Students of CHIJ (Katong) Primary visit a beneficiary of the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

By Elaine Ng

CHIJ (Katong) Primary celebrated its Founder’s Day by visiting needy people in the neighbourhood, delivering goodie bags to them and holding a special Mass on May 26.

Selected Pri 6 girls, teachers and parent volunteers visited the beneficiaries of the Society of St Vincent de Paul living in Marine Parade and gave them hand-packed goodie bags filled with daily essentials such as bedsheets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, biscuits, towels, Milo sachets and soap.

The activity was part of the school’s annual Gift of Love project, which saw students, parents and staff chipping in to raise $17,500.

This year, the school also gave its support to the IJ (Infant Jesus) Homes and Children’s Centres which assist poor and disadvantaged children and youth in Singapore.

“I feel very humbled to have experienced the visit,” said student Mabel Chew. “I think it is very important to be aware of people around us who need more help.”

Teacher Pauline Tan, who was participating in the project for the second time, said she hopes the beneficiaries “will be reminded of God’s great love and grace”.

A Mass with the theme, United in Love and Service, was held in the school before the visits.

Fr Eugene Vaz, parish priest of the Church of the Holy Family, stressed how people are blessed with different gifts.

He reminded all present to be united in sharing their gifts and blessings, using them to serve others.

A student hands a goodie bag to a beneficiary.

After the Mass, three pupils shared their personal stories based on the theme of love and service.

School principal Judina Cheong then presented certificates to staff who were recently promoted and those who have received the Ministry of Education Long Service awards.

Madam Sri Nur’aliaa Mohamed Affandi, one of the two Long Service award recipients, shared her experience being with the school.

“I am very grateful to be part of this IJ family, first as a student, then as a teacher, becoming colleagues with those who used to be my teachers, and now even having my young nieces joining the school,” she said.

The celebration concluded with everyone singing the well-loved CHIJ song, Hold on to Our Dream.

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