Food, games and vouchers for needy elderly at carnival

Seventy needy seniors got to enjoy a day of music, traditional games and vegetarian food yesterday, thanks to students from San Yu Adventist School (SYAS).

The Pay It Forward carnival, now in its fifth year, was organised by SYAS in conjunction with the Seventh-Day Adventist Thomson Chinese Church and Adventist Community Services.

At the event, guest of honour Joan Pereira, MP for Tanjong Pagar and adviser to Henderson-Dawson grassroots organisations, handed out $60 vouchers and goodie bags worth up to $30 to the seniors.

This year's theme, Around The World, celebrated the diverse cultures of SYAS students.

Most of the elderly beneficiaries live in HDB rental flats in Block 47, Owen Road, which are managed by the Moulmein-Cairnhill Citizens' Consultative Committee Community Development and Welfare Fund Committee. Other beneficiaries included residents of the Adventist Home for the Elders and those who live in Toa Payoh.

Seventh-Day Adventist Church's senior pastor Peter Foo, chairman of the carnival's organising committee, said: "By doing our part, we hope to draw people's attention to the importance of treating our senior citizens with care and compassion. "

SYAS principal Shee Soon Chiew said the event "motivates and reminds us to do what ought to be part of every human being's DNA... We are designed that way - to lend a helping hand to those around us."

One of the beneficiaries, housewife Odah Mohammad, 59, said: "I ate a lot of food... Indian, Chinese and Thai food, everything. The young people were very good, very respectful."

Volunteer Irene Tan, 60, who accompanied seniors from the Adventist Home for the Elders to the event venue, said: "We have to encourage seniors to step out of their homes. Through interaction with people, they can learn from each other and share their knowledge."

Toh Wen Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2017, with the headline 'Food, games and vouchers for needy elderly at carnival'. Print Edition | Subscribe