Service at rest home goes both ways

The Macleans College Community Service Prefects have visited local rest-homes throughout the year. However, recently, they offered the opportunity for all interested students to engage in this meaningful and heart-warming service. Below are some accounts of the experiences from the first team. If you are interested in joining this project, press join on this Facebook group:

“In life, it is not always about receiving something in return for your good deed. But the elderly down at the Bucklands Beach Rest-home are kind enough to give you something helpful in return. It is their heart-warming smiles. Sometimes, all you really need is just a glimpse from a granny who has a smile that tells you their lifetime memories. Their smile will brighten you, inspire you, and motivate you to achieve what you want to achieve.

All you need to do is give up some of your valuable time on a Saturday lunchtime, to receive a warming smile (absolutely FREE) from the ones you cared for. Although they have done their job in this world, a simple action of respect is all the ‘thank you’ they really need from you. So remember, come along down to Bucklands Beach Rest-home and enjoy an opportunity to meet the Heroes of our world.”

By William Zhang.

“We were told that the visit to the rest home was for the service of the residents. Ironically, their keenness in helping us in any way put us to shame. As I stepped into the hall, one of the residents noticed my entrance. “I can’t express how thankful I am for you to be here,” she said. “Living your life in the service of others will give you the greatest of happiness. Now go along and join your friends over there.” I was entranced. Here she was, giving an advice garnered from a lifetime of experience to a complete stranger, with a tinge of worry that she might be keeping me away from my friends. I couldn’t bring myself to leave this wonderful person and struck up a conversation with her. No hint of complaint, no hint of dissatisfaction. Everything she said of the world was thankful. Content.

As I looked into her eyes I found myself absolved of all anxiety, pain, and regret — for these materialistic concerns pale in the feeling of pure bliss to which all the residents seem to express. Their selfless service to us — the advices they gave and the stories they told — will forever impact the actions we will take henceforth.”

By Edison Rho.

“So the day at Bucklands Beach Rest-home as been awesome. It is great to talk to a couple of old folks who had a great sense of humour, told amazing stories about their journey through life, and gave great life advice such as to stay out of Mt. Eden Jail. They will instantly capture a place in your heart.”

By Millath Nawaz

“The visit to Bucklands Beach Rest-home only took an hour out of my not-so-busy schedule, and in that hour, I realised how the little things in life can really make a big difference. Just talking to the residents and making them laugh showed how easy it was to make someone’s day, which in turn, made me feel equally gratified. I’ve never realised how rewarding volunteering is and would gladly go on a regular basis.”

By Abbie Marshall

“The people at the rest home are genuinely lovely. They have such warm smiles, charming personalities and are still young at heart. It was truly amazing to meet them and hear all their stories: their tales from war, snippets of their mischievous childhood, the places they have travelled to and all the things they have done.

They have so much to share and I am looking forward to meeting them again.”

By Ria Kapoor

“Where would you find a bunch of college students and elderly folk singing along to Disney’s “Let It Go”, telling stories, laughing, and having a general good old time? After just an hour with the residents of Bucklands Beach Rest Home on Saturday, I received a small glimpse of the many stories, years of life experience and bundles of wisdom which lie within the waterfront rest home building. We had a wonderful time singing and laughing together, and even kept some of the residents, who hoped for an encore, away from their noon meal. A budgie named “Cheeky” was just one of the lively characters we were so fortunate to meet.

My personal highlight was the opportunity to sit and listen to their stories- the many experiences which have built them into the people they are, many of which we can learn a great deal from. We are welcome back at any time, and I dare say that I’m not the only one who looks forward to visiting again soon.”

By Annaliese Wheeler

Compiled and edited by Keniel Yao.

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