Volunteer's Testimonial
  • Zhong Wei

  • Mary

  • Derek Chai

  • Evelyn Tan

Zhong Wei

Volunteering in SHELTER has indeed been a rather pleasant experience for me. I have been so blessed to be able to spend some time with the Children here in Shelter 1. It was a little intimidating in the beginning as I was worried whether or not the children will warm up to me. Thankfully, the children welcomed me with ‘open arms’ right from the beginning and I knew I was in the right place.

I have learnt many things about children throughout my volunteering experience. Being the youngest in my family, I never knew what it was like to be a role model for those younger than me. Mixing among the children means that I have to behave not only as a tutor, but also an older brother and a friend. As time passes by, the children have begun to grow accustomed to me and I, too, feel at home with these kids. Seeing their enthusiasm and their joy at times gives me the motivation to work harder in order to do better here in SHELTER.

Volunteering can be hard work at times, with time and energy being the main concern. Sometimes I do find it a struggle to balance my time as a university student and my time as a volunteer, but there are some things in life that are worth the challenge and the sacrifice. Seeing a child progress as he/she grows and learn is always very inspiring. Being there for them when they hit a ‘roadblock’, encouraging them when they are de-motivated, all these are snippets of moments that continuously push me on as a volunteer.

As I teach them, there are many things I myself can learn too. I have learnt what it means to be tolerant, to be responsible for a child, to hold proper and respectable conduct in front of children, and most of all, how to listen and understand what a child really wants to tell you.

There are many times when I forget that these children come from a background very different from mine and that they behave just like any other child. In the way they play, the way they share their things, playfully tease each other, they are no different from ordinary children. For this I would really like to extend a heartfelt thanks to SHELTER as they have managed to provide the children with a warm and conducive environment to grow up in.

However, there still exists a need for more volunteers in SHELTER. You need not have special set of skills in order to contribute to the care of a child. Just come as you are and spend some quality time with the children. Speak to them. Laugh with them. Share a piece of candy with them. A child will always appreciate someone who is willing to listen to what they have to say (and trust me, they do have a lot to say!

A conscious decision to make a positive change is really all you need. You’ll find the rest throughout your journey here.

Find out what volunteers we need now by clicking here

Mary

I’m a retired Chemist and have been volunteering two afternoons a week at Shelter 1 for the last three years. I mostly do odd jobs and help around the Home, e.g. folding the kids’ clothes, preparing for tea-time, sewing badges onto the kids’ uniforms and taking sick kids to the clinic when the Home staff do not have transport. When necessary, I also help with the kids’ homework and generally play and keep them company. The kids appreciate this very much.

One of them wrote me a sweet letter not too long ago. It goes like this:

“To Sister Mary. Good evening Sister Mary. Hello, Sister Mary. You so good to me. Everyday you come here. God will blass you Sister Mary. Children like you so much. Sister Mary die go to heaven. Jesus like you Sister Mary.”

From a 11-year-old boy, written in May, 2012.


This letter really made my day as a volunteer! No better reward can a volunteer expect than this! It is so sweet and rewarding!

The kids are always so sweet and appreciative! I love the kids and I know the kids love me. This is what keeps me volunteering at SHELTER Home. The staff also appreciate my help. They always say “Thank You” each and every time I leave SHELTER Home for the day.

It’s good to know that I can give my time and lend a helping hand to those in need.

Find out what volunteers we need now by clicking here

Derek Chai

When I first decided to spend time in SHELTER Home, I liked the idea of helping and making a difference in the lives of the little ones, but I was not sure of how I was going to go about it. After being a volunteer, I have gained so many wonderful moments.

As a volunteer at SHELTER Home for over 2 years, my experiences have made me grow into a dedicated person, with integrity, determination and compassion. It has definitely changed my outlook on life and I have come to realize that all the little things I worry about sometimes are really nothing in comparison to what these children have gone through. I can now put my personal issues into better perspective. I constantly remind myself of how grateful I should be for the life I am living now.

At SHELTER, I have also learned that sometimes the best thing I can do as a volunteer is just to listen to the children and that itself provides comfort to them. I see that very small gestures on my part are being appreciated and isn't that what all of us are really looking for? Which is a way to feel like what we do for others does really matter. Moreover, I have made so many long lasting friendships in SHELTER and it is always so warm and inviting, that it has become like a second home to me now.

I think in general, it’s nice being able to help others, and do what I can to make their lives just a little bit easier. Plus, it's an immense amount of fun. So, I would love to recommend becoming a volunteer here at SHELTER Home to anyone who has the time to spare.

Last but not least, thank you SHELTER Home for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a great place!

Find out what volunteers we need now by clicking here

Evelyn Tan

I was a volunteer at SHELTER Home 1 for four months. I conducted sessions with five girls using the Ipad as my main tool. When I told people what I did at SHELTER, I would, without fail, receive the same response of surprise from each person. Initially, my task was to teach the children to properly use the Ipad – not just as a game console. However, over time, my perspective changed. I realized that you cannot separate today’s generation of children from technology. They are practically intertwined with it. I began to use the Ipad to learn more about the children’s strengths and interests through the various apps. I also used it as a teaching medium for Mathematics and English.

Over the past four months, with time and effort, I was able to form a special bond with some of the children as I got to know them better. I learnt that they are so full of potential, waiting to be unlocked. Given their background, they already have their own set of thoughts and perspectives about the world. I believe that with positive reinforcement, they can reach tremendous heights. Through this experience I have also learnt more about myself and ultimately, I’ve learnt to appreciate the life I’ve been given. It has also made me think about and be grateful for all the effort my teachers put into molding me to be who I am today.

Sometimes, it is experiences like these that help people to open up their eyes to the world around them. We do not live in a bubble. There are people in need, who are close by that we could help. One of the most important things I’ve realized whilst volunteering here is that these children need people who are sensitive to their needs. They are like any other child going through the confusing, and sometimes terrifying, stages of life and they just need someone to keep pushing them forward.

Did I know I was going to be doing this in 2013? The answer is no. It was a complete surprise but it was worth my time.

Find out what volunteers we need now by clicking here