Friday, March 6, 2015

'Lend a Hand, Bring a Smile' was organized at UWC East campus to build bridges between volunteers and volunteering opportunities at grassroots organizations in Singapore. 
Beyond Social Services(BSS), HOME and Project Smile talked about their organization's needs in terms of both material and time. If one wanted to volunteer time, one could teach skills to kids or adults, help with jewelry design or be a befriender amongst other possibilities. One could contribute in kind too. These could be dry rations, gently used clothes, toys, furniture etc for the 'neighbor exchange'  flea market held by BSS.
The 45 people who attended the event were genuinely interested in giving back to the community was obvious from the questions they asked the various representatives from the NGOs. 
One key take away from the talk was that volunteers have to build a relationship with the NGO to find a role which will benefit both. This comes with spending time at the NGO to understand how they work and find where the needs are most. Also, volunteering should be long term to be effective.