This is the first Senior citizen cum volunteer appreciation organized by All Saints Home that I’ve attended and to me, it was amazingly impressive!
We arrived earlier than usual, at around 12.30 pm. The home was decorated so nicely that once you just entered the familiar greyish gate, you could tell there was going to be a small carnival brightening up the place. That simply made us so excited even before the event began.
We gathered in our volunteer room and prepared many lovely and colourful gift packages with ovaltine, biscuits, etc for our beloved old folks on this special occasion. Surprisingly, we found out that these stuffs actually came from some warm-hearted individuals who really care about the welfare of our uncles and aunties.
At 1 o’clock, the hall was already adorned with a lot of bright-colour flowers and balloons. We saw many old forks wearing little red and yellow scarves already sat nicely in rows arranged by the home nurses. Many of them dressed up prettily and handsomely, they all looked very happy with smiley faces. Even their wheelchairs were also decorated eye-catchingly with colour paper and ornaments. Every time we welcomed a pretty auntie/handsome uncle into the hall, our nurses and volunteers would blow their whistles so loud that I just wanted to cover my ears with my palms but instead I decided to clap to join the FUN! Our old folks looked like some famous and attractive artists whose appearances were extremely important in all the festive events. And guess what? They will be performing to us many items later. I still remember last year when I performed a Chinese dance item during the Moon-cake festival to the elderly, this time, I no longer felt nervous as I would be the audience watching our old folks’ performance. The experience was really new and different.
Speech by Board of Director
The performances were really enjoyable and worth-watching. Either items performed by the old-folks themselves or a combination between the old folks and the nurses, either they danced or sang, all were so fun and lovely that made us, volunteers, smile, laugh, scream and even shake our bodies along with the cheerful music. The festive atmosphere was everywhere that it made every single person who was sitting in the hall feel involved and that they have a part to play! Despite the fact that our old folks are not very mobile, when they were on stage, they looked so confident and professional, no trembling, absolutely natural, it was like they had been practicing their items for the past few weeks. With the help of the nurses and ASH staffs, the elderly really put in a lot of efforts in perfecting their own performances and making the whole event a success. There was not just English and Chinese music, we did hear Indian dance music, the first time in ASH I believed. The “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin” song, the L.I.M.B.O ROCK dance, the New York, New York dance in which the auntie looked like “a runaway bride” and many performances were really memorable to all those who attended.
Volunteer appreciation for schools, organizations and our regular volunteers who have contributed to ASH!!!
And then we had prize presentations for our very own old folks^^
After the main event ended, we had a mini food and game carnival for our old folks, this reminded me of the ESN carnival last week which was really interesting and enjoying! This time, besides choosing their own free food provided by different stalls, each old folk was given special $5 coupon to buy food from Kopitiam and/or play games. As many other old folks, my auntie really enjoyed her food, she kept saying “Good! Good!” while eating half-boiled egg and drinking coffee. Though the food hall was a bit small and squeezy causing trouble for us to move the wheelchairs, everyone was really tolerant and nobody complained from the beginning till the end of the makan session.
Our lovely volunteer group photo!
7 ESN babies wearing the “add life to years” T-shirt designed by Wei Zhong, haha, what a FUNNY coincidence!!! =))
I had a nice talk with Anitha after the whole event; it was pretty surprising that she needed to rush somewhere to teach the children Bible right after our ASH event. She said that God gave her time and it was her turn to give time to the elderly and spread the love for God. We both agree that volunteering really helps us to relieve our stress and makes us feel good. The old folks are more or less like the kids who always want to be cared and loved. Every time we feed them food, they always ask us to enjoy the food as well. They like to play fishing games and ball games; they enjoy and sing along the songs that we sing no matter how terrible our voices can be. And yes, absolutely, being an elderly is sometimes having a second childhood, the lovely and memorable time that we all wanted to come back to.
Time is flying so fast, it has been more than one year since the first day I came to All Saints Home. I still remember one year ago, on the 5th July 2008 when I just stepped in this place, everything was so new to me, the home, the old folks, the other volunteers as that was the first time in my life I had been to a nursing home. Now, things have not changed, just that my feeling is different, if you think language barrier is a big issue then believe me, just a smile on your face may brighten up someone else’s day. Things have become so familiar that I am sure that I can remember almost every single face I’ve met in ASH, not just the old folks, the volunteers but also ASH staffs.
To all not-so-new (old) ASH volunteers: keep up the spirit as we will have many more coming years to volunteer our services and better our elderly’ lives.
To all new ASH volunteers: welcome to ASH, you would love this place and don’t worry, you will become old (I mean experienced) volunteers one day!
Really enjoyed the nice dinner!!! HAHA, we don’t call this a group of volunteers but rather a FAMILY! (: