Red Cross Memories: Stefan Smola

I have been actively volunteering at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled on a regular basis for over 13 years. Initially it was my wife - Jutta, who visited the home from 2000. I was too shy and did not know how to deal with people with special needs but I was too curious when my wife told me about her great experiences and I saw the big smiles of some residents. Jutta also roped in our daughter- Anna, who is living and working here. I remember at that time, the Home was located at the old premises at Elizabeth Drive. We also followed the residents when the Home was shifted to Family Link @ Lengkok Bahru.

Each visit to the Home is an opportunity for me to bond with the residents. Our whole family has become close friends with them. The motivating factor that keeps us coming back is the squeals of delight from the residents each time we visit. When the opportunity came for us to join Agnes Chan, a resident of our Home, at the President’s Star Charity 2013, my wife and I felt honoured that we could help Agnes to present the RCHD and its residents. And everyone confirmed that she did an excellent job.

The interaction with the residents of the Red Cross Home for the Disabled shows what selflessness, love and kindness can achieve – real friendship with wonderful people, who are honest and modest. The better we integrate them in our daily lives, the more mature I regard our society.

A society is only as good as it treats its most disadvantaged members. Believe it or not, every hour volunteering at the Home leaves a positive impact on the minds of the residents. But they give the volunteers at least as much as we give them. They will really teach you a lot!

I hope that more people will come forth to volunteer at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled. Not only will volunteers bring on the smiles on the faces of the residents, but they will find their own lives being enriched by the experience of interacting with the residents. I am happy to introduce everyone with a good heart to my friends. We still need a lot more volunteers than we have now. Don't be shy, come and visit us. It is great fun and they will love you!