Why Volunteer with Us? - Damien

Hi my name is Damien and I've been going down to volunteer at RO (Reach out) every Saturday for some time now! Let me tell you if you're looking for a challenging and rewarding experience, a chance to grow, return to the community, meet new friends and umm ... ahem* maybe gain some weight with good makan by golly RO was made for you! Still reading? Cool! Then allow me to share with you my feelings and views about this group :)

What's it about and why come down to RO?
To me it's first and foremost a volunteer group where you aid in the development of about 20 individuals who are marginally-intellectually-handicapped. The volunteers themselves are a meshing of fun-loving and big-hearted people thrown together from all walks of life. We enrich these individuals through a journey of arts-and-crafts, outings, camps, dance, sport, games and more!
As to why I keep coming back, ITS FUN! Never did I imagine I would be conducting classes on CNY lantern making, hiking up Mt Faber, eating fruits in Desaru, Malaysia and so much more all with members (what we call our beneficiaries) and volunteers a like. It’s surprising that although I'm often called "teacher" by the members I end up learning so much more from them.
Also since volunteering the number of friends I have made has increased as has my waist line! Yes the good people of RO thrive themselves in finding the best makan places and "chiong" to good eateries-a-many after the sessions. There are also many fun social gatherings such as bowling, soccer, badminton to look forward to and bonding with the other volunteers is part of the experience :)

How I can contribute in my own special way?
RO is a volunteer group like no other! Having a committee system, there's so much to do and contribute and you can bring your hobbies into the sessions! I personally like cooking (and eating!) so long story short, me conducts cooking lessons and brings good food to RO hehe! If you're a born leader how does organising a camp for a few hundred people sound! If you're a computer geek how does making a web blog sound! What’s your talent? ;) 

How I have benefitted?
It’s so gratifying to know that I've done something beneficial for a few special people and the thanks you get for doing even the littlest of things. I like to think I've changed much since volunteering and better understand my abilities and limits. Caring for others IS a skill that needs practice and a most rewarding one when applied! Cheers and hope to see you soon :)))