(From Left to Right: Treasurer Mr Peter Ng (King George’s Avenue SAC), General Secretary Ms Mary Liew, Young SMOU Chairman Mr Dominic Yong, Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC, Member of Parliament of Jalan Besar GRC and Senior Minister of State Mr Heng Chee How, Assistant Treasurer Mr Tan Geh Ting, Chairman Mr Ronnie Ma (Kampong Glam CCC), Emeritus General Secretary Mr Thomas Tay)
SMOU lived out its 5th Act of Caring and Sharing, by reaching out to close to 160 senior residents living in the community of Jalan Besar. On 10 September 2021, Mr Heng Chee How, Deputy Secretary-General of NTUC, Member of Parliament of Jalan Besar GRC and Senior Minister of State joined the officials from SMOU, Kampong Glam CCC and King George’s Avenue Seniors Activity Centre (SAC), as well as YSMOU volunteers in the distribution.
Conducting the outreach in a safe manner, the officials and volunteers split into small teams to deliver the bento lunch sets and care bags containing daily necessities, to the doorsteps of the senior residents.
When the officials visited a handicraft enthusiast Mdm Lim, she took the chance to show some of her handiwork of flowers to them. “Thank you SMOU for thinking of the seniors in this community. I was happy to have also received a lunch pack today. This takes care of my meal before I go out to work in the afternoon.”
Mdm Chandiramani who has been staying in the community since 2011, was very grateful for the personal visit saying, “I wish to thank SMOU and the community of Jalan Besar for taking care of the senior residents. I am very happy to receive the care bag and meal pack today.”
Besides providing the care bags and lunch bento, SMOU has also donated some table shields, infrared thermometers and disinfectant cleaning products to King George’s Avenue SAC. With these in place, the seniors who regularly visit the centre to participate in activities or to read newspapers can continue to do so in a safer environment.
More than just the union’s commitment for its 70th Anniversary to carry out its fifth out of seven acts, this event is an outreach effort that SMOU has been engaging in since 2004.
Mr Heng noted that, “It’s a very meaningful event, delivering the bento sets and care bags to our seniors. I also want to emphasise that this is not a one-time act. In fact, I know that the relationship between SMOU and the community at the Jalan Besar area has actually been on since they moved into this area in 2003. As COVID-19 struck the world last year, the normal way of living and interacting has been turned upside down. It is true that the ways in which people who need help or are receiving help have been disrupted. At the same time, people who need help such as the elderly, probably need more help in this situation because they are more vulnerable. So it is precisely because of this that efforts such as this by SMOU is particularly meaningful.”
Being a first-time volunteer at SMOU community outreach has brought a sense of ‘kampong’ spirit to 4th Engineer Nora Faradilla. “I must say that the experience gave me a good feeling. Through the distribution, I got to see how closely knit and friendly the community here is, which warms my heart.”
“COVID-19 affected many people’s lives. Old people are affected as they are more prone to the virus due to their lower immunity system. Because of that, their daily activities such as going to the market are affected. This is one of the ways that we can encourage and motivate them; by giving them something different from their regular home-cooked food and handing out the care bag.” 3rd Officer Navendran Rajandran, YSMOU Volunteer