Author Archives: Chef

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

We buy and consume all the time. It’s a habit difficult to throw, especially when we are always buried in slogans that shout “Out with the Old, In with the New”.

In time, we pile up useless things that clutter our living space. What can we do about this? Rather than throwing them away, we can send them over to the good ol’ Rag and Bone man. And imagine not just having 1 man collecting these useless treasures, but a 250-strong team.

On 11 November 2017, Heartware Network supported 250 students from Singapore Institute of Management University of London (SIM-UOL) in an annual fund-raising Rag and Bone event. The full day hunt involved collecting recyclables from residents staying in Sengkang. Proceeds raised from the sale of these items would fund two subsequent projects: a Children’s Carnival and a Home Refurbishment project for our Support Our Pioneers (SOP) beneficiaries.


A volunteer waited patiently to collect unwanted items from a resident.

With the residents’ help in gathering recyclables like newspapers, unwanted clothing, and old electrical appliances, the volunteers managed to purge and clean the entire Sengkang estate. A whopping 29,665 housing units were visited in just one day!

Some volunteers claimed that this was their first experience being part of a Rag and Bone effort. They faced multiple rejections from the residents, and had to manage their own expectations and emotions. The greatest takeaway for these students was gaining more patience, resilience, and compassion amongst other amicable virtues.

Here it from them:

“I feel that Rag and Bone has a really meaningful purpose. I am honoured to be able to organise and execute such a big event. I felt that it went smoothly despite a number of hiccups. It was because I had all my members with me that we were able to solve those hiccups quickly and calmly.”

Lydia Leong Kit Min, 21, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM Global Education)

“The purpose of Rag and Bone is to raise funds to help the needy. However, to me, it is not just a fundraising event. It is also an opportunity for students to be more aware of what is happening in society. I want the students to also know that all the little things they do mean a lot to the people they help. Lastly, it was a good break from our studies – to shift the newspapers and other collectables. It makes for good, light exercise.”

 Justin Yeong Xiang Ping, 25, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM Global Education)

Later on 16 December 2017, the students kicked off the Refurbishment Project in conjunction with our Support Our Pioneers. The students targeted 15 homes of our underprivileged elderly in the Lengkok Bahru area. 130 student volunteers worked tirelessly the entire day; they cleaned, painted, and changed the furniture in these homes. Some volunteers even stayed longer than the stipulated time just to see the refurbishment to the end.


A volunteer sought consent from the elderly before discarding expired food and medicine.

The volunteers demonstrated incredible passion and dedication towards helping the elderly own a safe, hygienic, and comfortable home to live in. It was most heart-warming to see the relief and approval on the elderly’s faces when they saw their homes completely transformed.

Check out some of these amazing transformations:

RagandBone4 RagandBone5 RagandBone6 RagandBone7 RagandBone8

 “When I first visited the elderly’s home I was assigned to, I found his home in a horrid state. The house reeked of urine and there were bed bugs crawling around his bed. When we talked to the elderly, he did not expect much from us but I felt that we could definitely help him live in a more sanitary and bug-free environment. During the refurbishment, we had our sponsored pest exterminator to help get rid of the bed bugs, and people to paint his whole house. With the help of my volunteers, we managed to finish the refurbishment in time so that he could have an early rest. I have learnt a lot from this experience and definitely felt that I have done something to help better someone’s life.”

Vincent Seah Yong Qiang, 23, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM Global Education)

“I feel that the home refurbishment was a very meaningful endeavour, and the satisfaction felt at the end far outweighs the tiring recces and preparation work. I hope this event would continue to be a tradition for the SIM-UOL Transformers family, as a little kindness goes a long way, especially so in this busy society that we live in.”

Jasper Oh How Chuan, 22, Singapore Institute of Management (SIM Global Education) 

Heartware Network is glad to be part of this fruitful engagement with the SIM-UOL students. In 2018, we will strive to have more collaborations with community partners as well as youth volunteers to better address and serve the needs of our beneficiaries.

The Support Our Pioneers programme aims to bridge the inter-generational gap and promote active ageing by empowering youths to reach out and serve the elderly. 

Join our volunteer team to make bi-monthly home visitations and organise activities and outings for the elderly. Click here to find out more!


Heartware Network celebrates the jolly season of Christmas


Christmas Carnival opening ceremony.

They say it’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, but the people around it. 

