Heartwarming Story - Damien
A paunchy 20-something year old fellow with baggy three-quarter berms and a waist pouch slung in a fashion reminiscent of the Ah Beng's definition of cool (in the 1990s). Tired, bloodshot eyes, carrying heavy eye-bags, derived from one too many night shifts pulled as a condominium security guard near Whitley road. John (not his real name) is hardly a shouting success story. His tardiness and gruff nature constantly push the boundaries of the battle lines that are the house rules in my volunteer group, Reach-Out.
Yet his defiant attitude belies his true nature. John, I consider, would be borderline Intellectually Disabled. His IQ allows him to hold his own in the working world… but only just. Often he describes covering shifts for "a friend" after doing his own so I wonder if he gets taken advantage of at work. What little he earns, he gives to the person closest to his heart; his mom. Sometimes, she comes for our sessions and it is so easy to tell that the pair of them is closely knit.
John was previously from our sister project and has been under MINDS MYG most of his life. I feel encouraged that his independence and quiet perseverance may partly be due to his time with us. Coming of age and recently landing a job, his attendance is less frequent but he still attends our camps and outings religiously and uses it as an outlet to experience new things and relax. Thus, volunteering has presented me with the privilege to know such truly remarkable persons as John!