Putting Their Best Feet Forward
To mark NUS Cares 2022, Raffles Hall Association alumni spent a Saturday morning bringing cheer to vulnerable seniors.
The morning of Saturday, 3 September, dawned bright and cheery, after two weeks of heavy rain. Mr Leonard Tan (Engineering ’18) heaved a sigh of relief. “I’m glad it will go according to plan,” he said, referring to the Raffles Hall Association (RHA) alumni community’s involvement in “Ready, Set, Gold” for NUS Cares
2022. The charity walk was organised by Blossom Seeds, a group that supports lonely and needy seniors by promoting integration and friendships.
Both undergraduates and alumni stepped up to support the event by befriending wheelchair-bound seniors and accompanying them on a 1.5km walk through the Canberra estate. They were joined by Minister for Health Mr Ong Ye Kung and Professor Chen Tsuhan, Deputy President (Research and Technology) and Distinguished Professor. In all, the NUS contingent comprised 15 students, nine alumni and three staff. They were part of a wider community of 1,500 walkers from over 30 organisations, among them Canberra Secondary School, Sembawang God of Wealth Temple, the Buddhist Fellowship, People’s Association, Council for Third Age and Health Promotion Board (HPB). After the walk, participants also enjoyed a carnival that featured a number of games and challenges centred on healthy living.
It was a meaningful morning for all involved, especially Ms Teo Yee Hua, a current student at the School of Computing. “I am from Malaysia and all my family is back home. I haven’t had a chance to see much of them because of the pandemic, so I really miss interacting with them. While spending time with these seniors is no substitute for family time, I am happy for the chance to get to know them better and forge a meaningful connection.”
Such a connection was valuable for the senior she walked with, 78-year-old Mdm Alice Kong. Mdm Kong lives alone in Canberra and does not have a chance to go out very much because of medical conditions that have left her wheelchair-bound. “I love to be around young people and the young at heart, so I am grateful for them taking the time out to be with me on a Saturday morning,” she shared. Mdm Kong was visibly excited as she waited for Minister Ong to flag off the morning’s walk. When she returned to the starting point, she told The Alum
NUS that being among the crowds and seeing the bustle of the neighbourhood was an unforgettable sight. “We don’t often get to see the community out and about,” she said.
READY TO SERVE
Mr Tan was instrumental in securing RHA’s participation in the event. “Over the years, I’ve tried to give back on different fronts: from befriending seniors to accompanying them on their medical appointments,” shared the 29-year-old financial advisor. Regularly finding different ways to give back is as easy as refreshing the Giving.sg page every month, he added with a laugh. He is no stranger to providing RHA members opportunities to give back, with previous efforts supporting soup kitchens and senior activity centres. “Giving back is a joy and I am happy to share that joy with fellow alumni and present students,” he said, adding that he worked closely with fellow alumnus and RHA Chairperson Ms Lim Swee Kim (Computing ’88) to make the event a reality.
FIND YOUR LANE
Whether your passion is to aid the disadvantaged, champion environmental causes or be a steward for animal welfare, there are plenty of ways to give back. You don’t have to do it alone: join fellow alumni and the NUS community in making a difference and start giving back today!