Man not only performs for patients -- but grows own crops to give old folks too

Submitted by Stomper David

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Stomper David, the founder of non-profit volunteer group Survivor Camp Befrienders, shared with Stomp his experience in volunteering and why he thinks it is important.

David said that himself, along with his volunteers from Survivor Camp Befrienders, go to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on alternate Thursdays to sing and perform for the patients there.

"We go all the way from level seven to level 12 to perform for them, both the old and the young. Sometimes we also go to Ren Ci Hospital which is practically next door," he said.

"We even have someone to play the guitar while we perform.

"The patients there are usually happy to see us, as some of the old folks there rarely have anyone visiting them. So I think they are happy to get the attention."

On top of performing for patients at the hospital, David also grows his own organic crops, including tomatoes, long beans, limes, and winter melons, on the weekends.

He even has his own plot of land near Khatib Camp.

He said: "These crops are grown without any pesticides.

"I usually send these crops to old folks homes, and to old people who stay alone, as well as old people who have no income."

David said Survivor Camp Befrienders started since Apr 2007 and he wants to take this chance to recruit more people, especially students, to join his volunteer group.

"My camp not only allows children to contribute to society, but also teaches them how to survive in the wild.

"I train them to go with the flow, to make do with what is available, because what happens if one is lost without any types of equipment?

"This way the children will know what to do if they ever run into such an emergency."

David also added that the volunteers will be taught how to plant crops, which is a way to cultivate their patience.

"It is not so easy that you just put the seed in then that's it. You must nurture it, have the patience to take care of them until it's time for the harvest."

When asked how he feels about helping people, David said without hesitation: "Feels good la! It's like a reward.

"I just put myself in other people's shoes and I feel that I would be happy if total strangers offer me help when I need it.

"It is a process, everyone will grow old one day, so I think that it is important for children to start from young to learn to take care of the elderly.

"But of course, parents have to first show an example of a good role model for their children to learn."

In conclusion, David said: "The most beautiful part of volunteering is being able to share the happiness."