What is the best gift for the residents of Lovely Nursing Centre?

The Christmas of 2011 is approaching.  Shopping malls have since 2 months ago decked their halls with ornaments and shiny things which people have come to associate with Christmas.  Christmas, as people always say, is the season of giving.  It is also a great excuse to having a good time with family and friends.  But what is a meaningful gift for those without family or friends?

On 17 December 2011, a small group of BECAUSE members joined Soroptomist International Petaling Jaya (SIPJ) in bringing some Christmas warmth and cheer to the folks of Lovely Nursing Centre at Jalan SS3/80, Kelana Jaya.  The Centre’s branch, which takes care of handicapped and/or orphaned children, also joined in the party.

It was BECAUSE’s first time visiting the Centre whilst SIPJ had been kindly organizing such visits to the Centre every year.  This time, Kechara Oasis had sponsored the tasty vegetarian dinner while SIPJ sang some Christmas carols, complete with a Malaysian Santa Clause!

Founded in July 1999 by Mr. Gopinath and his mother Madam Thanalechumi, the Centre takes care of at least 50 residents who are handicapped and/or abandoned, aged from 40s to late 90s.  This unassuming couple has been serving the residents based entirely on volunteerism and charity from the public, and now the (grand)daughter, Madhu, is poised to take over the helm.  This family is a true gem in this era of materialism and self-concern.  What drives this humble family to live utterly in service for the aged, whom even their own family members do not want to take care of?

Like most homes for the aged, the Centre requires funds for daily operations, food to feed the residents, and manpower to look after the fragile old folks.  Based on what the author saw and heard from the caretaker, the latter seems to be what is dearly needed most by these abandoned people who are once everything and the world to their children.

What volunteers took back from this visit was this: the best gift we could give to folks whose time is running out, whose families have given up on them, whose friends are but just vague memories, is our time and presence.

If you wish to share your time or resources with the residents of Lovely Nursing Centre, please contact Su An at suan@because.my.

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