Singapore

He brings food and smiles to old folks

Part of a series featuring six ordinary heroes who have made a difference to other strangers’ lives. Their heartwarming deeds are celebrated in the ongoing Good Man Good Deeds Good Rice campaign collaboration between Chinese evening daily LIanhe Wanbao and Tong Seng Produce’s rice brand SongHe. In their name, Tong Seng will donate 500kg of SongHe rice and 60 litres of canola oil to their charity of choice.

Residents and staff at Sunlove Home can tell when Mr Govinda Lien, a forex investor and longtime volunteer, drops by.

Mr Lien, 61, is accompanied by the aroma of food, which he never fails to bring with him when visiting each month.

He pays for the meals and his "menu" includes chicken rice and food prepared by his wife.

The residents' smiles more than make up for the hassle of ferrying 200 to 240 packs of food for the home every month, and these smiles have kept him motivated as a volunteer at the home for the past 15 years.

Representatives at the home are grateful to Mr Lien, who they say has made the residents feel loved. As some of them are single old folks, abandoned by family or suffering from diseases, Mr Lien hopes to bring them joy via the smaller things in life.

He also regularly volunteers overseas, such as in orphanages in Cambodia.

Although his youngest son has Down syndrome, Mr Lien encourages his children to volunteer as well.

He said: "Contributing as a volunteer gives me far more happiness and fulfilment than simply donating money. I want to share this happiness with my family so I bring my children volunteering every weekend."

As his father passed away early, Mr Lien had a difficult childhood. His mother struggled to make ends meet.

"We had the help of social welfare then, so we could get by. Now it is time to give back to society," he said.

The semi-retired Mr Lien plans to do more charity work and aims to donate at least half of his savings when he is older.

Mr Lien's charity is Sunlove Home, which was set up in 1987 and is currently helping around 200 mentally ill patients.

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