I could see a glow in the face of Mei Lian as I sat down to talk with her. This is a woman who carries in her, a passion for helping others, most of whom are strangers to her. Mei Lian was one of the first few volunteers to come forward from the very same housing estate that we’re located in. She started by coming in once a week back in June. After 6 months, she increased that to more than 3 times a week depending on her schedule.
“I used to be a babysitter,” Mei Lian announced proudly in Mandarin. “Taking care of the clients is almost the same as taking care of babies!” That would explain her patience and compassion in dealing with our clients and the enormous satisfaction that she seems to get from her time here at COH. It would seem that the contribution of this easy-going housewife has garnered the respect of both clients and staff alike. She says that the instructors have all been very nice to her and are very passionate about what they do.
From her interactions with our clients, one can notice that she has grown quite attached to them. She points out that they are like children and she treats them as though they were her own. At this moment, Vivian, an instructor in Mark Cluster, reminds her that the clients are equally as fond of her. Right on cue, one of the clients, Kwang Wei, cries out and waves at Mei Lian, as if in total agreement.
Mei Lian’s advice to future volunteers?
“Do something meaningful with the time in your life. Volunteering with COH shows you the responsibility of giving your best in every task you have.”
What better way to exercise the qualities of patience and love than to show it to the people who need it most? Thank you, Mei Lian, for being our Champion of Hope.
First published in News Flip 2008