Caption: Mr Ling learning to contribute back to society
Caption: Rain or shine, Mr Ling delivers meals to frail seniors.
Four years ago, while cycling past TOUCH Home Care in Jurong, Mr Ling Tong Chai, 69, noticed a volunteer recruitment poster for the Meals-On-Wheels (MOW) programme. Mr Ling gladly responded to the appeal for help as he was a retiree and had time in his hands. He even roped in a few of his friends to be MOW volunteers. Mr Ling was then volunteering in a hospital in Jurong.
Having spent more than 40 years working in the shipyard industry, Mr Ling feels he should spend his retirement years doing something meaningful. “It is important to keep our minds active. Even seniors like us can still do our part to help other seniors. As a retiree, I am glad I can contribute in small ways,” said Mr Ling.
For a start, Mr Ling packed and delivered meals five times a week every morning. However, in 2018, Mr Ling met with an accident while cycling on the road. He fell from his bicycle and fractured his hips. He then underwent a hip replacement surgery and could not walk for a period of time. Suffering from knee pains and discomfort, Mr Ling had to use a mobility scooter to get around. He then took a break from volunteering but came back to help out last year during the pandemic outbreak.
“I want to continue volunteering because I enjoy meeting the elderly. I always feel so happy when they say hello to me. Now, I have to make adjustments because of my current condition. For example, I will deliver meals to nearby places as I no longer cycle. I will also take fewer meal packs,” added Mr Ling.
Mr Ling’s volunteering experience has been enriching. Once, he met an elderly who turned out to be his friend! She kept thanking him and commented that the food was nice. Despite the pandemic outbreak, Mr Ling has been faithfully volunteering three times a week, rain or shine. He hopes to encourage more seniors to come forward to volunteer.
Like Mr Ling, everyone can be empowered and valued to impact lives. To volunteer, please click here.