A weekend of caregiving has changed my perspective on this world and myself. A caregiving weekend that changed ME. If wasn’t for it, I'm near certain I would be a totally different person today. Growing up, I had a very comfortable life. One of the most important things my parents gave me, was the gift of giving. They always reminded me that we are extremely blessed and that there are others out there who are not as blessed.
However, what I failed to realize was that being comfortable impacts your development as a human being. When you are comfortable, self-improvement becomes irrelevant and you become stagnant, just like an Olympian who doesn’t aim to break records but maintain them. Discomfort on the other hand, allows you to improve, discover and grow and become a greater version of yourself.
Over the years, I’ve read copious caregiving stories from influential websites like CaregiverAsia and ONE Singapore, which have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and embark on the greatest experience one could ask for – and I got my family involved as well!
One significant event in particular was the food ration drive with Keeping Hope Alive. I worked with a team of kindred spirit individuals to pack and deliver rations to the underprivileged folks at a designated destination. As part of the job, it required us to purchase and pack these supplies beforehand, meet up and hand them out to the allocated residents on the list provided by the charity organization. One of the most memorable moments I had was when I was giving out my last ration bag to this family of three: a 70-year-old lady and her two down syndrome sons who were in their thirties.
When I handed her the ration bag, I asked the usual question, if she needed anything for the next visit. She politely asked for more rice as her sons loved rice. We also exchanged a friendly conversation about how she is very happy that there are people out there that are helping her with things she can’t afford as the medical treatment for her sons are costly. I curiously asked about how she managed to take care of her sons, while working part time as a cleaner.
She replied: “I get help from social services, however, I know I can’t rely on them forever. Do you know what is my biggest fear? I fear who will take care of my sons when I’m gone.”
After hearing those words aloud, I never quite view the world the same way again. I realized my worries are frivolous as there are people out there like her, who need to find a way to care for her sons, living or not, but can’t do anything about it. I told her that I will inform the organization about her situation and comforted her. After we parted ways, I never saw this family again. Nonetheless, I promised myself that I would strive to help underprivileged families and individuals like her to the best of my ability thus boosting my interest and passion in helping the community.
In my caregiving journey, I had the chance to visit people from all walks of life and witness a very different side to the life I’m used to, enabling me to build ties with the people I meet. Through my experience, the one I’m proudest of was when my family and I helped to organize a little Christmas party for Pertapis Children’s Home. At the party, we had awesome fun greeting our little guests and handing out goodie bags that we prepared earlier, as well as interacting with the children as they gave us a tour of the orphanage. This event was important to me because it has provided the children in marginalized situations a glimpse of what it's like to receive Christmas presents; to experience joy through the Christmas spirit. What may seem as a given to a normal child, for them is a far-fetched luxury. All our tiredness melted away when we saw our efforts being so well received by the kids.
The journey to see a mere thought turn into a goal and eventually achieving it, heightened my experience. I believe that caregiving acts give one the satisfaction of bringing a positive impact to someone else’s life and the ability to help others who may not be able to help themselves. It is a way of giving back to your community while developing important social skills, and gaining valuable life experience all at the same time. With an eager heart to help others, it has given me a different perspective in my life and I would like to share this experience and increase opportunities for others by making it more approachable and accessible for everyone.
And with this, we hope to continue to spread the word on the help that is available for Careseekers as well as an open invitation for experienced Caregivers to join the CaregiverAsia community. Caregivers who post services on the CaregiverAsia website practice 100% on their own terms, right down to their availability, and service costing. There are no subscription fees or posting fees for Caregivers. There are many people looking for care services now, so do sign up online on our website, or call +65 6258 6683 to talk to us.
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