Why Volunteer with Us? - Andrea

The past month, January, marked the 2nd year since I’ve been with Reach Out. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m still questioning myself as to whether it has really been that long already. I joined when I was 19 years old and I’m now 21-going-on-22 L I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and spent my pre-U days leading my classmates to do CIP work at various places as I was the in-charge for that. Once, I brought us to Kitchener Road to clean the homes of the needy. I think they hated me for that. My classmates made fun of me because they knew I was fond of the elderly etc. and they also never saw the importance in the spirit of volunteerism. Hopefully, this mentality would change within society over time and more people would reach out to those in need or just spend time with people who embrace a once-in-a-week change to their daily routines.

However, I didn’t sign up with MYG to join RO. It wasn’t planned. Fate had brought the members and I together hehehe Yeah but that’s a story for another day!

I was a little scared to go down for my first session on my own so I dragged my BFF, Miss Cham ‘Peipei’, with me. Little did we know that we’d both be the Chair and Vice-Chair of RO Camp a few years later. The sense of attachment that we both had for RO grew stronger as we returned for more sessions.

I remember that it was so heartwarming, making my way to Margaret Drive each week. The feeling still remains of course J I always miss spending time with the members whenever we have to go on a break after a camp or for any holiday. It makes my entire day or even week when any of the members gives me a call to remind me to come down for our session or just to say that they look forward to seeing me at an upcoming event/outing…

I must say that RO Camp 2011 has been the highlight of my experience with RO thus far. The planning was far from easy but the end result was thoroughly enriching. I enjoyed every moment of the camp and I still look through the photos snapped throughout the trip to spur me on during my lousy days caused by mundane things like schoolwork.

I took on the role of PDGL early last year and will relinquish my role come April. I wasn’t prepared for the commitment that I had to provide as the in-charge because I’d thought it’d be a breeze to come up with lessons for each week. What I didn’t know was that I would have to come up with various modules per lesson and at times, I’d have to cater to certain members so that they wouldn’t feel bored or lost. As time went by, I got the hang of things. It has not been an easy feat, being the PDGL. I would constantly remind myself to make lessons enjoyable and interesting but sometimes things wouldn’t go as well as I had planned, especially when I had to settle everything on my own. Therefore, I’m absolutely grateful to those who have helped me along in more ways than one. Despite its difficulties, I’m really glad to have been given the opportunity to plan weekly lessons for our members.

I hope to remain with Reach Out for as long as I can and I take inspiration from our more senior volunteers like Jackie, Wei Leng, Teng Yi etc. I admire their dedication and enthusiasm that have evidently not faltered throughout the years. Many people don’t know much about volunteerism and constantly overlook it. What they’re missing out on is this overwhelming feeling of satisfaction upon brightening the days of people who are unfairly deemed as ‘abnormal’ in society. 

Reach Out has definitely changed my life and I’m so blessed to have met our wonderful members and volunteers. They have successfully altered the meaning of Saturdays for me.