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Your Community Service Partner in meeting society’s needs

 

Founded in 1946, Metropolitan YMCA (MYMCA) Singapore is a non-profit organisation with a long-standing tradition of Christian charity. Initially
named the Chinese YMCA, it was founded by Dr Chen Su Lan, a medical practitioner who fought the wide-spread use of opium and saw the need for youths to be engaged in wholesome activities. It offered skills, vocational and recreation courses, catering mainly to the Chinese-speaking community. In 1974, the Chinese YMCA changed its name to Metropolitan YMCA and set up its headquarters at 60 Stevens Road.

Through holistic, enrichment and recreational programmes to develop the body, mind and spirit, MYMCA focuses on building strong kids, strong families and strong communities. We provide affordable hospitality services through The Metropolitan Y, comprising 98 hotel-standard guest rooms, 11 conference rooms and a 128-seat restaurant, and 27 Metro-Y apartment units. We also run MY World Preschool, an anchor operator with 26 centres island-wide, with an emphasis on character development and values.

MY Manna: Provisions with a Mission
Recent years have also seen MYMCA forge collaborations with churches, such as the MY Manna programme, which supplies basic groceries
and toiletries in a customised manner to poor families in Singapore. Rather than receiving pre-packed rations, beneficiaries select the items they want within a needs-based budget. Singles receive $50 worth of provisions a month, while couples receive $60, and families get $70 to $100, depending on their family size.

MYMCA supplies the groceries to partner churches, where their church volunteers pack and deliver groceries to beneficiaries in their vicinity.
Currently, Kum Yan Methodist Church (Queen Street and Woodlands), Marine Parade Christian Centre, The New Church and Yishun Christian Church (Anglican) are MY Manna partners. MYMCA CEO Ms Phyllis Tan says, “We are happy to see more churches partnering us in community work, extending a hand of blessing to the needy in our nation. By collaborating and tapping on each other’s strengths, we can reach more families and minister to them more effectively.”

Putting Faith into Action
Ministry staff Rebecca Quek of Kum Yan Methodist Church shares how being involved in MY Manna has expanded their work among the community and energised their members. She says, “We now work with families in need as well as the elderly, distributing and delivering groceries once a month.”

“As loneliness is an issue for many beneficiaries, we try to provide that personal touch in befriending them and bringing cheer into their lives through care and concern. Because we visit them at home, we are also better able to identify and meet their other needs,” explains Rebecca.

The church has also seen positive outcomes within its congregation, as “they realised how blessed they were and found it to be a very meaningful expression of their faith”.

Andrew Chan, a member of Kum Yan’s youth congregation, says: “Volunteering in this programme has really opened my eyes to see that not everyone in Singapore is able to afford their own home. Many of these people live in one-room flats. As such, it is rather common to see things stacked up in every corner of the house and up to the ceiling. As some suffer from sickness, they are not able to work and only able to do basic things in life. In short, they are unable to live life to the fullest. I have learnt not to take things for granted, and to be thankful for the simple things and enjoyment we have in life.”[/vc_column_text]

 

“Youth Empowerment for Social Change”(YES), a camp usedto inspire youth for social responsibility.

 

Youths gathering at YOUTHSync

 

Far left: Youths from MY Mentoring, a character development programme. Middle and far right:Volunteers packing groceries for distribution.

Photos courtesy of MYMCA

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