SINGAPORE - For the last four to five years, Madam Caroline Ng has been cooking her meals with a portable gas stove she found at the void deck.
As the stove has gone rusty, the 78-year-old Bukit Gombak resident who lives alone is looking forward to cooking using her new ceramic induction cooker she received on Sunday (March 6).
Madam Ng is among 550 seniors living in the South West District who received items they requested as part of Grant-A-Wish, an initiative organised by the South West Community Development Council (CDC) and supported by corporate partners.
The seniors were asked to name a $100 item they wanted from the categories of health and mobility aids, appliances, and food and tonic products.
Due to safe management measures, 10 seniors were at the centre on Sunday to receive their gifts from the South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
Speaking to The Straits Times at the event, Madam Ng, a cleaner, said: "I feel happy as it will be easier and safer for me to cook. I am looking forward to cooking dishes like ayam buah keluak and chicken curry."
The gifts the 10 residents received included blood pressure monitors and microwave ovens, and were sponsored by the Landscape Industry Association of Singapore, which also sponsored gifts for another 140 residents.
In a speech during Sunday's event, Mr Gan, who is adviser to Chua Chu Kang grassroots organisations, said: "Through this programme, not only do we want to reach out and help those who are more vulnerable... but also to mobilise the resources of the corporates, resources of the people. So that we can work together to nurture an inclusive and caring community."
Sunday also marked the end of Festive Cheers @ South West, a three-month initiative organised by the South West CDC that is aimed at supporting vulnerable residents in the area.
The annual event since 2008 saw a record $677,000 collected this year, 13 per cent more than last year's collection.
A total of 7,500 vulnerable households in 31 rental blocks benefited from the donations, with this year's initiative involving more than 1,000 volunteers and over 90 community and corporate partners.
Speaking to the media after the event, Ms Low said: "We are greatly heartened that despite battling the Covid-19 pandemic for two years, the community has shown tremendous strength and solidarity."
"Our community and corporate partners have continued to step up to uplift the lives of vulnerable residents living in the South West District."
Correction note: A previous version of the story said 400 seniors benefited from Grant-A-Wish. It should be 550.