Volunteers are a special bunch of people ("Youth who give their time to society get cash grant from GIC"; Sunday and "GIC scheme not paid volunteering" by Ms Jennifer Lewis of GIC; yesterday).
Many give time, skills, experience and hope selflessly to those who may have been left behind, forgotten or less advantaged.
They are tireless in their efforts and expect nothing in return.
We know the relationship between the giver and the beneficiary is something special.
Many volunteers have often shared how their lives are, in turn, transformed when they reach out to the less advantaged or privileged.
Many who have volunteered can attest to that.
We know there are many start points to how one begins his volunteering journey.
Many start with their friends or families and later, become stronger advocates and activists for the causes they support.
Some may have stumbled onto volunteering accidentally.
But we know that through the course of time, these volunteers find meaning and purpose.
They also build valuable friendships with other volunteers and the beneficiaries.
At the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, we desire giving to be part of our DNA, ingrained in everyone.
We encourage and promote giving to be in any form or way; there is no effort too little or insignificant. It is a blessing to give.
Volunteers hail from different walks of life. Many just want to bring a little sunshine to someone.
And we want to thank and recognise them, for they have walked the extra mile for someone.
For example, we know some charities give out a small token for transport or meal allowance to the retired and senior volunteers who give of themselves tirelessly each week.
It is important to appreciate volunteers as best as we are able to.
Giving someone the gift of time today in our time-strapped society is relatively precious.
Today, news and information are accessible to us at the touch of our fingertips.
Perhaps, this is a good time to use these channels wisely, to promote a loving Singapore.
Help forward a call of action widely, raise awareness of issues within our communities, or better yet, be a part of a solution and engage other like-minded individuals.
Melissa Kwee (Ms)
National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre