by Pleun Brevet
Each and every day volunteers prepare and pack 3.000 hot meals at the Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen. The food is then delivered to selected drop-off points throughout Singapore and distributed amongst the needy. The soup kitchen is even open when we celebrate national holidays, because as Founder and Organizing Chairman Tony Tay says: “the poor are also hungry at Christmas.”
Today Annette Smith (NCA Treasurer) and I have an appointment to deliver a cheque. Apart from getting a good look around their current kitchen, we got a big dose of positive energy. People laugh, chat, cook and catch up with each other. Some work there every day, others once or twice a week. But they all have one thing in common: they like to help out.
Charles Liew (Vice President) takes us on a food run. We hand out 350 meals at three locations and meet the people Willing Hearts cooks for. Mostly elderly people, but also ex-convicts or single mothers and their children; all rely for their daily hot meals on Willing Hearts. Sometimes only temporarily until they get back on their feet, other times structurally.
It was eye-opening: can you believe there are people in this prosperous city who cannot afford one hot meal a day?
We felt very privileged to be part of Willing Hearts for one morning and I can definitely recommend volunteering in their kitchen. (If you’d like to go with a large group please contact them to set a date, individual volunteers can walk in and get to work instantly.)
As it turns out, 3.000 meals a day is not enough. Tony Tay is moving the soup kitchen to another location, where they can prepare at least 5.000 meals a day. The location is also going to house a medical center with Chinese medicine, a rehabilitation center and a dental clinic.
And this is where the NCA cheque comes in! With your help we donated a large sum to help set up the dental clinic. The move is going to take place in June/July and we will keep you posted. Tony Tay says there is not going to be an official opening, “because that costs money and we rather spend it on food for the people that need it.”