Heartfelt Giving

Recently, the Red Cross Home for the Disabled (RCHD) received a generous $50,000 donation from its long-time volunteer, Ms Michelle Neo. Our fundraising manager, Ms Selene Ong speaks with her.

Why did you decide to support RCHD?
I am lucky enough to be born healthy. As I grew up, I did not suffer any serious illness or ailment. The residents are less fortunate than I am; they did nothing to be this way. My heart just aches each time I visit them.

How did you find out about RCHD?
I am a lawyer by training. To spend more time with my daughter who was one then (now 16), I taught at Temasek Polytechnic - Diploma in Law & Management. A faculty of 16 lawyers, we were looking for a charity to support. I googled and found RCHD. I have always believed in the great work of the Red Cross, so selecting RCHD was a natural decision.

My colleagues and I had such an insightful visit at Elizabeth Drive. It was life-changing for me. I brought my four year-old daughter and husband on the next visit, and the rest was history.

Share with us your volunteering experience at RCHD?
The residents taught me so much by just being who they are. Pauline, Bee Lian and Agnes – they are never never unhappy. Pauline giggles and when she does, I too laugh with her. Bee Lian – I can imagine that if she were mobile, she would be the sort to take on extreme sports! She has such energy, all the time. Agnes is wonderful – she loves Korean drama, food, definitely sambal chilli and KFC. If she could, I believe Agnes would be a foodie who travels the world. All three love ice cream!

If they who have so little could be so happy, why should anyone of us have any reason to be unhappy? I encourage Bee Lian to call me to remind me to visit them! And Bee Lian does that. Each time she has someone sms me, I will smile as I read her message.

How would you encourage others to donate generously to SRC?

I once heard someone say this “do it with a happy heart”. Charity must come from the heart. It should make us happy to give; if not, don’t do it.

To be honest, I visit RCHD for a selfish reason – seeing Pauline, Bee Lian and Agnes makes ME happy.

SRC is doing an excellent job with RCHD. In all my visits, the residents are kept clean and safe. The workers are patient and gentle. The most commendable point about RCHD is this RCHD welcomes anyone with the heart. A visitor can come with a bag of fruits and he is welcome.

I visit RCHD every two months or so, with husband and daughter. We all make time. It’s a great thing – everyone is happier after we meet.

Story by Selene Ong, Fund Raising
Photo by Michelle Neo