The volunteers visited the seniors at the centre between 30 May and 20 June 2007 and put together four sessions of interactive activities for them. These included a sing-a-long, handicrafts-making using foam hearts and ice-cream sticks, sandwich-making and a paperweight-making session. To inject a little fun, there were even competitions for the best singer and also the best paperweight. The project came to an end with a simple party and the student volunteers brought food such as pau, and kueh to bless the seniors.
We feel the time we spent doing community service for The Salvation Army was well-spent. As teenagers, we tend to shut ourselves in our own world — concerned only with matters close to us, such as our studies and friends. These CIP sessions gave us the opportunity to interact with people who are rarely part of our ‘world’. Although there were obstacles such as language barriers and the age gap issue, we still had an enjoyable time with the seniors. We also realized that despite their age, we are not very different. We enjoy the same things. We discovered this during the art and craft session with them and just like us, they too have their own passion, dreams and strong opinions, which they did not hesitate to share with us. The only difference is the circumstances in which we grew up. We feel that even though, in the seniors’ eyes, we might seem to be young and inexperienced, nonetheless, they were as gracious and patient with us as we were with them. CIP has made our world a little wider and has also helped us to learn to be less selfish. These few sessions at The Salvation Army have been productive and we feel both parties have benefitted from it. In this period of interaction, certain values were instilled in us and we have acquired skills that may be useful in the future when we are dealing with the elderly. The CIP sessions also allowed us to learn to be more independent and bond better with our peers.
Article originally published on the SA-V (Salvation Army Volunteer) Bulletin
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