Grandpa Wong Shek seldom stays at home. Every morning, the 92-year-old leaves his home in Kwun Tong, catches a bus to Ma On Shan and spends a few hours sauntering from there to Sai Kung. When asked whether he leaves home because of the worsening peeling ceiling condition that worries him, Grandpa Wong shook his head and smiled, “I love my house! It was chosen by my daughters, and I always hope to make it beautiful again.”
To the neighbours’ surprise, Grandpa Wong stayed at home the whole day on 23 July 2016. It’s because his 40-year-old house was undergoing a “make-up process” – four volunteers was there to repair the peeling ceiling of his kitchen and toilet.
Volunteers from the International Christian Quality Music Secondary School went to Chui Ping Estate to help Grandpa Wong. The chipped ceiling paint of the kitchen and toilet kept falling over the past ten years. Volunteers exclaimed as they witnessed loose paint flaking off from the ceilings, “It’s so dangerous for Grandpa Wong to live here!” said one of the volunteers, who immediately climbed up a ladder and tried to use a scraper to remove the loose paint.
Our young volunteers worked hard the whole day. At the beginning, they used one hand to hold the scraper to remove the paint but it only resulted in light scrape. Therefore, they grasped the scraper with both hands and removed as much loose paint as possible. The paint and dust was falling on the volunteers like rain. Looking at a group of “Cinderella” helping him repair and clean the house, Grandpa giggled and said, “It’s been a long time since I last had so many visitors.”
Grandpa Wong’s wife lives in a nursing home and his four daughters have moved out. He is often left alone at home, though the daughters may visit him occasionally. Grandpa Wong was so happy to have visitors with whom he can share his stories. He told our volunteers, “I miss my girls very much, my girls made the right choice (of choosing this house).” The students also shared their stories and delighted Grandpa Wong with their drawings. Grandpa Wong was excited and said, “You are all so friendly, warm-hearted and kind. You are making contributions to society!”
The work had been finished before dawn and our volunteers were sweating profusely. One of our volunteers put down his face mask and said, “I find such service experience a worthwhile one. All we need to do is to spend a day to help an elder in need. I have a great sense of accomplishment.” Once the volunteers came out of the kitchen and the toilet, Grandpa Wong rushed in and was impressed by a brand-new ceiling. “I love it! I think it is perfect!” He gave volunteers a thumbs-up to pay them a compliment. Grandpa Wong laughed happily not just because he can now live in a safe and comfortable place, but he can also keep his house decent, where his precious memories with the family can linger.