Kindness from a stranger
Gratitude for a stranger who reaches out to those in their hour of need.
HELP in a moment of need can never be taken for granted. Sometimes, it is not forthcoming even from the people we are closest too. It is, perhaps, a reflection of the times we live in.
Considering this, I was surprised and touched to come across a stranger who provides a unique service to society. His benevolent nature extends to all, irrespective of race or religion.
Two weeks after my husband’s demise in 2014, I received an envelope that contained a cover note, sample widow’s pension application forms that were partly filled up with the necessary details, and a condolence note. The cover note explained clearly the process of making the pension application from A to Z.
The condolence note to the family stated that the sender got his information from the obituary column of the papers. But he never explained who he was. He mentioned in detail what documents should be submitted with the application forms. He even went to the extent of enlightening me on the revised pension scheme of 2009 where the widow gets the full pension of the husband which I was unaware of at the time. Besides this, he said that the immediate relief fund ( death h benefits)benefit should be applied con ncurrentl with the pension appl lication.
Normally, the widow ’ s pension is not someth one thinks about unle one is put in that situa tion. We don’t seek ou information beforeha on this matter. His lett therefore, was not onl timely but also very in ative.
He also shared info about making a will, anda how to deal with bank acco ounts an insurance. His servicee made m wonder who this Goodd Samaritan was – he whow had gone out of his way too help me. All I know of him is th hat he is Chinese, from his name. I was very impressed by his concern and caring attitude.
I sent a card thanking him and appreciatingr ting h hiss good wo work In return, I received a letter from him. The contents of the letter and the way it was written brought tears to my eyes. This person has to use a magnifying agnifying glassgla to aid him in reading. He is s also hard of earing and doesn’td use his ing aid because it’s “very noisy”. He is soon to be wheelchairbound as he has roblems with his . Despite his own oor r health, he conue es his service to erse without any ervatione or expecons. Through his letter ame to know that y nine people ponded to his letout of the 181 out.o I presume I am the ninth person. His name is Toh Chin Boon.
Obviously I couldn’t find the words to express my appreciation for his sincerity. I wonder if any others in his position would go to this extent. I did not acknowledge his letter as I didn’t want to trouble him once again, in case he felt the need to respond.
It is not that I couldn’t have applied for my pension without his help. If he didn’t send the forms, the process would have been delayed because when there is a death in the family these matters are the last thing on one’s mind. He made it easier by simplifying the matter with his detailed description, which was helpful to my children in expediting the process.
Even though I write this a year and a half later, my appreciation for this stranger has in no way diminished over time.