500 children give handmade cards to thank bus drivers, as part of Kindness Day

Liang Yunzhang, from Rulang Primary School, presents a thank you card to SBS Bus Captain Chua Hock Soon at Boon Lay Bus Interchange during Kindness Day, on May 20, 2016.
Liang Yunzhang, from Rulang Primary School, presents a thank you card to SBS Bus Captain Chua Hock Soon at Boon Lay Bus Interchange during Kindness Day, on May 20, 2016. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - As a woman on a wheelchair was alighting from the bus, the bus captain opened his umbrella and sheltered her from the rain.

"He got wet so that she wouldn't get wet," said Amelia Ong, a Primary 6 pupil from Rulang Primary School, who saw the act of kindness.

To thank him and other bus captains for their dedicated service 365 days a year, about 500 children gave hand-drawn cards with personal messages of gratitude and handmade ribbons to public transport staff at nine bus interchanges and five MRT stations on Friday (May 20).

This was one of many heart-warming initiatives launched on Friday (May 20) as part of SBS Transit's first CARES Kindness Day, held to coincide with the Singapore Kindness Movement's Kindness Day 2016.

The National Transport Workers' Union (NTWU) and SBS Transit aim to establish CARES Kindness Day as an annual event.

Mr Melvin Yong, executive secretary of NTWU and MP of Tanjong Pagar GRC, said: "It is important to refocus everybody's attention once a year on this group of people who do the community an essential service day in and day out."

On Friday (May 20), approximately 10,000 public transport workers received specially catered bentos.

Staff and children as young as five-year-old kindergartners to secondary school students also distributed pens with the words "Kindness, it's up to us!" to commuters across all 18 bus interchanges and 34 MRT stations on the North East Line and the Downtown Line.

"Kindness is not a character but a choice," said Nurul Tasleem, a Primary 6 pupil from Rulang Primary School.

"I believe that people who receive the pens from me will be inspired to make a very good choice to be kind."

Senior Bus Captain of Bus 99, Mr Tiong Kin Choon, 60, has been a Bus Captain for 35 years and seen his commuters "mature from young kids to married adults with children of their own."

He said he was thankful for the many acts of kindness commuters have shown him over the years, such as giving him fruits from their groceries and handmade lanterns during Chinese New Year.

Friday's event was another highlight of his career. Mr Tiong added, "I was very touched and happy to receive