RSVP Volunteer of the Year 2014
Volunteering with RSVP since 2008
After retiring from my job as a radio surveyor, I began living on the grounds of a church and helped out as a caretaker. With God’s grace, I have been blessed with good health hence I am able to participate in many organized mission trips. I look forward to such overseas trips where fellow volunteers would put our strength together to build homes and schools for orphaned kids. The work is tough and carried out in poor sanitary conditions but is paid off when I see the joy and delight in their faces! That warmth in my heart is like an “addiction”. I feel rewarded and wanted to do more for the less fortunate despite the hard work.
In 2008, well beyond my retirement age, I joined RSVP Singapore - The Organisation of Senior Volunteers. Many volunteers are like me - proud Pioneer Generation of Singapore. We have spent many of our adult years working and it never ceases to amaze me just how much our country has grown and evolved. I was apprehensive about what we can do but decided keep myself positive. After all I do not want to be a stranger to this country which we have a part in building.
Serving in the Changi Service Ambassador programme has re-ignited the sense of national pride in me. I have to attend various training courses in order to carry out duties which include guiding tourists and chatting with them about Singapore. Ambassadors are equipped with iPads so tourist information is available at our finger tips literally. Learning to use IT gadgets that are not made for non-savvy elderly was quite intimidating at the beginning. I am glad to have overcome the hurdles and have moved on to using social media, such as Facebook, to connect with my fellow volunteers and friends.
I wish more seniors can step forward to experience the joy of volunteering. Like me, at 80 years old, all you need is a willing heart, an open mind and mobility to bring blessings to many others. The world is not a perfect place but if you keep a positive outlook you can help yourself overcome life’s hurdles and also help the less fortunate to do the same.
Read more on Chat San's amazing volunteering journey:
3 September 2015, The Straits Times
78 years old and an active volunteer
7 December 2014, The Straits Times
An inspiring volunteer at 76