Su Huiting has been immensely involved in volunteering for the past ten years. She currently works at the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled and is always looking to make a difference in people’s lives.
By JOSHUA DWYER
Every morning Su Huiting wakes up knowing she is making a difference in the lives of others. She walks into work with the residents of the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled waving, smiling, and saying hello. They look at her in admiration as if she is some sort of superhero. Huiting has been a volunteer for ten years now and is currently the volunteer coordinator at the Home. She has had a passion for volunteering since she started and for her to be a full time volunteer coordinator is a dream come true. Sitting across from Huiting I hear the passion from her voice when she talks about volunteerism.
“Three years ago I helped conduct a survey regarding safety at the Bukit Merah Senior Citizen Center. I knocked on the door of a single rental room flat for a few minutes and didn’t get a response, then, when I was about to give up, I heard footsteps and knew someone was coming to the door. I waited a few more minutes and an elderly lady finally managed to open the door yet the gate was locked. I started talking to the lady asking her where her key was and she said that she couldn’t recognize the key to the gate. After searching and fumbling through keys that all looked exactly the same, she finally opened the gate. From the time I first knocked on the door to the time she opened the gate, it took an astounding ten minutes.”
When I asked Huiting if she became frustrated having to wait for the lady to open the gate she simply said no. She feels that able bodied people should do all they can to help those who are in need. She tells me that we should not be afraid to go above and beyond the call of duty if need be. Huiting’s piece of advice to pass onto fellow volunteers is to not get discouraged: “Tend to their abilities, not their disabilities.” Often times when people are elderly or disabled we focus our attention on what they cannot do. Huiting focused on what the lady could do and instead of removing the problem altogether she strived to help the lady tap on her own abilities to overcome an obstacle in her life.
Huiting (right) enjoys making a difference in the lives of others, especially for the elderly and disabled.
"Tend to their abilities,
not their disabilities."
“When I look back, that moment makes me think. What if a fire breaks out in the house? By the time it takes the lady to open the door and the gate she could possibly die. I decided to do something about it to make sure that wouldn’t happen. I requested for masking tape and colored the top part of the gate key red so she knew which key opened the gate. When I went to visit her again she had a much easier time opening up the door and the gate. From that moment on the elderly lady always remembered me as the color key girl.”
After the color key invention worked so well for this one lady, Huiting did this to everyone else she came across who had trouble opening their gates. The solution that she came up with was a small one that made a big difference for many people. Huiting’s story is a stirring reminder that we are all capable of simple acts that can make a monumental impact in the lives of others.
While Huiting doesn’t see herself as a hero, in the eyes of many she certainly saved the day.
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