November 12, 2018Back to list
The Heart To Serve
I was first introduced to Transport Minding by a Senior Social Worker from MCYC. Initially I was quite hesitant because of the interview and screening, which consisted of many detailed questions. The term “Transport Minder” was also a puzzling one at first, as I did not know what my scope of work would be. Thank-fully, my interviewer, Mr Francis, was engaging and comforting. He was also more than willing to guide me through the entire process, and explained that a Transport Minder is one who provides and care through a transport service. In this case, it is ferrying foster children who are infants, toddlers or teenagers from one place to another. The more Mr Francis and I talked and shared, the more my desire to volunteer for such services grew.
Volunteering is not new to me. I have been volunteering with various welfare services and organisations since my college days. Fun fact, that was how i met my wife, Christina! She and I were students together in college. We were both actively involved in our college’s Welfare Society. We would hire 40-seater buses on most Saturday afternoons to visit Children’s Homes and other Homes which help the handicapped, blind, visually impaired and retarded.
We both have the heart to serve; to provide love and care for the people and children in such services. Which was why I eventually also got my wife to join MCYC’s volunteering efforts so that we may help children together – I am a transport minder while she volunteers in other areas of MCYC’s work.
My First Two Assignments
My first assignment was in in the middle of December 2017. I had to fetch a 17-month foster child from Choa Chu Kang Estate to a Family Services Centre in Macpherson to meet her natural mother. Many questions went through my mind – how do I handle such a young toddler in my car? What if she yelled and cried non-stop? I asked my wife to come along as a volunteer as I certainly needed her help.
This first experience was met with loud yelling and crying in the car. We understood that this can be traumatic for a child as she is handed from her foster mother to my wife and I, who to her are two complete strangers. With the child strapped in a baby seat, my wife played the role of a nanny; giving motherly care while patting and comforting her. Within 10 minutes, the girl stopped crying as she felt the touch of a mother. When we reached the Family Services Centre, we could see the joy of handing the child to her natural parent, who was waiting eagerly to meet her. It was such a fulfilling moment to see bonding between the natural parent and child.
My next assignment was a little different, but indeed a very emotional one. I had to fetch an 11-year old boy from a Children’s Home back to his foster parents. He had just spent a whole afternoon with his natural mother and siblings. As the boy gets into the car, no words need to be said but you can sense the well of emotions as we drive away.
Hoping for a friendly chat on our journey back, I invited him to sit in the front passenger seat. At first, he remained quiet, sobbing and glancing back at his parent and siblings from the side mirror of my car. I could only comfort him and offered a piece of tissue to wipe his tears. He took to this gesture well, and we began to talk a little as we journied back to his foster parents.
Glorifying God Through Service
Acts of service like these remind me of what Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 18:5 – And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Such volunteering assignments have opened the eyes of my wife and I to see that these children are indeed loved, and are capable of love as well. Through transport minding, you will see budding relationships between the foster children and their natural parents. Over time, you feel accomplished as being an instrumental part in this reintegration process.
Going Places: A Transport Minder’s Journey
(by Wong Wing Kwong, Transport Minder)
The important work of Epworth Community Services is funded primarily by generous well- wishers who strongly believe in our cause.read more