Giving back to the community
Volunteering is great. There’s an incredible sense of satisfaction you get from being able to make a difference. But sometimes, it can be hard to find a way to give back that works for us. Many organisations require excessive commitment if you want to be a volunteer, and that’s something we can’t always guarantee because life is unpredictable.
For those of you who want to volunteer, but are worried about the heavy commitment involved, worry not. There’s nothing wrong with volunteering in a way that doesn’t eat away too much of your time.
An island-wide initiative is launched
On Saturday, 12 March, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of a volunteering initiative by Youth Corps Singapore called the Common Space for Common Good (CS4CG). CS4CG sets out to utilise common spaces, such as parks and void decks, to enable youth to serve the needs in the community - the “common good”.
A Massive Turnout
The turnout was so huge not everyone could fit into Baey’s selfie frame!
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many youths gathered in one spot and it warms my heart that it’s for a good cause and not for some K-Pop idol. Saturday’s event saw over 1,000 youths coming together in an island-wide community service event that reached out to close to 600 beneficiaries.
From conducting fun physiotherapy sessions with old folks to cleaning up the beaches at East Coast Park, it was a massive project that really hammered home the importance of volunteerism.
First Stop: Helping Out The Elderly
Actress Kimberly Chia lends a hand at CS4CG.
The first stop of the day for me was at the Moral Home for the Aged Sick and I found it really incredible how everyday spaces could be transformed and used for greater good. For example, one group of volunteers took some residents of an old folks’ home out for lunch at the hawker centre.
This simple gesture really showed how even the simplest action can make the world of a difference to someone’s life. While eating at the neighbourhood hawker centre is an almost-daily affair for some of us, these elderly who may be sick or frail don’t have the luxury of being able to walk out and buy their favourite char kway teow or chicken rice.
Second Stop: Enjoying The Great Outdoors with People with Special Needs
I then proceeded on to the Botanic Gardens where a group of volunteers were gearing themselves up for a day of fun and games with the people with special needs. It was heartening to see everyone working together and having fun, especially when they competed against each other in a relay race, together with Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, Ms Grace Fu. It was a blistering hot day, but everyone were having a blast.
In retrospect, I think the greatest takeaway from this initiative is just how the simplest things can make a difference. A plate of wanton mee or playing games in the park seems like nothing to us, but to these elderly, vulnerable families, people with special needs, it’s something that they’ll treasure and enjoy. It puts a smile on their faces, and that in turns warms the soul.
Your chance to make a difference
If you’re looking to volunteer, we’ve got a great guide to 36 different places where you can make a difference. But if you’re looking for a central portal and working with like-minded souls, why not sign up with Youth Corps Singapore?
It’s also an opportunity to make use of your own unique skills. Maybe you’re fluent in dialects, or have a great design aesthetic - you could volunteer your services as a translator or a pamphlet designer for non-profit organisations and causes, putting your talents to good use.
Just head over to Youth Corps website for the full list of volunteerism opportunities available (: It’s updated regularly, and if you sign up with them, you’ll get updates on events coming your way, as well as initiatives that suit your skillset.
In addition to launching CS4CG, Saturday was also the launch of The Red Box by Ms Fu, as well as Parliamentary Secretary Mr Baey Yam Keng. Located just across from *SCAPE, The Red Box at 113 Somerset Road is a space for youth to gather and exchange ideas, as well as a place to learn new skills and access grants and mentoring clinics.
Aside from being a platform for community initiatives to take shape, it’s also a place where youths can pick up different skills, such as project management and creative development.
It’s a holistic approach to volunteerism, and one that gets youth involved every step of the way.
If you’ve got a deep interest in community service, you could even become a Youth Corps Leader, where you’ll be planning and managing projects, conducting training and workshops, and even mentoring others!
And best of all - volunteerism is something you can do with your friends. If your clique is bored of the usual cafe-hopping and shopping, why not try something new? Open your hearts and sign up to volunteer with Youth Corps - it’s a different experience, and one that will definitely strengthen your friendship.
This post is brought to you by Youth Corps Singapore and the National Youth Council.