Why Should I Volunteer?

May 28, 2018   |   Jasmine Gan and Nurul Huda

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After snapping tons of photographs, we stopped to look around the house and at our fellow volunteers, who were assisting the elderly woman on the couch. It was only the first house of the Support Our Pioneer visitation that morning, and we already feeling the lethargy seeping into our bodies from the school commitments we had the previous day.

These days, more youth are playing their part in giving back to the community by volunteering at a myriad of organizations in Singapore. From offering tuition to assisting the elderly, youth volunteers fork out their time and effort selflessly. However, some of us still question, “why should I volunteer?

Bonding together: Our Support Our Pioneers volunteer learnt a move or two from an elderly beneficiary she visited.

Being a student is hard work, but to juggle our volunteering commitments at the same time adds to our already hectic schedule. Truthfully, we have other areas to focus on. We sacrifice free time we allocated for the weekend. Volunteering is also takes a lot of effort, and some youth are just afraid of getting their hands dirty.

If you share these sentiments, rest assured you are not alone.

And yet we are reminded by many youth still, who understand the benefits they receive that come with the spirit of volunteerism. 19-year-old Shayene Gilflores Winfred, a volunteer at Heartware Network, said, “Volunteering helps one learn servant leadership. It allows me to use my skills and talents to give back to the society, while learning more about the community around me.”

Also read: ‘Sacrifices We Must Make’ by seasoned volunteer Lincoln Low

Hard at work: An elderly beneficiary learning how to make a bracelet for herself with the help of our volunteers.

Another volunteer Ms. Tammie Ang, 20, also felt that volunteerism is beneficial to her as well as the people she helped. She wants to tell youths out there that volunteers should “serve not to get a reward. Serve, with the sole intention to serve.”

One thing that separates these group of passionate volunteers from others who aren’t as sure is understanding priorities.

Students like us, our top priorities naturally gravitate to school. Realistically, some of us use volunteerism as a platform to develop our portfolio. But as we get more involved in voluntary works, we find that glimmer of passion, and our priorities shift – or at least we learn to accommodate other priorities. Balance is necessary for us to push forward despite our obstacles. We focus on what we feel is important in the long run. We find ways to give back to the community now more than ever.

So, give your priorities a little more thought. As much as you have “better things to do”, volunteerism is not a waste of time if you set your mind to embracing the many benefits that exceeds sacrifice. More so because it is a platform to do better things and help the people in need, you get to feel a sense of satisfaction like no other.

The next time you ask “why should I volunteer?” remember that it is not why, but how and where can you start volunteering.

Written by Jasmine Gan and Nurul Huda

Republic Polytechnic

Heartware Network Media Volunteers

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Know more about volunteer opportunities you can serve in at www.youthbank.sg