Giving thanks to loved ones

by | October 4, 2018

RSVP senior volunteers encourage other seniors to give thanks.


Wendy Aw writing her thank-you card.

Express thanks and strengthen relationships with your loved ones through simple acts of gratitude – that is the message that senior volunteers want to instil to their peers.

The senior volunteers are from RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers and are working hard to encourage more seniors to give thanks, instead of just receiving it, through simple acts of gratitude.

This movement, called the “Seniors Give Thanks!” campaign, is already in its fourth year. It was first launched in Singapore in 2014 by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) together with social service organisations, community and corporate. The campaign was held in conjunction with the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) celebration, which is observed every year on October 1.

Findings from the Quality of Life Study by NCSS in 2015 showed that social participation is one domain with the greatest impact on improving the quality of life of seniors. Community activities like “Senior Give Thanks!” which celebrate seniors’ bonds and relationships with loved ones can help to improve seniors’ feelings of love and companionship.

This year, more than 200 seniors from seven senior activity centres converged at the Lifelong Learning Institute in late September to present handwritten cards to their loved ones to show their appreciation. The event, in support of the Singapore Cares (SG Cares) Movement, complemented other smaller-scale IDOP celebrations at 16 centres islandwide. Of which, the first was held on August 30 with RSVP’s senior volunteers celebrating IDOP with 35 seniors at Lakeside Family Service Centre and the last, expecting to end in mid-October. In total, IDOP celebrations this year will reach out to over 400 seniors.

One of the seniors who wrote thanks was Wendy Aw, 66. A senior from Pacific Activity Centre, she wrote handmade cards for her two friends – Mdm Ainon and Mdm Rohaya. While they do not speak the other’s language, Aw is thankful to both women. Last year, she sprained her leg while she was at home, and the two women at the Centre, below her home, helped to accompany her to the hospital. “The thing that touched me the most was the two of them assisting me in the washroom. I told them to just wheel me to the entrance of the toilet, but they insisted on wheeling me inside the washroom and stayed to help,” she shared.

More than 19,000 “Thank You” cards have been distributed to 52 agencies for seniors to pen their gratitude and present to their loved ones. This is the second time that multiple social service organisations have gathered at a single venue to celebrate the day as a sector.




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