The farewell between Soka volunteer Lay Keow and stroke survivor Vivian started with smiles and encouraging handshakes. But as reality set in and a few touching words of appreciation later, the two shared a tearful embrace, one that epitomised the bond developed between the volunteers and the SPD Day Activity Centre (DAC) clients over the past 11 years.
Members from the Singapore Soka Association (SSA), affectionately known as the ‘Soka aunties and uncles’ have volunteered at the DAC since 2005. The spritely group of more than ten would pop by fortnightly to exercise, sing and dance with the clients. Their lively sessions and contagious laughter, coupled with festive parties and outdoor trips, had been highlights for the clients for as long as they can remember.
All good things must come to an end and 18 February marked the group’s last visit to DAC as Soka volunteers. A simple farewell reception was organised in appreciation of their dedication, including a song performance of a medley of Chinese New Year songs by the DAC clients.
“I found so much joy spending my Thursday morning with the DAC clients, and our occasional outings. I shall treasure these memories and hope to meet them again in future,” said Soka auntie Ow Yong Siew Ying.
With a last encouraging pat on the shoulder, a gentle touch to the face and another warm hug, the Soka aunties and uncles bid the DAC clients goodbye.