Charities swap virtual parties for in-person Christmas festivities after two years

About 100 seniors celebrated the festive season during the event, alongside next-of-kin, staff and volunteers.

The nursing home said the festivities were not just for the residents, but also for their foreign staff nurses.

“A lot of them left behind their families and their loved ones to come here to work. So we need to motivate our foreign nurses as well,” said Mr Quah.  

About 60 volunteers manned 15 booths, where residents, staff and visitors took part in exercises and games to earn points to exchange for food and drinks.


The oldest volunteer at the event was 93-year-old June Chong, affectionately known as “Auntie June” to everyone at the nursing home. 

She has been volunteering for over 40 years and still helps out at the nursing home despite suffering from a bad knee.

When asked why she continues to volunteer, Mdm Chong replied: “Love is inexhaustible.”

She added that the friendships she has made keep her going back for more.

“You can give a lot of love – it’s up to you whether you want to give. You can give to 10 people, and still there’s love to give. I found that the old folks whom I made friends with remembered me. And I felt the friendships should be sustained,” she said.

For the party, Mdm Chong woke up at 5am and with her helper, prepared steaming hot mee siam, which she later dished out to beaming seniors.


At charity organisation Boys’ Town, which helps children and youth in need, residents put up a live show for an end-of-year bash on Wednesday.

The non-profit organisation said the event was “very special” as it allowed its residents, some of whom did not have the opportunity to celebrate with their families, to revel in the festivities with each other.

The charity had not been able to put on a large-scale event like this for the past two years due to the pandemic.  

For many of the residents, the party was the first time they had experienced celebrating the Christmas holiday with Boys’ Town.

“Not every one of us could celebrate Christmas at home or to spend time with our family members or loved ones,” said Dr Roland Yeow, executive director of the organisation in Upper Bukit Timah.

“Unfortunately, we have circumstances of our youth who require a lot more care, or they are not ready to be integrated with their families. So having someone to provide such a festive celebration, indeed creates a memorable experience for them,” he added.

Sponsors also sweetened the festivities with gifts carefully curated from a wishlist each boy came up with.

As a former resident of Boys’ Town, Dr Yeow said he wants to dispel misconceptions about the home.

“Many of us think that we only take naughty boys or trouble kids, but we are also taking kids and youth who are vulnerable,” he said.

“I find that during this season of the year, many people might be lonely. Many people might be on their own, and it’s good to extend this love and care towards them.”