Author Archives: Mira

That’s a Wrap on Another Meaningful Year!

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Einstein once said, “Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts.” So what counts for us?

Our success is measured by the effort, commitment, and contribution of our volunteers. Let’s be real – volunteering isn’t a rosy experience. What’s to gain by giving away precious life resources like time and energy?

Because long-term volunteering is such a challenge, we feel indebted to our amazing pool of volunteers who are compassionate, committed, and always serve with a heart of gold. On 3 December, we hosted a Volunteer Appreciation event to celebrate our volunteer’s contributions throughout 2017. They were treated to food, fun games, and BIG reveals for 2018!

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Executive Director Ms Tan See Leng shared encouraging community outcomes stemmed from the efforts of the volunteers.

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Load those nerf guns and fire away at our carnival booths!

24955351_1756789644339441_1437471365662372261_o Time to get those phones out for Kahoot! This is an MCQ quiz laden with tricky questions on general knowledge and our organization.

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What is the hottest chili in the world? Hint: It’s not The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, though we’d vote that.

The Volunteer Appreciation also celebrated the achievements of our most outstanding volunteers. We announced the Best Volunteer for each programme in 2017. A big shout out to Liow De Jun, Lim Jun Jie, Leow Dai Jing, and Darie Chan Rong Zhi for your immense dedication towards your respective programmes.

Montage From top left to bottom right: Best Volunteer for 2017 goes to Liow De Jun (Support Our Pioneers), Darie Chan Rong Zhi (Tuition Programme) Lim Jun Jie (Home Team Show & Festival, Crystal Tan (Best Dressed Volunteer). Missing from photo: Leow Dai Jing (National Day Parade)

The BIG reveal: Come 2018, Heartware Network will be shifting to a much BIGGER office at Ganges Avenue! This new space will enable our youth to harness their potential in a playground conducive to build skills and expand creativity.

The organisation will also be scaling all existing programmes, and will be kick-starting new ones such as the Heartware Academy and the Associate Clubs. Expect things to get BIGGER and the impact, greater.

The compassion our volunteers show to the community and our beneficiaries is an inspiration for us all. As the year draws to a close, we want to sincerely thank all our volunteers for the heart work that you do.

If it is not from the heart, it is not worth doing.

Till next year!

Access the full album of photos on our Facebook channel here.

29 Questions with Bryan Tan

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Heartware staff Bryan Tan invites us into the *SCAPE-based office for #29Q‘s. In this episode, Bryan lets us in on secret stories about office life, and eventually unveils the BIG reveal.

1.    What were you doing just before this?

We were having a Volunteers’ Appreciation earlier.

2.    It’s a Sunday! What’s happening today?

Today we are celebrating the achievements and the contributions of the volunteers over the last year, 2017.

3.    So what do you like to do over the weekend?

For me, over the weekends, I spend time with family and friends. That’s about it.

4.    How many volunteers have walked through these doors?

More than I can remember.

5.    This looks interesting (with reference to kitchen pantry items). Can you tell us something interesting about any of this?

If you look here, this is where we collect our food and we stock up all the food. The interesting thing about this is that we have tea time once in a while, and we gather here for food and we talk.

6.    How long have you been working at Heartware?

I’ve been working at Heartware for slightly more than a year.

7.    Do you have a nickname in the office?

Some of them call me Uncle Tan.

8.    What’s the best snack that you can find in the pantry right now?

My best snack is not here. That’s why it is the best, because it is out of stock.

9.    Can you name all the staff that currently works here in 10 seconds?

Ms See Leng, Mr Raymond, Ms Amanda, Keng Hwee, Sammy, Elena, Mira, Elysia, Denise, Bryan, Bryan..

10.  Time’s up! Who is your favourite co-worker?

Are you ready to know? Actually, I don’t have a favourite co-worker.

11.  If you could shift any co-worker to a different seat in the office, who will you shift and where will it be?

Hmm. I wouldn’t shift anyone around.

12.  So what’s your favourite place in the office and why?

My favourite place in the office is the designer computer as well as the pantry. When there’s much work to do and I need to concentrate those are the most quietest places.

13.  Tell us what is a funny experience that happened in there (the storeroom)?

When I was here as an intern in 2015, a staff had her birthday so we shifted all her belongings and setup a table over here to surprise her.

14.  What’s the craziest thing you found in the storeroom?

Umbrellas. Many many many umbrellas.

