-ill children a magic show by professional magicians plus Christmas crafts; Project Artidgo, a Christmas crafting session with people with disabilities; and Project Blue Skies, which catered to elderly folk suffering from dementia. Both routes converged at the Finale at Barclay’s training room at 7pm.
“It was the first time I had interacted with a blind person. Naturally, you feel that people with disabilities need more assistance, but he proved me wrong—they can be independent.
I found out that he has a stable job and
he can use the iPhone!”
~ Shao Tan, NTU student
Shao Tan, 21, a team leader from NTU, said, “It was the first time I had interacted with a blind person. Naturally, you feel that people with disabilities need more assistance, but he proved me wrong—they can be independent. I found out that he has a stable job and he can use the iPhone! Leaning on technology, people with disabilities can actually perform just like any other person.”
One outstanding session was Project Illuminate, a small games carnival and performance planned for the beneficiaries from the Disabled People’s Association (DPA). The beneficiaries completed all the carnival games and even put up performances for the volunteers! It was a very heart-warming sight as both volunteers and beneficiaries sung and clapped along to support one another during the performances.
Upon the completion of a project, a bottle of coloured sand was given to each volunteer. This symbolized a new experience gained, a life touched. At the Servathon Finale, volunteers were given an empty glass bottle and they were instructed to fill it with the coloured sand. As there were seven different projects each participant collected seven colors of sand through the day. Participants interacted with volunteers from the other route to exchange the colours that they did not receive on their route. Each color of sand represented an experience shared.
Servathon volunteer Junity Tay, 23, a primary school teacher, found the event “a reflective process for me. The experience taught me that interacting with them was not tough. All I needed was the courage to take the first step to get to know them.”
It was an intense 12 hours of service for the volunteers, but the lives they touched and the friendships they made did not end with the event. Already, many are looking forward to serve and learn again at Servathon 2016.
“I was naked and you clothed me,” Jesus said in Matthew 25:26. This Christmas season, City Harvest Church members did just that. A churchwide drive called Threads of Love called for good-condition clothing for men, women and children, as well as toys, which would be delivered to people in disaster-stricken cities that CHC has supported in recent years. Threads of Love is a follow-up to the support the church has rendered to the people of the Philippines (following Typhoon Haiyan), India and Myanmar—this time to clothe the needy as temperatures dip at this time of year. CHC members donated nearly 2000kg of clothing and toys: 1000kg has made its way to the Philippines, and another 100kg to Myanmar.