By Sondra Foo, Corporate Communications and Marketing
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist, author and speaker
They were teammates on a leadership programme. And they came together to raise some $55,000 to support residents of Red Cross Home for the Disabled (RCHD).
Through their interactions with caregivers at RCHD, the team (they call themselves LP145) realised that diapers were a huge expense for the Home, and some help would be very useful. The idea to raise money for diapers was conceived and they quickly roped in the rest of their teammates.
“The residents of the Home receive food supplies periodically from sponsors. The next most expensive item of care are their diapers,” said Ms Chee Li Shan, who rallied her teammates to fundraise.
This fundraising feat was nothing short of a miracle. Li Shan was pleasantly surprised that the team could raise such a substantial sum through simple means like emails, calls or even a simple text.
“It affirmed my belief that there are indeed people out there who really want to touch the lives of the less privileged. Our team had a common vision of what we wanted to achieve and that was what kept us going, especially when we were "rejected". Personally, I had quite a few tough rejections and it was a good learning point for me. It was an honour for me to lead a very motivated team who deserve all the credit. I am glad I persevered." shared Li Shan.
A few of the team members were introduced to the RCHD in November 2016 by Ong Wee Yeap, a regular volunteer of Red Cross.
The team members felt for the residents who suffer from multiple disabilities, and had wanted to contribute in whatever way they could. They started by visiting the residents on a weekly and fortnightly basis. They engaged and bonded with the residents through feeding and simple activities such as colouring.
The team went the extra mile on 13 January, bringing 14 beneficiaries on an excursion to Gardens by the Bay.
“We organised the excursion because we wanted the residents to be happy and to feel loved. It was heartwarming to see the residents happy and excited when they went out.
We also roped in volunteers to help out at the event. A lot of people have big hearts but may not know how to contribute. Our volunteers took time off to bring the residents out and some were keen to find out what more they could do. More often than not, when we reach out to people, they are more than willing to help,” explained Li Shan.
Never underestimate the power of an individual or a small team. You too, can reach out to your network and inspire the people around you to contribute to a cause that you believe in.
Alvin Ee, 30, a Senior Staff Nurse and Chan Kah Mun, 30, an Occupational Health Nurse share their “Red Cross” marriage proposal. Alvin is a Senior Associate Instructor of Singapore Red Cross Academy (SRCA) and Assistant Director of Red Cross Youth whilst Kah Mun is a SRC Member, Volunteer First Aider on Wheels and Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) Instructor with SRCA.
How did you meet each other?
My first contact with her was on Nurses Day (1 August 2012). I handed a case over to her while I was working at Singapore General Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department. We met again at a group “Makan” outing in March 2013 and that was when I wanted to get to know her.
How long have you been together?
Three months after dating, I asked her to be my girlfriend on 24 November 2013 at Changi Airport. She agreed only after midnight, on 25 November 2013.
Three years on, a wedding advertisement in the newspapers inspired me to propose to her. I proposed to her on 30 May 2016 at Escape Room with the help of my best friend, Ambrose and Red Cross Youth friends like Elijah, Bertha, Tracy, Zhi Hong and Shie Jiun. It was a successful proposal that made Kah Mun cry and speechless for a few seconds. We got married on 2 October 2016.
Describe your spouse in three words.
Alvin: Smart, attractive and loves me unconditionally.
Kah Mun: Intelligent, patient and capable.
What was the most memorable moment when you were dating?
Alvin: It was when she celebrated my birthday at RWS Ocean Restaurant.
Kah Mun: It was the Valentine’s Day in 2016 when we had a romantic dinner in a hotel which commanded a magnificent city view. It was the last time we celebrated Valentine’s Day as singles, before we changed our marital status.
How are both of you involved in the Singapore Red Cross (SRC)?
Alvin: Back in 2013, my wife had to fulfill community work hours as part of her university’s requirements. I encouraged her to volunteer with SRC. She signed up as a member and joined as a volunteer with the First Aider on Wheels (FAOW).
We volunteered together in FAOW programme on a Sunday in 2013. As I was the team leader that day, I gave her an orientation. However, we often could not volunteer for first aid duty together as we had shift work and studies. We just did it in our own time.
In May 2016, Kah Mun took up the challenge to be SRCA’s BCLS instructor after I shared with her my experience. Her nursing background and her passion for people in life support will definitely benefit society.
By volunteering together as a couple, we learn so much more about each other than we ever learnt in the comfort of our own home. It is a life-changing experience. The most important is that we chose to volunteer in areas where we are both interested in and where we can contribute our skills
What would you like to do this Valentine's Day?
Both: We may either go on a short trip or have dinner in a cable car, which we have not tried before.