Title: It’s in Giving that we receive
Date: 14-Nov-2007

Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.

- Dr. Dorothy I.Height, black civil rights activist

Volunteering is often viewed as a one-sided affair – those on the receiving end are the only ones who benefit. However, as many of our volunteers have discovered, volunteering is a gift to the recipient as well as the giver. It is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery through the giving of one’s self, time, talents, energy and resources.

Our volunteers have discovered the joys of giving and receiving as they help out in simple ways that best suit their abilities, from cutting hair, to teaching music and to giving tuition.

Many of you may be wondering how you can help out. Here are some of our volunteers telling what they do:

Dato’ Ralph Yapp, Chief Executive Director

Every Saturday afternoon, my daughter and I go to SHELTER 1 to teach the children to play the recorder. We have been volunteering since February this year. Last year, I attended a fund-raising function through a friend in my church, where I met several children from SHELTER. I felt that I could do something meaningful together with them while getting to know them better. I have the privilege of spending some quality time with them like a family.

Dorothy Lee, Speech-Language Therapist

I started helping out with the newsletter for the July-Dec 2005 issue. Part of the reason was that they needed extra help. Another reason was that I support SHELTER and the work it does. I had previously tutored some children in SHELTER 1, so writing the newsletter was a good opportunity to get involved in a different way.

As I wrote articles and interviewed people (staff, residents, volunteers, sponsors) I found myself challenged to change my perceptions about the marginalized and about social work. For instance, during a visit to the Kajang Prison, I realized for the first time how great the need for work to be done among prisoners is. I have also been challenged to change my perception of social work as a lifestyle. I think that was probably one of the greatest lessons I learned through my involvement with SHELTER.

Audrey Ong, Housewife

Once or twice a week I provide transport for one of the SHELTER 1 children to attend a special education class. Sometimes I iron the children’s clothes or cook for them. I’ve been a SHELTER volunteer since 2003.

Ng Lai Peng, Director

I gave tuition to SHELTER 1 and now in SHELTER 2. When I first started three years ago, I tutored one girl because I felt it would be better to focus my attention on one child at a time. I also hope that sharing my own experiences with them will be a practical way to guide the girls through their growing up years.

Wong Seng Chee, Insurance Agent, volunteer since 2002

I tutor several boys every Friday; I teach the same boys each week so that there’s continuity and we’re able to build friendships. I also spend time talking and listening to them. I’ve taken them out for treats to places, sometimes to KFC, MacDonalds and so on. I also took them to Jinbara near Ulu Klang for BBQ in the evenings, overnight stays, etc. Over time, we’ve built strong friendships.

Mrs Mary Koh, Ex-Accountant and Housewife, volunteer since 2004

I teach the boys. Currently I’m teaching two Standard 6 boys and one Standard 4 boy. I usually teach English but sometimes I cover the other subjects if necessary. I also took them out to the zee recently.

I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. – Mahatma Gandhi



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