The crocheted ‘Sleepyhead’ dolls which are a popular with Ms Lim’s colleagues and patients at KKH.
Ms Janet Lim learnt to crochet 40 years ago while at secondary school in Malaysia, but she stopped when she moved to Singapore for her pre-university education. In 2016, she decided to take up the hobby again during her lunch hour at work and started experimenting with making simple toys. She was surprised when colleagues offered to buy them as gifts for their loved ones and she immediately thought of donating the money to the KKH Health Fund, a cause she has supported for more than a decade.
“Many years ago while volunteering, I remember vividly a single mum who was waiting anxiously to meet the Medical Social Worker to discuss the medical fees needed to treat her son who was suffering from leukaemia. I decided then that I would give what I could to help sick children,” explains Ms Lim.
So, when Ms Lim unexpectedly received a bonus of $500 about 10 years ago, she remembered the promise she had made to herself to support sick kids and she thought of the young patients at KKH. Janet donated the sum to the KKH Health Fund and was surprised to receive a call from a Development Officer asking for permission to publicly recognise her gift.
“I was a bit embarrassed and told the staff that it was not a big sum of money. She answered that it is not a small sum either and every cent counts. Her words motivated me to continue giving and now I’m happy I can donate regularly through the sale of the crochet toys.”
Ms Lim has lost count of the number of toys she has made and sold with the help of her colleague Ms See Mei Lin who assembles the crocheted pieces into toys.
“We charge colleagues a minimum of $20 per toy, but when they learn that the money is going to help sick children, many of them give us $30 or more,” says Ms Lim.
To date, they have raised more than $4,000 for the KKH Health Fund through donations collected for their toys. Along the way, they have also given about 50 toys to the Medical Social Work Department at KKH to pass on to patients.
“The crocheted ‘Sleepyhead’ dolls, in particular, were a huge hit with our paediatric patients as well as expectant mums, who were also very happy to receive them,” says Malkeet Kaur Aujla, Social Work Coordinator, KKH.
When asked about animals that patients might like, the top suggestion was dinosaurs, but it almost proved too popular!
“We started crocheting dinosaurs and as soon as our colleagues saw them they started offering generous donations so they could take them home!” laughs Ms Lim. “Soon we had none left to give the patients but it’s satisfying knowing the money we raised from the dinosaurs can help more sick children in need.”
If you would like to make a gift to the KKH Health Fund to support sick children, please click here.