One of the coolest things about doing Habitat work is the wide variety of backgrounds our volunteers come from. That means that within a short period of time, we get to work with groups of people who can be very different from each other, yet all united in the desire to make this world a better place.
In February, we had the pleasure of working with Phil and Wes of Wong Fu Productions. In case you are like me (i.e. having some sort of generational gap), you need to know that these two are young hot YouTube stars, hailing from California, USA. They specialise in putting up short entertaining video clips on YouTube (among other video production work) with a huge fan base (more than 2 million subscribers) around the world.
I did not know that they are *that* big until my daughter insisted that I need to take a photo with Phil and Wes, and that would make me cool. I joined both of them at a publicity session at Temasek Polytechnic, and the screaming girls almost made me suffer permanent hearing loss!
Together with our celebrity ambassador Paul Foster and other volunteers from various places, including Far East Organisation, the Wong Fu lads went to Kuching to build a Habitat house. This was planned in concert with Habitat for Humanity Kuching, part of our plans for long-term collaboration with Kuching.
Above: The team at Kuching, with home partners Alice and Stephen LiJong
Above: Phil and Wes of Wong Fu Productions
Above: Volunteers working really hard
Above: Lady volunteers and Habitat staff not very impressed with celebrity beefcake Paul Foster's abs.
Right after the exciting Kuching build, we held our Thanksgiving celebration. This year, instead of using our usual sponsored restaurant dinner to thank our key donors and supporters, we decided to celebrate it together with the elderly we serve with a traditional Chinese "Lo-Hei" (i.e. sort of like a mass salad-tossing event, supposedly to usher in good luck during the Chinese New Year season).
We worked together with Care Corner Senior Activity Centre (Toa Payoh), one of our key partners in our home-cleaning Project Homeworks. We wanted the occasion to be a time when our supporters get to interact with the elderly, and share a table with them. To our pleasant surprise, the elderly put up a good show of their own, strutting around the HDB void deck in a mock fashion show, sang songs to entertain their guests, and made thank you cards for all. We were told later by Care Corner that the event helped the elderly feel a sense of dignity, for they were able to contribute back rather than simply receiving. We are so happy with this approach that it will probably be the first of many such events to come!
Above: The 'stars' of Care Corner Senior Activity Centre, Toa Payoh Block 170
Above: Senior Advisor Mr. Philip Ng with Patron Mr. S. Dhanabalan, and Habitat Singapore Chairman Daniel See
doing "Lo Hei" with the elderly.
Above: Volunteers and the elderly tossing salad for good luck for the years ahead!
So you see, there are so many possibilities when we are determined to make this world a better place. From hip, young sophisticated YouTube stars doing a Habitat build to simple, old-fashioned gathering with the elderly, we can make things happen if we put our heart and mind into our effort.
Come on, let's make it happen!
Love, Joy Peace.
Yong Teck Meng
28th February 2014
Habitat for Humanity Singapore - "A world where every child has a decent place to live in."
56 Lorong 23 Geylang, Century Technology Building #05-01
Tel: 67447326 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat for Humanity Singapore is an Institute of Public Character (IPC) and issues tax exempt receipt for donations that benefit Singaporeans.
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