Giving back to the community with MINDS and South West Community Development Council
Issue: Dec 2022
On Friday 16th December, together with MINDS, we lent our collective hands to the initiative ‘Festive Cheers @ SWCDC’ by the South West Community Development Council (SWCDC). With the cost of goods steadily increasing, we packed items for less privileged households, with each gift bag then hand-delivered to residents to support them during these difficult times.
SWCDC was formed to ‘assist the needy, bond the people and connect the community’. This month they launched a 3-month long project to spread joy amongst the community’s most vulnerable residents by delivering packs of goods directly to their doors.
With a total group of 50 volunteers consisting of MINDS staff, MINDS clients who are People with Intellectual Disabilities (PWIDs) and StorHub staff in tow, we packed items for 162 rental HDB one-room flats in Jurong East. For MINDS, the involvement of their clients was incredibly vital. MINDS is a voluntary welfare organisation that seeks to empower PWIDs through high-quality services and initiatives. For PWID in particular, participation affirmed their valuable contribution to society and boosted their confidence in their own abilities. Within StorHub, for a few, it was their first time working with PWID, and this exposure was invaluable in understanding their needs and how to interact with kindness.
The volunteers packed for two hours, which included an assortment of brown rice, household cleaning items, vermicelli, personal hygiene products, cream crackers, light soy sauce, and vitamins. We then delivered them all to each residence. This gave us a real insight into the hardships that parts of the community are facing in Singapore; for some these packs were a month’s worth of shopping.
It wasn’t all work, though, and we found time to play some games with PWIDs, including Dog and Bone and Charades/Pictionary! It was great to find some downtime to relax and have fun with the PWIDs - this play time gave us a different type of interaction as we guided each other through the games.
“This initiative was truly heartwarming and we learnt so much. Firstly, we gained real, practical experience working with PWIDs. We have a real appreciation for not only the patience it takes for the volunteers and mentors that work directly with them but also the capacity of PWIDs to make a positive impact on society. Secondly, it opened our eyes to the living conditions of some people in Singapore and gave us the opportunity to reflect on what we have. Everyone left feeling very grateful for our lives,” Michael Kan, StorHub Employee and Volunteer.
While the Christmas season may be upon us, our commitment to CSR is evergreen, and we recognise the importance of giving back to our community throughout the year. So watch this space for 2023!