You’re not alone if you feel bogged down by the world being a Negative Nancy with natural disasters and bad news cropping up every time you blink. But for all its downs, 2021 also restored our faith in humanity in plenty of ways with wholesome happenings throughout the year.
Here are eight heartwarming moments that happened in Singapore that might just lift your spirits up and give you good vibes.
Image credit: Stomp
Getting into a car accident is the ultimate nightmare for any driver. Thankfully, this elderly couple who found themselves trapped in an overturned car in September 2021 had the aid of passersby to get them out of their circumstances.
Around 15 bystanders quickly banded together to assess the situation. When they determined that the couple in the car only had minor injuries, they then put together their strength to overturn the car. This is a great example of there being strength in unity.
Image credit: Youth Corps Singapore
We might have come a long way since the days of a dirty Singapore River, but there’s still plenty of litter strewn about in our water bodies. In a bid to combine both work and play, Benjamin Kheng, Pamela Lee, Ian Jeevan, and a couple of volunteers went on a kayaking trip to pick up trash at Jurong Lake Gardens.
They even held a friendly competition to encourage each other to pick up as much litter as possible. Some weird things they found included full cans of Pepsi and even a toy truck. Singapore’s status as a clean and green city doesn’t just apply to land – our waters also need to be taken care of too.
Image credit: American in Singapore
Cyclists sometimes get a bad rep on the streets of Singapore, but not this guy. Travis, an American expat, was caught in the rain with his family at the Green Corridor. A group of cyclists passed them shortly after, and one of them stopped to offer Travis an umbrella. While he initially declined as they were already wet, the selfless cyclist insisted as they had a child.
In a YouTube video Travis made to seek out the kind samaritan, he reflected on how often fellow Singaporeans have helped him assimilate into our little red dot. Whether it’s just directing him on where to buy groceries to offering shelter in the rain, he feels that kindness like this shouldn’t go unrecognised.
“I want to find this person to return the umbrella, thank him in person, and buy him a coffee,” Travis added. If you’re the Mystery Cyclist reading this, you might have just made a new friend in town.
Image credit: ItsRainingRaincoats
We often take browsing the Internet for granted, but on the flip side, most migrant workers don’t have that same luxury. In an effort to show how access to digital devices can impact someone’s life, local welfare group ItsRainingRainbows gave one worker a secondhand laptop to help him find a new job.
The man, who holds a diploma in engineering, soon scored a job as a technician that offered twice the salary he was drawing as a worker. This means he can help support his family back in his home country with a lot more ease. With our country built on the backs of many of these men, it’s good to see they’re treated with equal amounts of compassion and respect.
Many elderly who live alone may tend to get overlooked, and recently one Singaporean man took to TikTok to share his experience of helping an uncle with disabilities.
On his way home, Alfian Abdul Ramlan chanced upon an elderly grandpa who was meekly pushing his wheelchair. Seeing that he was alone, Alfian asked if he needed any assistance only to find out the uncle was mute. After some attempts at communicating, he realised the uncle just wanted to buy some bread and go home.
Once they ran the errands, Alfian brought the uncle back to his flat and gave him his phone number in case he needed any more help. But before he left, the uncle gave him a couple of pieces of bread as a token of appreciation for the kind gesture.
“Thank you old man, you showed me that there’s actually a heart in me when I thought it was broken,” Alfian added at the end of his TikTok.
Image credit: Youth Corps Singapore
Just because you can’t travel abroad for overseas exchange programmes doesn’t mean your volunteerism has to stop. Local celebs Benjamin Kheng, Pamela Lee, and Munah Bagharib recently took part in a virtual volunteering programme with Youth Corps to give online lessons to Indonesian youth on mental health and environmental topics.
From telling stories to learning how to upcycle toilet rolls into stationary, the trio also showed the kids Singapore’s culture without having to board a VTL flight. “There was that beautiful feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself and connecting with the wonderful kids from across the country,” Benjamin said at the end of the programme.
Image credit: ItsRainingRaincoats
This past Christmas, the residents of Hundred Palms Residence in Yio Chu Kang teamed up with local welfare group ItsRainingRaincoats to play Santa for the migrant workers who clean our streets and build our skyscrapers.
The residents used funds from their lemonade stand charity drive to gift 85 sets of Creative Bluetooth earphones to the workers as an early Christmas gift, part of ItsRainingRaincoats’ fourth Christmas drive.
It’s heartwarming to see how a group of condo residents killed two birds with one stone by supporting one of our homegrown brands and putting a smile on the migrant workers faces.
Singapore prides itself on being a multi-racial community, and it doesn’t take much to exemplify our kampung spirit. Shahrizal Salleh, known better as Chef Bob, recently shared on TikTok how his neighbours – an elderly Chinese couple – gave him a tingkat of tang yuan to commemorate the Winter Solstice.
The glutinous rice balls were also accompanied with soup, peanut crumbs, and sugar as it should be. This tiny display of neighbourly ties might have only taken a couple of minutes out of their days, but every bit goes a long way into helping Singapore become a more racially harmonious nation.
We also love that Chef Bob paid the kind gesture forward by gifting the aunty some CNY goodies from Old Chang Kee.
That feeling you get when something flutters inside you and your heart grows just a little bit? That’s wholesomeness, and we could always use more of that in our lives. It doesn’t even have to be a grand gesture displayed on social media. Holding the door for someone, saying please and thank you, or simply wearing a smile on your face can help lift someone’s day up.
To show how easy it is to get started, Benjamin Kheng and Pamela Lee took part in the video series What Are You Doing This Week? where they embarked on their own wholesome journey with self-care, empathising with poverty, and – like you saw above – picking up trash and “overseas” volunteerism.
Those who want to send out more good vibes into the world can also look to join the Youth Corps Singapore’s Do Good Tribe as volunteers. The initiative helps a bunch of various causes from children and mental well-being to cleaning up the environment.
This post was brought to you by the National Youth Council.
Cover image adapted from: ItsRainingRaincoats, Stomp
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