Another Week Beyond – 2132

Dear friends,

“Our Singapore Spirit” is the theme for this year’s National Day Parade and on its official website, visitors are invited to say what the Singapore Spirit means to them.  As of 28 July 2021, the top 2 traits articulated are “hard-working” and “caring.” We can’t disagree as our work is significantly sustained by the caring people who donate their time and resources.  Just this Monday, someone brought in 2 bags full of chocolate beverage mix for our members. He told me that they happened to be on sale at the supermarket and so he thought of us and another charity.

We are always grateful for gifts with no strings attached and perhaps even more so when we are   invited to give. A group of volunteers from “Homeless Hearts of Singapore,” told us that they wanted to provide something special for 40 rough sleepers this National Day and they accepted our proposal to provide shortbread with cranberries. So, just in time for these volunteers to distribute them this National Day weekend, we delivered the shortbread this morning along with a bag of toiletries and essentials such as disposable masks.

As our women were baking the shortbread, they thought that it would be nice to provide the rough sleepers a little more. Initially they wanted to add a reusable mask but figured that washing it properly would be a challenge and so they asked if we could secure some disposable ones. This request was easily solved as Heng Mong Hin, the sundry store that recently closed (AWB – 2127), had left us their remaining stock.

Our women then asked if we could secure toiletries and washing detergent and Soap Cycling Singapore, responded generously. As we needed to rebottle the detergent, we visited a shop dealing in water dispensers who enquired why we needed so many bottles. Upon learning of the endeavour, the cashier packed them nicely and then told us it was free-of-charge.

The National Day Parade which aims to unite Singaporeans from different backgrounds and cultures together is unfortunately postponed because of the current COVID-19 safety precautions.    However, we take much comfort that as long as we work hard at caring for each other, and especially for the least among us, we are united.

Happy 56th National Day.

Gerard

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2413

Yesterday, I had a discussion with some colleagues about how we may get residents in the neighbourhoods we engage to present themselves “better” to volunteers especially those from corporations who provide funds and other resources. This discussion was triggered by feedback that these residents do not brief the volunteers well enough on their tasks or explain to them how their time and efforts add value to their neighbourhood. The goodwill from corporations is important for the sustainability of our work and obviously, we want to create a positive experience for these corporate volunteers lest we lose their support. However, this

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2410

Children roaming the neighbourhood on their own was a concern identified by 2 Community Fellows in October last year. They had observed that some children were unkempt and still in their school uniform at a time when most children would have had their dinner and preparing for bed. These fellows were worried for the children, and they found themselves questioning if their parents cared. They also looked for programmes in the community which they could refer the children to and thought that if there were none suitable, they would create one. During the school holidays last year, they reached out

Read More »

Another Week Beyond – 2409

Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to acknowledge our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner, and creator of this place.  – Peter Block Yesterday, lunch for 22 neighbours was prepared by our members of our community, at our premises with the harvest from our very own vegetable garden. While it was not quite a harvest festival celebration, it was nonetheless a joyous occasion. We were commemorating the end of an 8-session programme-cum-pilot study to explore the positive effects of urban farming on the physical and mental well-being of those aged 50 and

Read More »

PAST AWB POSTS

Another Week Beyond – 2413

Yesterday, I had a discussion with some colleagues about how we may get residents in the neighbourhoods we engage to present themselves “better” to volunteers especially those from corporations who provide funds and other resources. This discussion was triggered by feedback that these residents do not brief the volunteers well enough on their tasks or explain to them how their time and efforts add value to their neighbourhood. The goodwill from corporations is important for the sustainability of our work and obviously, we want to create a positive experience for these corporate volunteers lest we lose their support. However, this

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2412

Ignite! Is a group of youth studying in institutions of higher learning who share resources,encourage each other and serve as role models for children in their neighbourhoods. It has been in existence for about 2.5 years and at its peak there were 25 members. 2 weeks ago, when a meeting was called, 3 members showed up and they were concerned that the group would no longer exist if there were no new members. Quickly, they discussed what a recruitment drive could look like and they drew up a collective list of friends they could invite to attend an introductory meeting.

Read more >

Another Week Beyond – 2411

An elderly person contacted us and told us that he would avoid engaging with a colleague I shall call Jane. He told us that Jane had a demon within her. The message via WhatsApp to a few of us left us perplexed. We thought that keeping the conversation going on the phone would only lead to more confusion and so we told him that we will chat over coffee. As I sat with him together with another colleague, this elderly person spoke in an agitated fashion, and we sensed his fear. He related his experiences of how friends have been

Read more >