Hearts and crafts

SHE can turn paper into works of art and she does it out of love. For two to three hours a week, 71-year-old Lim Meow Kee can be found cutting, coiling and pinching narrow strips of coloured paper into intricate shapes. It is an art form called paper quilling.

For Madam Lim, paper quilling is more than just a hobby… it is her way of giving back to society.

Every Thursday, she leads a team of volunteers at the Lions Befrienders Ang Mo Kio Senior Activity Centre (SAC) to make handicrafts – including quilled greeting cards – to sell for charity. Madam Lim and her team raise thousands of dollars for the SAC each year by selling these handicrafts.

Madam Lim started quilling 10 years ago when it was not a popular hobby but she developed a passion for it. She said: “I found it cute! I enjoy quilling because I love the creative process, from thinking of designs to matching patterns and colours.”

doing art and craft

Quilling starts with rolling a strip of paper into a coil, then pinching it into shape.


Coiled strips of coloured paper can take on various shapes (e.g. teardrop, heart, crescent, loose coils).


Several shapes are then glued together onto larger pieces of paper to complete the greeting cards, each of which has a unique design.

Her love for volunteering is an on-going passion. The soft-spoken senior has been volunteering with Lions Befrienders, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation, since 1994. Back then, Madam Lim would make weekly home visits to seniors at risk of social isolation, to ease their loneliness.

Today, Madam Lim is a SAC volunteer, and besides making handicrafts for fundraising she also conducts relaxation exercises including yoga for the seniors. The hour-long exercise sessions, held every Tuesday, helps improve the seniors’ mood and flexibility.

“As some of them are in their 80s and 90s, I tailor the exercises to their ability and needs,” Madam Lim added.

After more than two decades of volunteering, this grandmother of four has no plans to ‘retire’. In 2016, she was given the Lions Befrienders’ SAC Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of her dedication and passion. Well done, Madam Lim!

When asked what keeps her going, she said: “When we are old, the most important thing is to be happy. Money isn’t everything in life. So, I volunteer because helping others makes me happy. As a volunteer, I have to be happy too, so that I can make others happy.

“我觉得, 身为义工, 要有耐心,爱心,和用心。不要私心就好!(In English: I think it’s important for volunteers to have hearts full of patience, love and sincerity. Most importantly, we must not be self-centred!)”

If you would like to find out more about Lions Befrienders or sign up as a volunteer, visit www.lionsbefrienders.org.sg or email contact@lb.org.sg.

Article published on: 14/6/2017