Voices Of Youth

Privileged to be a volunteer

I used to baulk at visits to the underprivileged and senior citizens' homes.

I expected to be bored, and the old folk to be grumpy or moody most of the time.

I was wrong.

After rolling up my sleeves to help clean up nursing homes as part of my co-curricular activity (the Red Cross), I feel it is a privilege to volunteer there.

The elderly have child-like innocence and greet us with radiant wide smiles.

They are natural jokers, and stories of their life experiences never fail to hold my attention.

I was glad to have the opportunity to inject some fun, purpose and a sense of being "alive" into their lives.

I strongly encourage the young to volunteer because helping others will enable one to be grateful for what one has and owns.

And that is unspeakably satisfying.

Justin Chua Jun Jie, 13

Secondary 1 student

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2017, with the headline 'Privileged to be a volunteer'. Print Edition | Subscribe