Outreach, Welfare

Rallying youths to take steps for a cause

When Jasper Ong, 28, and Leonard Chong, 26, heard about the STEPS For A Cause Runathon 2013, they spontaneously hatched a plan to rope in their friend Darryl Soon, 26, and raise funds for the needy at the same time. The trio, from Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church (TPCMC), threw down the gauntlet before the youths of TPCMC – raise funds for STEPS, and Darryl would run the 4.3 km route at the runathon pulling a tire along behind him.

This harnessing of youths’ creativity and compassion is the precise motivation behind the STEPS For A Cause Runathon, which was held at Bedok Reservoir Park on August 24 this year.

STEPS – now in its second year running – is organised by the Chinese Annual Conference youths to rally other youths for social concerns, using fund-raising as a means.

Before the runathon flag-off, Chinese Annual Conference President Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung said: “Society has high hopes for our youths. The church has high hopes for our youths… There are many tasks and ministries that need the youths to succeed.”

And more are rallying to the cause. This year, 505 runners – more than double last year’s 220 runners – registered with STEPS to raise more than $60,000 for the 5,000 beneficiaries served by Methodist Welfare Services (MWS).

Matthew Han, Chairman of the organising committee and member of Grace Methodist Church, believes that the youths are raring to serve, and they simply need an outlet.

To reach out to Methodist youths, the STEPS organising committee made rounds at church services and Methodist gatherings. Between them, they spoke to Methodists from more than 10 churches,exhorting the congregations to step forward. TPCMC is one good example of how the youths can be rallied. Collectively, TPCMC youths raised more than $4,000.

A dollar for every metre,” said Darryl, referring to the 4.3 km route that he ran. Lynn Chua, the winner for the ladies’ competitive category, said running events are a good way to raise money.

“More people see the importance of health and are running more,” said the 23-year-old medical student who worships at Hinghwa Methodist Church.

The Rev Andy Goh, advisor of the organising committee, also noted that STEPS is symbolic of Methodists journeying with the beneficiaries.

“We’re running in unity with those who are running a tougher path in life,” he said.

SUPPORT * our cause by volunteering, donating, and participating in MWS events. Visit www.mws.org.sg or www. facebook.com/methodistwelfareservices

Picture by Methodist Welfare Services

Darryl Soon from Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church pulling along the tire that he promised to run 4.3 km with, if youths from his church raised funds for MWS beneficiaries. By upping the ante, he and his two friends raised more than $4,000 with their creativity and brawn.

Chuang Bing Han is the Web Editor at Methodist Welfare Services, and worships at Harvester Community Church.