From food, art to Christmas decor, online till Nov 15 – it’s not too late!

Mr Yuen (middle, standing) and his family celebrated his father’s birthday at Assisi Hospice with the help of the care team. Photo: Yuen Sing Kit

Victoria Lim

This year has been a challenging year for most Catholic charities in Singapore. Prevailing safe distancing measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic saw many large-scale fundraising events and dinners cancelled or rescheduled indefinitely. Many of these charities had to think of other creative ways to attract funds to support their programmes.

One such Catholic charity is Assisi Hospice, which recently launched the online edition of its well-loved annual fundraising event, Assisi Fun Day, from Nov 5-15. The public can still buy interesting products and delicious food items from www.assisifunday.sg right until the very last day.

As donations to the Hospice have dipped compared to previous years, its CEO Ms Choo Shiu Ling hopes that Catholics will continue supporting the mission by patronising the Fun Day, gifting their time and talents through volunteering or making a direct donation “Assisi has been caring for even more patients in 2020. Forty-eight per cent of our patients are the poorest of the poor and means-tested to the lowest income level and in need of financial assistance,” she said.

A family affair

To bring the traditional Fun Day online, family members of Assisi Hospice’s former and current patients, Board of Directors and staff brought together their gifts and talents to form a line-up of food and product stalls and online shows.

An innovative video promoting the Fun Day on Facebook was conceptualised and filmed in-house by staff. The video featured a current patient Mr Matlisah Bin Chela, 75, the hospice’s nurse Ms Andrea Evangeline Lim, and long-time volunteers Mr Nick Mowe and Mr Dave Lee, all of whom had enthusiastically volunteered to star in the video.

Ms Mya Nyien Soe making lahpet. Photo: Assisi Hospice

In the segment “Shows for Good” available on the Hospice’s website https://www.assisifunday.sg/shows.html, Chairman of Assisi Hospice, Ms Anita Fam also contributed by demonstrating, in a series of videos, her quick and easy recipes for tuna and otah puffs, and egg tarts. Ms Mya Nyien Soe, a senior staff nurse who has been with the Hospice for the past seven years, also showed how to prepare lahpet, a pickled tea leaf salad from her native country of Myanmar. Despite her nervousness in doing a cooking demonstration video for the first time, she was grateful for the opportunity to share what she had in order to raise money for the Hospice.

Paying it forward

When Mr Yuen Sing Kit heard that the Fun Day was going online this year, he jumped at the opportunity to sponsor an e-stall selling briyani dam.

Mr Yuen, a Catholic, had been very touched by the care his father had received from the Hospice. Before his father’s admission in 2013, he had been cared for at home by Mr Yuen’s mother, a retired nurse. Although it had been manageable at first, his father became increasingly frustrated as his illness worsened. After admission to Assisi, Mr Yuen noticed that his father’s outlook changed – he appeared calmer and enjoyed activities like karaoke-singing with his wife at the Hospice. Three months later, Mr Yuen’s father passed away peacefully.

Mr Yuen admitted that providing care for a loved one with a terminal illness is not something one is used to or equipped to handle. He underscored the importance of palliative care and added that “our loved ones may need such services one day, and we certainly want good support and services available when the time comes”.

Mr Aminurrashid bin Hasnordin, 40, also decided to support the Fun Day by signing up his charcoal-grilled burger business, The Social Outcast. His father, 68-year-old Mr Hasnordin bin Babjee, came under the Hospice’s home care service in September this year.

With much satisfaction, Mr Aminurrashid said: “I am moved by the sincerity of the nurses who often go out of their way to help not only my father but also listen to the issues faced by my family. Assisi Hospice is a Catholic charity but it helps patients of all races and religion. We hope to help more end-of-life patients and their families through our participation in the Fun Day.”

E-stalls are still open, and “Shows for Good” are still available for viewing on the Fun Day website at www.assisifunday.sg. Support them today!

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