By MC1 Jay C. Pugh, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, Public Affairs
Sailors and civilian personnel from various tenant commands in Singapore spent an evening with the kids at the Singapore Children’s Society at Sunbeam Place playing games and making friends on Oct. 25.
Fyda Kassim, the Volunteer Coordinator at the Children’s Society, was grateful to have the volunteers help out. According to Kassim, the Children’s Society at Sunbeam Place houses 72 less fortunate children ranging from ages three to 18.
“It helps us a lot to have positive adult role-models,” said Kassim. “We have constrained manpower and need the volunteers. The children need human-to-human interaction. It means a lot to them.”
The Singapore Children’s Society provides room and board for less fortunate children from unstable homes throughout Singapore. There are a total of 10 centers across Singapore.
“They’re an organization that really benefits from one-on-one interaction,” said Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Russell Trimp, Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific’s (COMLOG) community service program coordinator. “It’s a great place for Sailors to experience and see what those kids go through. In the last year, we’ve worked with them about eight times. It’s important to keep an ongoing relationship with them.”
Four Sailors struck up a spirited soccer game while there. Although there was no official score to the game, it was obvious the children got the best of the Sailors during the match.
“I had a good time,” said Yeoman 1st Class Curt Hedemark, attached to Ship’s Support Unit, Singapore. “All the interaction with the kids was great. I don’t know how often they get a chance to play with good adult role-models.”
“I liked playing with the kids.” said Information Systems Technician Seaman Joshua Glaser, attached to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station, Far East, Singapore. “You could tell they were enjoying it. All their laughter made me feel good. It was low-key enjoyable event. I will definitely do it again.”
The community service event helped emphasize the Navy’s positive presence within the Singapore area. According to Trimp, the main focus of community service events, such as this one, helps establish good-will and confidence towards the Navy’s role in Singapore with local residents.
“We do anywhere from 25 to 35 community service events a year,” said Trimp. “Our focus here is about building positive relationships within the community. We build awareness between the Sailors and civilians at COMLOG and let the Singaporean community know we’re here giving back to the community as part of the U.S. Navy.”