When Tom* was discharged from Sunbeam Place @ Children’s Society, he was delighted to be reunited with his mother after close to nine years. But his late father’s flat was in bad shape, and not the best place for them to rebuild their lives.

Thanks to two volunteers, Kelvin and Karen Gan, and a group of their friends, sponsors were sourced and the flat was given a complete makeover, from design and furniture to piping and electricity.

Kelvin and Karen shared their thoughts on having the opportunity to create a real home for Tom and his mother to restart their lives at this year’s annual volunteer appreciation event, Tribute to Volunteers, held virtually on 20 November.

This year’s theme, “F.R.I.E.N.D.S: I’ll be there for you”, inspired by the popular 1990s American sitcom, honours the volunteers who have become good friends to both our beneficiaries and the Children’s Society.

The Zoom-based event kicked off with a video featuring three fun-loving beneficiaries from JYC @ Children’s Society sharing memories created with our volunteers, and thanking them for the positive impact they have had. This was followed by the award presentations.

There was also a performance by Volunteer Guitar Connection, an interest group under the National Council of Social Service’s Volunteer Circle. It was formed in 2004 to bring joy to the beneficiaries of various social service agencies through music and singing.

The event ended with a rousing sing-along session, featuring favourite hits Count on Me by Bruno Mars, Let it be by The Beatles and the theme song of “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”, “I’ll be there for you”.

Toast to a better year ahead: Staff and volunteers doing a virtual toast over their screens at the end of the event

A big thank you to all volunteers for always being there for us!

*Name has been changed to protect the beneficiary’s identity