The applicant was 43-year-old Hamdan Omar, the sole breadwinner for his family of eight with a meagre income of $919 from his job as a school cleaner.
As a low-skilled worker, it’s hard for Hamdan to support such a wife and six school-going children on such a small sum, let alone buy a brand new mattress.
Even though his wife, Salamah Madon, a 44-year-old homemaker, has taken up sewing to contribute a little more to the living costs, the family still finds it tough to get by.
Before the family received a Queen-sized mattress via our Free Mattress Program, they’d thrown out their previous one which was old and spoilt beyond repair. Left without a proper bed and unable to afford another one, Hamdan’s two youngest daughters, aged 11 and 8, had to make do with sleeping on thin blankets that were spread out on the hard living room floor.
Now, their new mattress is laid out in the middle of the living room as a welcoming haven of comfort for the two girls, who retreat onto it after completing their homework to get the sleep they need for the next day.
By day, the new mattress turns into a play mat for Hamdan’s 5-year-old son Md Saifuldeen, who’s pretty delighted to have his own little bouncy castle at home.
“We’re all very happy to get the mattress and very grateful for it,” Hamdan says appreciatively.
How It Helps
Kamariah Yusoff, a welfare officer at Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS), a non-profit welfare organisation that supports Hamdan and his family, was the one who filled in the Free Mattress Program application for the family.
“The Free Mattress Program may not pay directly for a needy family’s living expenses, but it saves them the cost of buying a mattress, giving them a little more money to pay their bills,” says Kamariah.
“I think the families appreciate the free mattress all the more because it’s brand new and not just an old, used donation,” Kamariah adds.
Indeed, Hamdan and his family treasure this mattress so much that they have yet to remove the plastic wrapping that it came in.
Though this might be rather warm and less comfortable for the two girls, the family does this to try and keep it in a mint condition.
“We want to keep the mattress for as long as possible. It’s much more comfortable than the blankets on the floor,” says Hamdan cheerfully.