No wheels, no problem, say volunteers at Wheels of Love 2020
There was no motorcycle convoy rumbling down the road at the Chong Aik International Wheels of Love (WOL) 2020 on Dec 27.
Nor was there a loud send-off or large gathering at the 10th anniversary of the annual charity event.
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions placed on Singaporeans' lives and WOL, the spirit of giving was not lost.
Motorcyclists and pillions from 18 groups traded their wheels for brisk walking to deliver 100 sets of mattresses, pillows and bed sheets to needy residents at Eunos Crescent.
Mr Steven Teh from Chong Aik International said: "We had to turn away many bikers who wanted to volunteer because of the (Covid-19) restrictions. But Covid-19 doesn't mean we stop helping others."
After the morning's safety briefing at Geylang Serai Community Club, 50 bikers and grassroots volunteers split into two groups to deliver the items to rental flat residents at Eunos Crescent and Geylang Serai.
At Eunos Crescent, things got underway with the arrival of guest of honour Mohd Fahmi Aliman, an MP for Marine Parade GRC for Geylang Serai and Mayor of South East District.
He rode pillion on a motorcycle and it was his first time supporting WOL.
Mr Fahmi said: "Most residents are feeling the pinch but what is important (for events like WOL 2020) is that we have to care for them. These may be small gestures, but it tells them they matter."
The volunteers broke into smaller groups and spread out to the nearby blocks carrying the bedding items, some by hand while others used trolleys.
Those who were designated blocks farther away resorted to piling the items into MPVs.
Beneficiaries from Block 12 Eunos Crescent, like Madam Sakmah Sampar and her husband, waited eagerly as they spotted the volunteers walking past basketball courts towards their homes.
Madam Sakmah, 64, said the new mattress and pillow will be useful as she looks after her five grandchildren.
Volunteers took down names of frail beneficiaries who were unable to install the bedding items to bed frames. They would receive help on another day.
A few doors away, another resident Madam Teo Bee Hua was delighted with the items. She lives there with her husband, a recovering cancer patient.
Madam Teo, 68, said she will be sleeping on the new mattress, adding: "There's only the two of us, we have no children. It is a good feeling when others think of you."
In two hours, the sweaty volunteers had completed their tasks.
WOL 2020 organising committee chairman Mohd Nizam Eli, 51, said when it comes to charity work, bikers are willing volunteers.
In the last 10 years, WOL has supported hospitals, needy residents and welfare homes.
He said: "While we cannot accommodate all bikers for this year's WOL, the main thing is that we maintain and keep the spirit of volunteerism alive."