Making a difference: Kindness of strangers helps student get home

This article is more than 12 months old

Upon completing an examination in May earlier this year, Secondary 2 student Tiffany Lam, 14, from Raffles Girls School, wanted to make her way home.

She quickly realised that she had left home without her wallet and she did not have enough money in her ez-link card.

Fortunately for her, the kindness of strangers helped her.

She recalled: "I had to take the bus from my school to Stevens MRT station. When I boarded, I told the bus captain that I did not have my wallet.

"He was kind and let me board the bus without charging me and sent me to the station."

She added: "I really want to thank the bus driver but I don't know his name."

When she reached the station, she could not top up her ez-link with the $2 she had borrowed from a friend as the minimum charge is $10.

She said: "My parents are working. I did not want to trouble them to pick me up but I wanted to go home."

She approached the assistant station manager at Stevens station, Miss Jasmine Kaur Abdullah, 32, for help.

Miss Abdullah said: "She stood in front of the counter and said she had no money to go home. She looked so lost and I felt bad for her."

She forked out $10 from her own pocket to charge Tiffany's card and added that she often comes across students without their wallets in her two years of working at the station.

Said Miss Abdullah: "Sometimes I will help them buy a one-way ticket or help them charge their cards. I don't mind if they don't return the money, I just help where I can."

Touched by Miss Abdullah's generosity, Tiffany asked for her mother's advice in thanking Miss Abdullah.

Her mother, who went down to Stevens station to repay Miss Abdullah, told Tiffany to write a letter complimenting the staff member. She even wrote to the media about her encounter.

Miss Abdullah was pleasantly surprised.

She said: "I thought of her when my colleague told me they saw my name in the papers. It really touched me.

"It was just a small thing but Tiffany and her mother are kind about it."

Miss Abdullah and Tiffany's charity is the Central Sikh Temple. Established in 1912, it offers free vegetarian Indian food thrice a week.