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Giving Back As A Community Of Graduates

Formerly known as NUS Day of Service, this year’s NUS Cares event was held on 3 September 2022. It was a busy Saturday for the various NUS communities – staff, students and alumni alike, as many carried out meaningful initiatives in the spirit of giving back to the community and less fortunate.

As for NUSS, many members and guests had volunteered to put their compassion into action by organising activities and spending quality time with the Society’s two adopted charities – Children’s Wishing Well (CWW) and Dover Park Hospice (DPH).

At Kent Ridge Guild House, members of NUSS’ sports sections willingly stepped up to befriend and guide the child beneficiaries through a myriad of sports activities such as badminton, pickleball, table tennis, tennis and darts. This seemingly simple exercise made a lasting impression on the CWW’s child beneficiaries as many have not had the opportunity to try out such sport activities. Nine-year-old Diana said: “Out of all the sports, I have only played table tennis in school before. I enjoyed darts the most as I managed to get the high score very quickly! Tennis was also fun as we got to hit the ball really high, and I learnt how to serve my ball over the net.. which was a great sense of achievement!”

Darts seemed to be a hit among the young beneficiaries as many such as Octavia (age 11) expressed delight over being able to hit the dart board. She said: “I enjoyed playing tennis and darts the most. My team managed to win at darts and I felt like I was a natural at it!” Eleven-year-old Jia Jun agreed and said that his favourite sport that day was darts. “It was very challenging and fun at the same time. If given the chance, I would like to be able to play badminton and darts with my friends again”, he added.

After a good work out, the volunteers and our young friends tucked into a delicious lunch buffet while enjoying the music by one of NUSS’ bands, The Jam Band.

Community Care & Cultural (CC&C) Sub-Committee Chairperson, Mr Daniel Chia, felt that it was a unique experience being able to collaborate with members of the Sports & Recreation Sub-Committee during this NUS Cares event. “It demonstrated our one NUSS spirit and teamwork. Together, we were able to achieve much more and enhance the experience for the 30 children from Children’s Wishing Well. The volunteers also found the event to be extremely meaningful”, he shared.

Fellow CC&C Sub-Committee member, Mr Jeffrey Choa recounted that it was nice to see the preparation of the lessons and souvenirs, and witness the happy faces of the kids. He said: “Kids loved the darts, and table tennis was like a party place for them.”

Encouraging others to volunteer their time as well, Mr Choa added, “Let’s try to make a difference in a kid’s life even for a day, it could be the one day that could change something in their lives for a good reason!”

Indeed, part of the joy was to nurture and help the child beneficiaries to discover new aspects of themselves. Mr Chia recalls an encounter with one of young beneficiaries under his charge. “One of the children was playing darts for the first time, and he was unaware of the hidden talent he has. When he won the game during a round of friendly competition, you could see the joy and confidence in him! I’m sure he will remember that day fondly,” he explained.

In the meantime, a group of volunteers welcomed the elderly beneficiaries under DPH and their families to a fun-filled day of activities at the DPH Hospice. Organised and hosted by NUSS volunteers, the beneficiaries enjoyed simple games, tried out soap making and essential oils at the various booths.

CC&C Sub-Committee member, Ms Janice Goh and a friend helmed the essential oil booth that day. Together, they guided the beneficiaries on how to mix various essential oils for sanitisers and advised them on scent blends for stress relief. She recalled a touching experience with a young beneficiary and his mother. “The young man was in a medical harness and very ill. While he was trying to see and listen to what we were demonstrating, I caught a smile and the awareness in his eyes. That smile made my time spent here all the more meaningful”, she recounted fondly.

She encourages all to give volunteering a shot. She said: “Try it! You will have a worthwhile and meaningful experience. As a volunteer, you will also pick up skills on care giving, people management and event organisation know-how.”

Management Committee member, Mr Nakoorsha noted that the programme and booths were well received by the beneficiaries and their families. He said: “The soap making booth was particularly interesting for both the patients and volunteers, everyone seemed thrilled to receive a piece of soap to take home.”

Another highlight for many was the professional family portrait-taking booth, where the elderly beneficiaries and families were able to take pictures together as a precious keepsake of the event.

At the end of the event, these beneficiaries and their families were given a bento lunch box and care kit to bring back home.

If you are still on the fence about volunteering for events organised by the CC&C Sub-Committee, don’t hesitate any further! Watch this space for future events or email Vivien Pang to indicate your interest.

A small contribution can go a long way in the lives of the beneficiaries under NUSS’ adopted charities. If you are financially able to, click on the links below to make a small contribution:

Dover Park Hospice
Children’s Wishing Well

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