It’s not often that we meet a kind stranger who changes our lives forever.
But that’s what happened to an elderly amputee named Din. Din was the passenger of private hire vehicle (PHV) driver, Melvin Poh, in the wee hours of May 29.
In a Facebook post published earlier today, Melvin wrote about meeting Din for the first time: “When I arrived [at United Square at 3:20am], what I saw broke my heart.”
The heartbreaking sight?
“An old man in security uniform, walking slowly to my car with the aid of a walking stick,” Melvin wrote. Additionally, he realised: “He had his fingers amputated on the other hand.”
As they chatted en route to Din’s destination, Melvin realised Din’s life had not been easy.
“I learnt that he has suffered two strokes, eight major falls and has been jobless for eight years, before being certified by his doctor to be able to perform light duties,” Melvin wrote. “After many job interviews, he landed a job as a security guard.”
Melvin went on to elaborate that Din was unemployed for eight years only because he had been certified permanently disabled. However, the spritely elderly man refused to give up, and kept trying to get back into the workforce.
After losing the use of his right hand, Din taught himself how to write with his left. From there, he also built his strength to walk again.
Now gainfully employed as a night guard, Din earns $65 per shift. However, Melvin wrote, “He told me that he wasn’t allowed to claim transport home, even though he finishes work at 3am.”
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As most of us know, Singapore’s public transport doesn’t run at 3am. The only option is to walk, or take a taxi or PHV home.
Melvin continued: “Therefore, Din relies on GoJek and Grab every day. He spends up to $30 every day on transport. That means half his salary goes to transport.”
Upon hearing this, Melvin knew he had to take action.
Even though this was his first time meeting Din, and he had other commitments, Melvin offered to pick Din up at United Square and to drive him home to Rivervale Crescent – a 25-minute drive – every day.
In his post, Melvin wrote: “I offered to pick him from work every day for just $10. I’m hoping that by doing so, I can help him reduce his transport expenses so that he can have at least $200-300 more for himself every month.”
However, he noted in his post that he was unable to commit on certain days due to other work commitments.
“Therefore,” Melvin wrote, “I am seeking drivers who wish to help Din out with me. A little kindness goes a long way, my friends.”
His heartwarming post has since been shared over 2,000 times, and received dozens of comments.
One Facebook user, Rosanna Lim, wrote: “Bless you for your warm heart and kindness, Melvin Poh! I don’t drive, but will be happy to help in other ways, like buying him a meal.”
Another Facebooker, Dian Suhaimi, commented: “God bless you, bro. Will share this. Hopefully someone else will join to help.”
In a later update posted on May 29 at 8:45am, Melvin wrote that since making his original Facebook post, he has started to receive donations from many kind souls.
However, he shared that he was not looking for any donations and suggested that anyone with a little bit of free time could offer to shuttle Uncle Din for $10, instead of donating money.
Melvin said that he has since received a total of $180 in donations from kind members of the public. He wrote: “I have informed Uncle Din of the donations and will be passing him the money tonight,” he wrote. “Once again, thank you so much to the kind souls who have donated.”