On 9 September 2022, we were happy to host the wonderful folks from Yong-en Care Centre at our space for their Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. It was a splendid night of full hearts and bellies among staff and volunteers, with delightful games and good cheer.
Serving the needs of the community
The Fairfield Methodist Church is a known landmark in the Chinatown-Duxton-Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood, and Yong-en Care Centre was born out of “little acts of kindness” carried out by members of this iconic church to address the real needs of the Chinatown community in the 90s. Today, it is a registered IPO status charity with the mission to provide professional and effective care services to those in need in Chinatown and beyond with its own headquarters at Smith Street and its Yong-en Active Hub (YEAH!) at Bukit Merah.
Yong-en's volunteers and 2021 accomplishments
The dinner was organised in two seatings to accommodate Yong-en's numerous volunteers of a wide range of ages and backgrounds. In the first seating, we hosted Yong-en's wizened, more senior group of volunteers who were a cheery, close-knit bunch. Bearing smiles and a disarming friendliness towards one another and to the Co.mmunity members within our space, they were the living exemplars of healthy, active and graceful ageing that the charity champions. The second seating saw younger faces—students and young adults in the workforce—who exuded a heartwarming passion for community service.
The evening kicked off with words of thanks from the committed staff at Yong-en for the volunteers and a fruitful year of compassion and service to the community. Gracie, the manager for community relations at Yong-en, spoke from the heart about the year's bounteous efforts to support underprivileged individuals, families and the elderly.
Gracie shared that in the financial year of 2021, Yong-en supported more than 502 seniors, 114 children and 152 families through their programmes. These programmes include food deliveries, youth mentorship, senior befriender trainings, the creation of a toolkit library to bolster caregiving at home and more.
At the heart of Yong-en's efforts to better the community is no doubt its people, volunteers, staff and beneficiaries alike. Gracie spoke of a heartwarming fundraising initiative by culinary afficionado and Yong-en beneficiary, 82-year-old Mdm Han. In a bid to give back to the community and pay forward the goodwill that Yong-en has afforded her, Mdm Han independently prepared over 3 kilograms of red rice lees, or Hong Zao. To produce 16 bottles of homemade Hong Zao for fundraising, Mdm Han took two painstaking months, but insisted that she did not want to let her struggles with osteoarthritis and being frail hold her back from giving back to the community.
Food and games of gratitude for volunteers
An appreciation dinner has to have great food, and we know all too well that the way to someone's heart is through the stomach. As a token of gratitude, Yong-en thoughtfully prepared bentos from Grain for volunteers, staff and Co.mmunity members.
After volunteers had time to dig into their bentos, there was a game of trivia as well as a lucky draw to wrap things up for the night. It was a battle of wits and razor sharp reflexes as volunteers competed to answer questions about Yong-en, the community and the neighbourhood to win prizes.
Try your hand at some of the questions that came up during the game of trivia!
Click to reveal answer!
1997! That's the year Yong-en was established as an official charity, but it was actually registered as an official society with the Reigstry of Societies in 1996.
Click to reveal answer!
All of the above! Yong-en Care Centre does important work to support people who need help, especially if they may fall through the cracks with receiving governmental support. It is part of their core values to help and respect people regardless of gender, race, language, nationality, or religion in all circumstances.
Fingers were crossed as everyone waited for the announcement of the lucky winner of the lucky draw with bated breath and cheered heartily when it was revealed.
Community partnerships within Duxton
As part of our efforts as a community aggregator, the Co. is committed to supporting organisations that better the community and bringing diverse people together. Yong-en does good work to return to the community with the mission of person-centred care services to support the needs of the elderly, disadvantaged individuals and families around #OurDuxton neighbourhood in Chinatown and beyond.
To find out more about their efforts to serve the community, check out Yong-en Care Centre's website.
To find out more about our programmes, head on over to our programmes page.
To reach out to us with ideas about community engagement and possible partnerships, fill up the form on our contact page.