Thank You, Volunteers, for Brightening Our World
Each day, people with responsibilities of their own take time out of their busy lives to give Singapore’s most vulnerable the relief and happiness they need. We got a chance to thank them for their dedication during this challenging year at our annual volunteer appreciation event, Tribute to Volunteers (TTV), held on 21 November.
The event was held virtually, but our Volunteer Co-ordinators ensured that it was brimming with fun and meaning.
Themed ‘You Brighten My World!’, the Zoom-hosted morning started with a fun quiz on Children's Society and its work. Following that was a dazzling display of dancing and singing put together by our youth members from JYC @ Children’s Society, RoundBox @ Children’s Society and VOX @ Children’s Society.
Our volunteers then went into breakout rooms for ‘fireside chats’ hosted by staff volunteers, and got a chance to share their volunteering journeys.
For Ms Sherrine Teoh, a volunteer with Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society, the relationships formed with the children she helped and friendships shared with fellow volunteers have made her 15 years of volunteering worthwhile.
“We all have a common objective – to ensure the children enjoy the programmes we put together for them,” she said.
Volunteers also heard from Mr Cayden Woo from Sunbeam Place @ Children’s Society, Ms Tan Bee Joo from Yishun Family Service @ Children’s Society, Mr Chee Thow Wei Liat from VOX @ Children’s Society and Ms Lin Xiaoling from the Advocacy and Research Department. In a Christmas video, they talked about the ups and downs of 2020, and their hopes and dreams for the new year.
The event came to a close with an apt song – Count on Me by Bruno Mars – a tribute to all the people who help keep things humming along. All volunteers – both individuals and corporations – also received tokens of appreciation in the mail.
Some teams also organised smaller thank you sessions for their volunteers, including Student Service @ Children’s Society. Its Tinkle Friend team held a virtual gathering with its volunteers on 23 October.
“We wanted to remind our volunteers that they are a part of the Tinkle Friend team despite all of us being on split-team operations,” shared Ms Leela Narayana, Assistant Director of Student Service @ Children’s Society.
Frequent virtual facetime has also been key for other teams, like the co-ordinators and volunteers under the Appropriate Adult Scheme for Young Suspects (AAYS), who had eight virtual engagement sessions in October and November. These sessions allowed them to both thank their volunteers and discuss the challenges they faced, share best practices, and bond.
“These e-engagement sessions help us to stay connected with our volunteers and to understand the challenges they may face,” said Mr Taufiq Bin Salehoodin, Senior Counsellor of Student Service @ Children’s Society, adding that the sessions also help them build their confidence and skill sets as Appropriate Adults attending to children in need.
More of such sessions are planned for 2021.