Saturday, 20 August 2016

A Food Donation Drive Experience


Baby and I participated in a food donation drive jointly organised by Yong-En Care Centre and the school's parent-volunteer group on Wednesday.

The food to be distributed to the needy elderly were a loaf of bread and a small bottle of kaya each.

Each parent-volunteer was invited to bring her child or children along so that the little ones could witness how the food was distributed to the needy.

We were given a list of names and unit numbers and we were urged to knock on the door instead of pressing the doorbell as most of the doorbells were not working, like mine!

Baby was a great help. I am terrible with numbers and forget them the moment I look away, but she remembered them like clockwork and pointed me to the units right away after I had read them off the list,"It's here/there!"

If not for her, I would have forgotten to give out the kaya because I was trying to remember what I needed to do, step by step ie. knock on the door, shout for the resident, say 'I am here to distribute the bread to so-and-so.", tick against the names that the bread was given out to, put a cross against those who were not home and write the unit number and the next day's date on the slip of paper given to us, and slip it under the door, so that they could collect the food at the Centre right below their block.

I had thought I had brought the little one along to give her a new experience, but the little helper proved to be an efficient assistant to me instead!

Out of twelve recipients, five were not home.

It was my first time doing something like this and I felt a little, just a little, apprehensive. Baby was super enthusiastic though. Reminds me of the Chinese proverb '初生之犊不畏虎', rudimentarily translated as 'the new-born calves are not afraid of the tiger'.

Much to my relief, most of the recipients received the bread and kaya with thanks and said goodbye to us. Others smiled and took the food in and closed the door.

We peeked into some of their flats and quickly realised that those were 2-room rental flats. Some were neat and tidy while others were a little messy, and one occupied by two male elderly had the 'men's smell', obviously in quite a neglected state.

After giving out the bread and returning to the Centre, I realised I was one of the firsts to have returned. That was when I found out that we were supposed to make small talks with the residents! The only comfort was the lady-in-charge assured me that it was only if I was comfortable to do so.

I also found out more about Yong-En Care Centre after a cosy talk with the lady. She shared that the Centre is run by only a few staff who oversee and help out with other activities as well, such as help rendered to young single mothers, families with children who need tuition and elderly with senile dementia. It takes a lot of compassion and grit to work in a place like this. God bless these caring individuals who work tirelessly for the love for the needy!

After waiting around for another 45 minutes when most other parent volunteers had returned, I decided to make a move first to shop for Baby's classmate's birthday present.

When Baby and I got home, we felt incredibly tired, but Baby enjoyed the activity very much and thought the act of giving out of the bread was fun.  

I fell asleep at 9.30pm and woke up at 4am the next day!

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