The work can be very addictive

The work can be very addictive
You just have to be there when they need you. —Mr Albert Lee, a Yellow Ribbon Champion

The first time Mr Albert Lee contacted an inmate's sister, she declined his offer to help her.

The brother, who was in jail for drugs, had signed a consent form allowing volunteers from the Yellow Ribbon Community Project (YR-CP) to contact his family members and check if they needed any assistance.

Then, sometime in late December, Nora (not her real name) called Mr Lee, sounding desperate.

"At first, she didn't want to give me details, but gradually, as I let her talk, she opened up," the 66-year-old volunteer said.

Nora's younger brother had been caught shoplifting and the police were going to arrest him at their home.

"She didn't say it, but I sensed she wanted me to be there. When I showed up at her home, she was very thankful to have someone there who understood the process," Mr Lee said.

This is just one of the nearly 100 cases he handles under the YR-CP as a Yellow Ribbon Champion.

He coordinates the programme in the Marsiling area and is also a volunteer, checking in on inmates' families.

For more than 30 years, the now retired shipyard safety manager has been working the ground in Marsiling as a grassroots volunteer. As part of the citizens' consultative committee (CCC), he planned activities for residents there.

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