Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Volunteering at Willing Hearts

C says:

I've been meaning to get involved in volunteering efforts for some time now, but alas, most initiatives (understandably) involve working with children. For those who know me, saying that I'm not good with children is somewhat of an understatement.

Which is why I got excited when I read about Willing Hearts a couple of months ago - a non-profit 'soup kitchen' whose mission statement is to "provide daily meals and other support services to the underprivileged, the needy, and other marginalized members in Singapore, and to assist and guide them towards rehabilitating and reinstating themselves as useful members of our society". To me, the only way for volunteering efforts to be sustainable is to do something that you enjoy/believe in, so what better way for me/atetoomuch than to work with food?!

A quick check of their website told me everything I needed to know - the kitchen operates daily, 365 days a year, from 6 am to around 4 pm. If, like me, you're interested in kitchen prep work, you need to get there early to help with the meals for the day. Otherwise, you can also offer your services to pack the food into containers for delivery, or even to help out with deliveries later in the morning/afternoon. Large groups like corporate teams need to inform them in advance of their visit, just so they're prepared, but individuals can just show up to lend a helping hand.

Y and I decided to go together so that we wouldn't be alone and clueless on our first foray there. We got there at 7 and spent a very enjoyable few hours washing and cutting copious amounts of radishes. The camaraderie in the place is infectious - we happened to be there with a large group from Marina Bay Sands, and though it was the first time for most of us, everyone got into the swing of things very quickly. 

It's heartwarming to see small groups of retirees showing up together, and even groups of schoolchildren were there packing mandarin oranges. I left promising to return soon. Given that the bulk of the kitchen work is done in the morning, and depending on how much I want to contribute on a particular day, I can either take a morning off work, or just get in to work a little later than usual. Yes, I do have to wake up extra early and drive to MacPherson, but I figure it's the least I can do.

A says:

So proud of you. You go, girl!

Willing Hearts
50 Genting Lane
#04-06 Cideco Building

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