What Volunteering Means To Me

May 10, 2019   |   Chew Khai Xing

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Not too long ago, I came across Heartware Network when searching for volunteering opportunities in Singapore. I decided to apply for the Media Volunteer Team from the programmes listed on their volunteer portal YouthBank. During the interview, there was one question posed to me that remains vivid in my mind: What does volunteering mean to you?

Whenever my classmates and peers ask me what the purpose of volunteering is, I am always reminded of a quote by Martin Luther King Jr: “Life’s most pertinent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

As someone who strongly believes in the power of serving others in humility, I believe this simple quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of volunteerism.

Empowering those of Lesser Advantage

In today’s Singaporean society characterised by rapid growth and development, there remains a considerable number of people who face difficulties and cannot keep up with the change. Disenfranchised and deprived, they need help.

The Heartware Tuition Programme reaches out to primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Heartware Support Our Pioneers allow volunteers to connect with elderly, some with depression.

I believe that volunteering is about lending a hand to these people and trying our best to help them go through tough times to a better future.

From my budding experience as a media volunteer, we try to do our part to raise awareness on volunteerism and making a difference while providing a creative space for youths to express themselves through event coverage and producing content such as writings and designs. From this, I came to realise that there are actually many ways for us to help and contribute to a good cause.

Heartware-National Day Parade Hospitality Management 2019 media volunteers in the process of  filming a call-to-action video.

Moving from One Reality to Another

As a student, there were times when I felt lost. Like many others, my life was basically just about studying, preparing for exams, CCAs, competitions…I felt that there was something lacking or missing and that was when I decided to turn to volunteering work.

I realised that when I started devoting my time and effort, when I started devoting a piece of me to contribute to the community, there was one thing I experienced: Peace.

Volunteering is like a kind of escape route to me where I indulge in the joy of helping others. In other words, the thought and prospect of being able to contribute and help the community during my free time is something that keeps me going.

Read also: ‘I Can Still Do More’ by Lim Si En

Being Better Than Before

Volunteering is a chance to improve myself in terms of character and skills and achieve personal growth through the exposure and experience that comes from volunteering.

When I engage in volunteering work, I find a bigger meaning and significance to it beyond just helping people. I am trying my best to give and do my part to help create a community that can love and care for one another, and be filled with compassion.

Actions and contributions of a volunteer, no matter how big or small, helps a group or a cause and make a difference in the community we live in.

Before I started volunteering at Heartware, I wasn’t too sure what it meant to be a volunteer here. I wasn’t too sure what was expected of me, or what qualities I was supposed to possess etc. Luckily, I found an answer through the I-DARE values.

Read also: ‘I-D.A.R.E. to Be’ 

These values serve as a guide for me whenever I engage in volunteering work. Essentially, I believe that being a volunteer means you live up to your role and honour your responsibility by always doing the right thing, staying committed and true to your heart while being creative.

We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. I do not believe that volunteering will mean the same to everyone, but what I do believe is that all of us can and should strive to be the beacon of light in someone’s darkness.