According to research, volunteering is good for your mind and body. It not only combats depression, it also increases your self-confidence and helps you stay physically healthy.
Volunteerism also connects you to the community and gives you a helper’s high!
And that was what I experienced at 50 Genting Lane #04-06, Cideco Building.
Despite the fact that I had to get up extra early to serve at Willing Hearts – GOLD90FM’s adopted charity for 2013 – I left with pleasant memories and a sense of accomplishment.
Our task for the day was to pack 3,000 packs of food for the needy and less fortunate.
Daunting at first no doubt, but many hands make light work.
Joe from the Gold Breakfast Show, Denise from the Lunchtime Jukebox and I started the day at the vegetable cutting station. There were chye sim, kang kong, spinach, and long beans – donated by wholesalers and vendors. And since chye sim was the easiest to cut and it’s Denise favourite veg, we pulled up a whole crate to ourselves. Then we painstakingly sorted out the green leafy ones before cutting them into inch-long pieces.
The other exciting part of the whole experience was in packing the food into styrofoam boxes. It was amazing to watch how together with the other volunteers, we organised ourselves into efficient little teams.
Each box had to be of a precise weight – not too much and not too little. Packed to ensure the highest hygiene standards possible and loaded onto crates.
They were then ready to be delivered to 25 distribution centres, island-wide.
Turns out that a typical day at Willing Hearts begins at 5am. And by 1pm they’re already preparing for the next day.
Volunteers start by collecting bread from charitable bakeries. Following which, they head over Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market where they collect donated groceries for cooking and distribution.
And if you ever get the chance to ask Tony Tan, founder of Willing Hearts Singapore, why he does this 365 days a year even Chinese New Year and Christmas. He’ll say, “Why not? The poor need to eat every day, even on special occasions!”
Because to Tony, the poor are the most important people in the world as they cannot even afford the most basic need – their next meal. So, he hopes to reach out to anyone who requires a meal.
So, if you ask me whether I would do this all over again, I most certainly would.
Maybe you can join me next time, winks!