Ms Agnes Ong, PA

A Constituency Management Executive at the Ayer Rajah Community Centre (CC), Agnes is also an active community volunteer who plans emergency-related training sessions and delivers food to the less fortunate. Always ready to listen to residents, she credits her spirit of volunteerism to her formative years with the Girl Guides, where she learnt the value of helping others through small acts of kindness.
Agnes Ong

So it was natural for Agnes to go the extra mile in assisting Mr Ong, an illiterate, 81-year-old retiree who came to the CC one day when she happened to be on duty. Because they shared the same surname, he “felt like a father to me,” Agnes recalls.

Mr Ong’s son was in prison, and his wife, who ran a hawker stall, had become bed-ridden. The elderly retiree also had difficulty walking without aid, but had made the effort to come to the CC. “He was afraid of receiving letters from public agencies as he couldn’t understand English or Mandarin,” says Agnes.

She began to help Mr Ong by translating his letters into Hokkien and communicating with public agencies on his behalf. “He couldn’t call the hotlines because he didn’t know which numbers to dial,” she says. “I started to read him his letters every month and arranged private matters for him like prison visitations to see his son.”

Agnes also sorted out matters relating to the hawker stall and introduced an advisor to Mr Ong's son, to help him in his job search after he’d completed his term in prison. These small acts of consideration did much to ease Mr Ong’s mind.

In 2015, Agnes realised Mr Ong hadn’t come to the CC for a while and she went to his wife’s hawker stall to inquire about him. Agnes was saddened to find out that he'd passed away. However, she’s glad to have made a difference in his last years. “It was just a small act on my part as I happened to be on duty,” says Agnes, “but being able to help someone who needed it is very rewarding to me.” 

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CREATING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER: Agnes was one of the recipients of the PS21 Star Service Award at this year’s Excellence in Public Service Awards ceremony. Look out for more coverage of this year’s recipients.
    Jul 28, 2016
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