- Gather some friends who are willing to bless elderly cleaners with you.
- Set aside a budget as a group that you are willing to spend.
- Discuss the items to include in the gift pack + the number of packs that you plan to give out!
- Personalise the gift packs with notes or cards.
- Go out and look for people to bless!
I feel bad that they have to work in such tiring jobs at their age. I am happy to do this challenge because while I feel bad for them, after I finish my meal I leave and forget about it. This is a good chance to really reach out to them and bless them for once!
I usually feel indifferent when I see elderly cleaners at hawker centres because of how common this situation is. I assume they are healthy and still able to take up a job to support themselves financially. When I first heard about the challenge, I thought, “Aww, that’s nice!” Cleaners are usually taken for granted. It’s not that we don’t appreciate their work, but most people will say “thank you” to them, and that’s pretty much it.
It saddens me to see elderly cleaners at hawker centres. At 60-80 years old, they should be enjoying their lives, but they are working instead. I am quite excited about this challenge because I can imagine the smiles on their faces when they receive the goodies we are going to bless them with. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make someone happy, so I am looking forward to that!
I am a bit nervous about this challenge because I’m not good in Mandarin or dialect! Additionally, I don’t know how the elderly cleaners will react to us. Will they accept or reject the gift packs? However, I am definitely excited because I get to bless them with my friends!
We started the challenge by deciding what to include in the gift pack. It was actually really difficult! We wanted the gift pack to contain healthy food that are suitable for the elderly, and there were so many choices! We spent quite a lot of time deciding exactly what to include, and in the end, we got them oats, bee hoon, milo, biscuits, and some healthy drinks.
Throughout the challenge, I had difficulty communicating with the elderly cleaners, but the highlight was when the elderly cleaners received the gift packs with huge smiles on their faces and even shared the joy with their colleagues whom we eventually decided to bless as well! I would definitely do this again and grab even more friends along! Other than the fact that it was really fun to do this with friends, the outcome of giving was so worth the time we spent. Seeing the happy, blessed faces of the aunties and uncles in the middle of a hot day reminded me that they deserve to be loved and cared for with the love of Christ. Even if they do not know about Jesus, the least we can do is to display His love through acts of giving. We would definitely recommend this challenge to everyone!
As we embarked on the challenge, I started to worry if the cleaners would reject the goodies that we were going to give them. When we started giving out the packs, some of them responded by saying, “Money is not easy to earn, I won’t accept it.” That response was difficult for me to come to terms with. It made me think perhaps, they have been struggling with their finances for so long that they would rather earn their own money than receive help from others.
Like Annabelle, I felt pretty nervous that the cleaners might think we were trying to con them! But I was also excited to bring them some joy and love and let them know that they are not invisible, and we appreciate them. We had to convince them that we just wanted to bless them with the groceries, and in the end, I was really happy to see their eyes light up and soften when they felt safe to accept the gifts. We saw genuine smiles that showed they were touched and felt some love from us.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Being a blessing to elderly cleaners does not need to stop (or start!) with a Kallos Challenge. We come into contact with food stall owners and cleaners practically on a daily basis, but often are in too much of a hurry to realise that they are people with stories too! Make it a habit to thank them and ask about their day if the opportunity arises. It just might put a smile on their face, and yours!