Charity duo give love, find it with each other

Miss Lim and Mr Ong met while volunteering at a service marathon in 2015.
Miss Lim and Mr Ong met while volunteering at a service marathon in 2015.ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

Miss Jessie Lim was not looking for love when she signed up as a volunteer for Servathon, a community service marathon back in 2015.

But the Singapore Institute of Technology undergrad caught the eye of Mr Ong Zhen Zhao, who was part of the organising committee.

Cupid struck the two volunteers, who celebrate their first anniversary as a couple today, on Valentine's Day. They went on a jaunt to Johor Baru yesterday for an early treat.

Mr Ong, now 26, who works in IT manufacturing, first noticed Miss Lim when some volunteers went out for supper after the finale of the full-day event.

At the supper, he invited her to the next volunteering event - to celebrate Christmas with children from low-income families.

Miss Lim, now 23, was oblivious to his interest that day. She said: "It was a very long day and I was entertaining my friends who came along with me. I was tired.

"I had asked a few friends if they wanted to volunteer because 2015 was the year I turned 21 and I wanted to do something different."

Another friend had suggested taking part in Servathon 2015, which was jointly organised by non-profit organisation CityCare and Caretalyst clubs from tertiary institutions.

Volunteers spent the day serving different beneficiaries.

Mr Ong later asked Miss Lim out for lunch and they got to know each other better before officially beginning their relationship last year.

Since then, the couple with a heart have volunteered for events such as Project Happy Feet Slipper Race 2016 to raise funds for footwear and necessities for children in Singapore and Cambodia.

Mr Ong believes that more people should take time to give back to the community.

"I think that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," he said.

Those who would like to volunteer can visit sites like giving.sg, which has a listing of more than 450 charities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Charity duo give love, find it with each other'. Print Edition | Subscribe