A woman who gives back to society does not have to be at the top of the corporate ladder. She could be someone you see every day – the officer cleaner or your Uber driver. We ask three ordinary women what a city of good means to them.
Mop, sweep, clean, give
Most people would see cleaning as a dirty job and shun it. Not Madam Grace, though. She has been working as a cleaner more than six years. “I enjoy my job, a lot. It’s stress-free and I get lots of flexibility at work.”
She also loves meeting different people every day, and it makes her day whenever someone greets her “good morning” or with a smile.
She goes to Chinatown during her lunch break two to three times a week – not for the food, but to drop a donation to the tissue sellers and street buskers there. Never mind that she has discovered on a couple of occasions that the people she gives to were not as needy as they made themselves out to be.
What does a city of good mean to her?: “I believe that one should not be selfish and should spare a thought for others. We should give without expecting to get something in return.”
60 and Still Hustlin’
Madam Chiang has over 40 years of entrepreneurship experience. She used to run a cheongsam boutique in Orchard Road, but was forced to give it up in October 2016 because of rising rental. But instead of retiring, she continues to run her business her home in Spottiswoode Park Road and sees customers by appointment.
She struggles to keep up with technology, but has gotten some help from 24-year-old Kai Xin, who stumbled into the shop one say. After learning about Madam Chiang’s challenges, Kai Xin helped her set up a Facebook page and Carousell account for her business. She even roped in her girlfriends to conceptualise a photo shoot to market the cheongsams.
What does a city of good mean to Madam Chiang?: “It’s an inclusive city where elderly entrepreneurs are being supported by the community.”
Madam Heng became a Uber driver about a year ago, after recovering from the injuries she suffered in the bomb attack on Erawan Shrine in Bangkok in August 2015. Like many others, she became an Uber driver because the job allowed her much flexibility.
Her most memorable moment as a Uber driver was her encounter with a family of Chinese tourists. “I picked them up after their dinner at Marina Bay Sands. They gave me a box of black pepper wagyu steak that was untouched. The steak alone cost them a whopping $238! They didn’t ask for anything in return,” she recalls.
She goes out of her way to give her riders the best service. Recently, she picked up a couple from New Zealand at Gardens by the Bay. It was their last night in Singapore, and they had not seen some of the local sights, so she gave them a quick tour of Chinatown and Clarke Quay.
What does a city of good mean to her?: “It’s one where people show a little less negativity, and plenty more optimism. It wouldn’t hurt to show a little more kindness in our everyday lives. A small act of kindness that may not mean much to you may mean the world to others.”
Is there a superwoman in your life? Share with us your stories on social media by hashtagging #CityofGood!