15.  Who do you think has the most interesting desk?

Bryan Yue. If you look here, he has notes well-organised and pictures! The interesting thing is that he seems to like giving his pictures to the other colleagues as a souvenir.

16.  What are the 3 items that I can find in your desk?

Definitely my pen, marker for writing on the white board, as well as this (lifts up his correction pen).

17.  Show us 1 item in your table that you find the most dear.

(Lifts a box) This is my stash of tea-bags. It is dear because it is prepared by my mum.

18.  If you could trade positions with any colleague in the office, who would you pick and why?

I could, but I wouldn’t want to trade any positions because I believe that everyone is unique and special in their own way.

19.  What is the toughest moment you experienced working here?

Home Team.

20.  What scares you the most?

Time away from my family and friends.

21.  If you can have one superpower what would it be and why?

To be able to concentrate when everything is going chaotic.

22.  What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

I heard this from Bryan Yue: Gratitude expressed through words is great, but greater than that is gratitude expressed through actions.

23.  What do you think is the most beautiful thing in the world?

Nature.

24.  Can you tell us one secret that the volunteers do not know.

(Opens his drawer) Over here is my stash of notes that I collected from past staff as well as volunteers who have crossed paths with me. I keep their notes of appreciation.

25.  What will you miss most about the office?

The memories.

26.  Since it is Volunteers’ Appreciation day, what is one thing that you want to tell all your volunteers?

I want to say a big Thank You to everyone of you, because with you – you make the work here so much more meaningful.

27.  What can the volunteers look forward to in 2018?

New office, new projects, new colleagues, and more fun.

28.  And who do you think can be a Heartware Network volunteer?

Anyone with a heart.

29.  Last question. Complete the tagline: if it is not from the heart?

It is not worth doing.

For more 29 Questions, please subscribe to our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to follow us our Heartware Network Facebook PageYouthbank Facebook Page and Instagram!

 

If This Could Stay Permanent

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Simple and meaningful. This was what I thought when I heard about the pilot volunteer programme between Heartware Network and Thye Hua Kwan Home Help Services.

This programme was an initiative to accompany the elderly for their medical appointments at hospitals. Walk into a clinic and you might spot seniors left waiting alone for a considerable amount of time. Some struggle with administrative procedures because they are illiterate in English. My heart aches for these elderly; I hope my grandparents never have to experience this. Having volunteers help out at the clinic might make the long waiting hours manageable, and perhaps even enjoyable for the elderly. I had faith in this idea, and it did not let me down.

On 5 December 2017, I participated in the first pilot test at Changi General Hospital. It was my first time doing something like this, and I was actually quite nervous because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I was attached to Thye Hua Kwan Home Help Services staff, Jonathan, and observed the full escort service procedure. From boarding a wheelchair-friendly van to escorting the elderly down from their homes, I marvelled at Jonathan’s patience and composure each time there were slight delays. Did you know that these transits also counts best for get-to-know sessions?

I remember on the way to the hospital, Jonathan tried to make small talk with a shy Indian elderly. The uncle gradually warmed up to his company and began sharing his own stories. He laughed heartily at Jonathan’s jokes throughout his clinic visit. By the end of it, the uncle gently picked up Jonathan’s hand and thanked him. Jonathan, touched by this sincere act of gratitude, wished him the best of health. It was a very precious and heart-warming moment, something you cannot experience easily everyday.

The very next day, I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany an elderly who reminded me so much of my aged grandmother. She had a sweet and amiable personality, and was always rewarding us with smiles and “thank you’s” as we wheeled her around.

Time passed by quick when I was having fun. I could now muster the courage to make small talk with the elderly. The small milestones with her felt so precious and valuable, that I felt terribly sorry to break her hopes when she requested us to escort her the next time.  We gently explained to the elderly that it might not be possible to always have the same escort. She simply smiled and nodded her head in acceptance. If only this moment could stretch a little longer…

Albert Einstein once said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.” I thought of this quote on my way home from my last engagement in the programme. The experience gave me the ability to understand the true value behind those words, and I was overcome with emotions.

I was able to bring smiles to the elderly’s faces and listen to their stories. I created unforgettable memories I now keep close to my heart.

This article was written by Lim Bi Hui, Intern at Heartware Network.

The Support Our Pioneers programme aims to bridge the inter-generational gap and promote active ageing by empowering youths to reach out and serve the elderly.

Join our volunteer team to make bi-monthly home visitations and organise activities and outings for the elderly. Click here to find out more!

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