Her disability did not stop her from starting her own ground-up initiative
She volunteers regularly while travelling on her mobility scooter
Priscilla Ong, the founder of Project Love Lunch and a mother of two, has been helping to deliver food and groceries to underprivileged children and families in Marsiling and Yishun for the past 7 years. Unlike her team of able-bodied volunteers, Priscilla requires a personal mobility aid (PMA) to move around.
The 38 year-old infant care teacher has been using the mobility scooter since 2016, after she got in a car accident.
Despite her situation, she has not wavered from doing volunteer work - instead, she does it on a weekly basis.
With her determination and willingness to always help others out, she started her own ground-up initiative - an all-volunteer community project that has lasted for more than 6 years now.
"I've come into terms with (my disability). Last time I would say, if only I could do this or that. But now I’ve learned to say at least the vehicle can carry more than I can (which allows me to deliver more food)" shares Priscilla.
Project Love Lunch was founded in 2014. Back then, Priscilla was teaching in a pre-school in Woodlands and she wanted to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged children living in the rental flats nearby.
"These kids would come to school the next day wearing the same clothes"
"Neglect was a big issue. Also the kids did not seem to have enough to eat at home. When they come to school they are hungry. Once, I saw two of my students, a pair of brothers, digging in the dustbin for food,” Priscilla shared once more.
While most of the families are already receiving support from the government schemes, unfortunately some still are struggling.
“Why not give them bread, biscuits and milk over the weekend, I thought. From there, Project Love Lunch grew. Once a month we also distribute groceries so that it will be more sufficient for the families,” Priscilla says.
Priscilla also shifted Project Lunch Love to Yishun, where 250 families living in rental flats over five blocks receive bread twice a month through the project’s initiative.
For the bi-monthly distributions, Priscilla engages a core team of 10 volunteers.
For Priscilla and her family, volunteering is a huge part of their daily lives. She has trained her children to be involved in volunteering since young as she believes in the importance of instilling and nurturing a sense of generosity in the children. Over the years, she has also formed a special bond with the children and elderly that she is helping. In spite of the difficulties that come along with consistently lending a helping hand, Priscilla regards the work she does with Project Love Lunch as rewarding.
“The doctor said that I am already overstraining myself by doing so much and he told me to slow down. But I told him, now that I still can volunteer, I want to do it, because there might come a day when I can’t,” shares Priscilla.
Priscilla is a great example of how one’s ability, or disability, does not hinder them from extending their help to those who need it. Despite the odds, she went above what people would typically expect, and managed to establish her own project and community. For all of us, we have it in us to do what we can for people who need it the most. We are capable of helping others, and we should always aspire to do so.
You can support individuals like Priscilla who might not have the same opportunities as she has. For people with a mobility disability, they face an added challenge in getting around, on top of financial challenges to keep up with daily living. You can help us raise money to purchase Assistive Devices, or sponsor a wheelchair to ease people with mobility disability through our Care for the Disabled project.
If you are inspired by Priscilla’s story, you are welcome to be a part of our volunteer community at Global Ehsan Relief. Alternatively, you can show your support to our causes and projects through other means as well. Visit our website to learn more.
Credit: The Pride