SSVP and the Friends in Need
By Melissa Tan
It was a memorable and meaningful experience going to the SEA Aquarium with the SSVP member and the Friends In Need (FINs). It was truly heart-warming to see that the FINs were enjoying their time at the aquarium, taking pictures, and conversing with one another. Even though it was tiring, it was also a very fulfilling experience being able to help the FINs. I also gained valuable knowledge from the SSVP members and volunteers, which has allowed me to learn more about the purpose of the work they do for the FINs.
We would like to thank you, our parishioners for your generosity and donations to our Friends in Need.
Photos and interviews by Maria Lim
Prepared by Brian Bartholomew Tan
“Being part of the field trip to Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen with the youth and Catechists of L8 (2018) was a most memorable experience as I witnessed Christ’s Love and Faith in action. It was heartwarming to see these youth being concerned for each other and their community (Hebrews 10:24).
Many of us don’t cook or clean up in our own homes, yet these youth, encouraged by their Catechists’ servant leadership, invested their morning cutting and peeling vegetables, some even volunteered for “door knocks” to deliver cooked food to residents. I am sure everyone felt warm and fuzzy just thinking about how the lettuce and kangkong they handled would soon find their way to someone’s tummy, also remembering that some of these residents have just one meal a day. I am inspired by our youths’ faith and humbled by their compassion, generosity and humility. (Colossians 3:12)
‘How good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together!’ (Psalms 133:1)”
“Honestly, I find it very enjoyable since I’ve been stuck in home with not much to do. In fact, I find the work so fulfilling that when I was asked to go for a break with Vic, I was reluctant because I did not want to rest. I felt that I could have done more with that time. In a way, the work was tedious even though it was simple because there was so much to do – cutting 300 lettuces and picking through 1 huge crate of rotting kangkong.
When we cannot spare the time to serve at Willing Hearts, we have other opportunities like giving alms to the poor. You can give them a helping hand by giving donations during Eucharistic Celebration yet the effort of taking out your wallet to put in money feels like a lot. Being a warden, I noticed that counting the money has gotten easier recently since less money is coming in. It used to be an hour but now it is shorter by 10 minutes
Since I do not have any earning means yet, I look forward to serving at Willing Hearts again with my classmates because they helped me a lot and they gave me the motivation to try harder and faster.”
“During this experience, I was given the opportunity to help out those in need, even if it wasn’t very much. Seeing that this organisation had many volunteers who were very willing to do as much as they can to help: some even going there often, starting from the wee hours of morning until late in the afternoon, had deeply touched me and inspired me to want to play my part as well. I believe that this is a reminder to us that there are many people out there in the world who are not as fortunate as us. Thus we should be willing to offer our help so that together we can make this world a better place.”
“I learnt in Willing Hearts what kind of work goes into the act of giving food to the poor and it is surely not easy work. Many people put their hands to all kinds of work from picking, cutting, carrying, washing, cooking to packing. I was dispatched to deliver the food and I thought it wouldn’t take long but it took 3 people 4 hours just to complete 19 deliveries. I’m really thankful for this experience as it showed me the efforts many people made, such as getting up at 5 am because of the love they have for the poor amongst us.”
“The trip to the soup kitchen was a very good experience for me and I am grateful for the many blessings I have received in my life – the warmth of my family, the meals on the table and the opportunities to better myself. It was also a way for us to serve others who are less fortunate than us, to give back to the people and community. It reminds me of what Jesus said, in Matthew 25:35 ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome…’”