On 16 December 2017, Heartware Network played a part at supporting the Christmas Carnival at MPC@Khatib, in collaboration with Nee Soon South and Yishun Methodist Mission. The guests-of-honour were Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister of Law and Chief Patron of Heartware Network, Mr Faishal Ibrahim, Parliament Secretary for Ministry of Education, and Dr Lee Bee Wah, Advisor to Nee Soon South GROs. 

The spectacular carnival boasted exciting booths ranging from colorful shirt-painting to towering bouncy castles – all manned professionally by our volunteers. Let’s not forget the lofty 10-metre Christmas Tree (the best backdrop for we-fies), and that 635 Yishun residents broke the Singapore Book of Records for the most number of carolers in a single event! Talk about going BIG!


The light up of 10 meters tall Christmas Tree.

It was also a time where all our Support Our Pioneers (SOP) beneficiaries gathered. For those with mobility issues, they could finally leave the confines of their homes and breathe fresh air. They really had looked forward to the event, and they weren’t disappointed! It marked the final SOP event of the year. On this melancholic note, both the elderly and volunteers made for an unforgettable day. 


The arrival of our SOP beneficiaries and volunteers at the carnival site.

Our enthusiastic volunteers brought the seniors around and participated alongside them at the game booths and food stalls. One of the elderly, Mrs Foo also stole the crowd by singing Christmas carols. She was met with thunderous applause! 


SOP volunteer Lili helping Mr Mok in designing a T-shirt.


Mrs Foo singing some lines from her favourite song.

The carnival was also successful through the efforts of our Heartware volunteers who handled the game booths amazingly. Some had their first try out with volunteering with us through this event, and had troubles with difficult patrons. It was a learning point to be made! 

A final takeaway by volunteer Haslinda: 

25627019_1774231319261940_2352330468127903589_o “Volunteering for the Christmas Carnival was really an eye opener for me in terms of socialising with other people. I’ve learnt so much and made many new friends just from volunteering for a day with Heartware. Interacting with people of different ages and different walks of life allowed me to understand different kinds of personalities and perspectives, and to never judge someone based on their outer appearance. “

- Siti Nur Haslinda, 17, Nanyang Polytechnic



29 Questions with Jessie Ye

29 Questions

The Heartware Network team met up with Jessie Ye, a volunteer leader for the Support Our Pioneers Programme 2017 on her usual Saturday morning. Here are our 29 questions with Jessie:

1.     What’s the first thing you do in the morning?


2.     What did you have for breakfast?

Strawberry cake.

3.     Do you have a nickname?

Yes, so many. Umm, snail?

4.     How old are you?


5.     If you could pick any age to stay for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

15, in Secondary 3 because it was very relaxing.

6.     What’s one thing you could never live without?


7.     What are 3 items that I can definitely find in your bag?

Wet tissue, medicated oil, and lip balm.

8.     What are you doing today?

Visiting the elderly.

9.     Other than the Support Our Pioneers programme, what do you do over the weekends?

Binge-watch dramas.

10.  How many elderly have you befriended so far?


11.  What happens if no one opens the door?

I’ll write a note and leave it at their door, and let them know what time and date we’ll be there.

12.  How do you feel when you see the elderly?

Happy and excited!

13.  What’s the toughest thing that happened in the Support Our Pioneers programme?

Probably the first visit when we didn’t really know what to do.

14.  What scares you the most?


15.  If you have one super power what would it be?


16.  What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Be yourself.

17.  Who was that advice from?

My teacher.

18.  How do you think Mdm Leong is today?

Usually she is quite chirpy and chatty.

19.  What do you and Mdm Leong usually do?

We talk about how she is, what she has been doing, what does she want to eat etc.

20.  What do you want to say to your 60-year old self?

Stay active.

21.  What’s the most beautiful thing in the world?

A mother’s love.

22.  What is one cause that is close to your heart?


23.  What’s the best gift you have ever received?

Handwritten letters.

24.  Do you think you are a giver or a receiver?

Probably a receiver, but I give back too.

25.  Do you think you are a leader or a follower?

I’m a leader who is not afraid to follow.

26.  Do you think the youth could make a difference?

Yea, of course.

27.  What do you need to do/have to volunteer with the elderly?

Be patient and open-minded.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

28.  What kind of difference do you want to make in the world?

Just to be kind to everyone.

29.  Last question: Is SOP worth waking up in the morning for?

I’m here, so ya!

To see the full video, click on the link below!

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