Her plans to celebrate her 87-year-old friend’s birthday over lunch at Jumbo Seafood restaurant appeared to fall into disarray when Facebook user Lee Foong Ming arrived at the Riverside Point outlet, only to find that lunch hours were over and the kitchen was closed.
Desperate, Lee told her elderly friend, whom she calls Madam F, to wait outside the restaurant while she rushed to source for an alternative.
To the pair’s surprise, Jumbo staff waved them back in and upon listening to her explanation, staff member Nicholas Soh offered to pay for the meal, explaining that Madam F reminded him of his great-grandmother, and he wished “to do something” for her.
Even after his offer to pick up the tab was gently refused, Soh was determined to make it a memorable occasion for Madam F. Going the extra mile, he rushed to purchase a birthday cake for Madam F, and the staff presented it to her and sang her a birthday song, leaving the elderly woman feeling like a “big person”, or VIP.
On hearing about Soh’s sincerity, Jumbo Seafood’s general manager Alfred Chia further insisted that the meal be on the house for Lee and Madam F, a gesture that Lee gratefully described as “incredible, heart-warming generosity”.
In her Facebook post, Lee praised the staff for going out of the way to plan the celebration, declaring that they had “no idea how much joy [they] brought to an old woman’s life”.
Malay volunteers celebrate Chinese New Year with lonely and needy elderly folks
The Chinese community are not the only ones who make it a point to spread joy, goodwill and blessings during Chinese New Year.
While most people could soak in the festivities with their loved ones, elderly folks who were lonely and needy over the festive season were on the minds of some 25 Malay volunteers.
Gathering in Woodlands on the first day of the Chinese New Year holiday, they organised a makan session for some residents, and distributed goodie bags to the doorsteps of 100 homes where the elderly Chinese were residing.
They were joined by a number of motorcyclists and van drivers from various hobbyist clubs, delivering packets of chicken rice and bee hoon to those who lived alone or could not leave the house because of mobility issues.
In addition to distributing food and goodies, volunteers also gathered on the Sunday before Chinese New Year to spring clean the homes of some elderly residents, neatening up living spaces and sprucing up windows and toilets.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Muhamad Faiz, co-chairman of the Woodlands’ Malay Activities Executive Committee, said: “Those living alone shouldn’t be left out during this joyous occasion. We’ll probably do it again next year.
“This is what we’ve talked about – the kampung spirit. When our Chinese friends are busy celebrating Chinese New Year, another group can come in to help and spread the cheer.”
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SCDF volunteer rushes to the aid of ITE student who fainted on bus
A regular bus ride took an unexpected turn for a group of passengers, when a fellow commuter collapsed suddenly while the bus was in transit.
Fortunately, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Auxiliary Unit volunteer William Lim was on the bus as well, and he promptly sprung into action. Acting fast, he helped ITE College student Amirul into an upright position and later carried him off the bus, with the bus captain’s help.
When Amirul seemed unresponsive, Lim called for an ambulance, which conveyed Amirul to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
Wanting to thank Lim for coming to his rescue, Amirul shared about the experience on STOMP upon his discharge. He said: “Nothing can ever repay him but a million thank yous is all I’m able to give.”
In a subsequent interview with STOMP, Lim said: “What encouraged me to serve with the SCDF was because of the passion. I always believe that we serve with pride and care.
“I don’t think I’m a hero, but I’m just doing my part… I’m just an ordinary person doing the right thing, at the right time.”
Singaporean volunteers rally to join search for missing Singaporeans in Johor
As the clock ticked on a pair of young Singaporeans who had gone missing in Johor’s expansive Gunung Pulai forest reserve, their chances of survival were dwindling.
Heeding the plea for volunteers put up on social media by the pair’s friends, more than a dozen Singaporeans travelled to Johor to join the Malaysian authorities in the search, despite not knowing the couple personally.
One such volunteer was Stanley Ler, 30, who didn’t hesitate to take leave from work and pack his bags to join the search party. Speaking to TODAY, he said: “I don’t know the two trekkers personally… but I decided that I could be an extra pair of eyes and ears that could listen out and watch for them in the forest.”
Despite the potential danger posed by the steep mountain and rocky terrain, the volunteers threw themselves wholeheartedly into the mission, joining the search that took place on foot and in the air.
Fortunately, there was a happy ending to the story as the pair, Clarice Lum Jie and Dominick Tan, was located and rescued within four days of going missing.
Reflecting on the experience, Ler said: “At the end of the day, I think all we wanted to see was their safe return. I guess it’s just Singaporeans looking out for one another.”
Residents who leave drinks and snacks to thank renovation workers receive grateful reply
While most of us might have a smile and a greeting ready for the construction workers we encounter, Facebook user Eileena Lee recently went one step further to show her gratitude and appreciation.
While her HDB flat was undergoing two weeks of upgrading works, Lee decided to leave cartons of packet drinks and apples in her home and along the common corridor for the workers, together with the message: “Thank you!!! Please help yourself to the drinks.”
Speaking to Mothership, Lee said that many other families in the neighbourhood did the same, in a bid to express their gratitude towards the hard-working contractors.
And while Lee simply hoped the workers would help themselves to the refreshments, she was surprised to discover an hour later that they had left a ‘Thank You’ reply on the same cardboard.
Lee mentioned that she “did not expect the response, but it was for sure a pleasant surprise”.