Volunteer Appreciation Event
On Friday, 21 September, 44 volunteers attended Volunteer Appreciation Night. The message to our volunteers was clear: You matter. And we are grateful for the difference they have made with their willingness to share both their time and talent by volunteering with us.
The evening started with Mass celebrated by Friar Julian Mariaratnam, OFM. During the homily, he shared, how people should “bear” with one another with “charity”, with “gentleness”, “and patience”.
Friar Julian, OFM added, “We are in Caritas; we are called to serve people. The people who come to Agape Village (AV) may not be perfect, but we need to see Jesus in others.”
He reminded all present to remember that when serving people with difficulties and anxieties, we need to treat them with the same respect we would offer to Jesus.
Greta Oon has been volunteering with Caritas for 10 years as part of the Charities Week Collection Team and she also support us with some events. She said, “With God’s grace, I am healthy enough to serve. I enjoy helping people and also with God’s grace that I am able to serve so long. We [volunteers] enjoy each other’s company, and understand each other well. That keeps me coming back to serve.” Both Greta and her husband Thomas received their 10-Year Long Service Award this year.
Anthony Soo, Deputy Chair of Caritas Singapore, thanked all volunteers for their invaluable service to Caritas. Our volunteers selflessly share their time and talent to lend a helping hand, and continue to show kindness and caring… that makes the greatest difference in the lives of the individuals who are touched by their generosity.
Christine Wong, our Executive Director also added how clients and beneficiaries will remember how volunteers have touched their lives. She also encouraged our volunteers to continue giving as Caritas needs their support to touch the lives of others.
She shared on the amazing value of a gentle touch of the hand, a listening ear, and time spent in company especially when working with the elderly.
Shirley Paynor, with the AV Rooftop Farming team of volunteers, “experiences God through nature” She started urban farming in June and is enjoying the experience. She said, “Rooftop is concrete, but with cooperation and great faith, we are growing so many vegetables!” The team is growing through word of mouth and through sharing the good news.
Shirley said, “There is no such thing as green thumb. We can learn from each other.”
Volunteers Monica Roch teaches English to the Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) on Sundays, and Dabrene Fung teaches English (relief teaching) to foreign spouses. Monica has been serving for the last two terms and is motivated by students who are resilient in the face of challenges. She is also touched by the gratefulness of her students. Although they have graduated from her class, two of them will greet her every Sunday. Dabrene added that serving goes beyond just teaching classes. She shared, “I introduce them to our culture, and we form bonds beyond the classroom.”
Frances, our Volunteer Management Coordinator expressed, “While our volunteers serve without expectation of being recognised or rewarded, tonight my colleagues and I wanted to show them how much we appreciate their dedication to our mission.”
As part of our efforts to encourage more people to care for God’s creation and our common home, our thank you gifts for our volunteers this year are reusable travel cutleries and straws with cleaning brushes. #Careforcreation