SINGAPORE - Hands-on volunteering is an extremely humbling experience. Just ask the group of OCBC volunteers who have spent a total of 7,255 hours (or 302 days) since 2011, taking part in the efforts of Willing Hearts, a local soup kitchen.
Willing Hearts is a 100 per cent volunteer-based non-profit organisation that prepares and delivers about 3,000 meals daily to needy families throughout Singapore.
Volunteers turn up at the break of dawn every day to start chopping vegetables, marinating meat and whatever food items that the organisation's founder, Tony Tay, manages to get from kind donors. By 10.30 am, they are out of the door, armed with food packets that will be distributed to the needy located in different parts of Singapore.
A team of OCBC volunteers from the Global Consumer Financial Services (GCFS) division have helped to ensure that beneficiaries get fresh and nutritious food by raising funds to purchase food supplies throughout the year. The team also helps out with food preparation and distribution once a month.
In June, beneficiaries at several districts received more than they expected. Besides the usual lunch packs, they each received a Love Bag from the OCBC volunteers, containing soap, shampoo, toothpaste, a comb and washing detergent.
The decision to pack these bags of Love came about after the volunteers observed that most of the residents are elderly and do not have the means to purchase daily necessities.
"Many of us take simple items like a warm meal or a bar of soap for granted. For these uncles and aunties, these are little luxuries; after all, a penny saved is a penny earned. The happy expressions you see on their faces upon opening the gift bags is a money-can't-buy moment for me. It is heart-warming to know that I have made someone happy" said Maximilian Han, a regular volunteer.
Mr Dennis Tan, Head of Consumer Financial Services (Singapore) said:"We have been partnering Willing Hearts for the past 18 months because we like their consistent approach in helping the needy and they provide very tangible and meaningful help to families throughout Singapore."
"We feel that this is a meaningful way of engaging our colleagues to contribute to the community. It is a good opportunity to rally everyone, regardless of role and rank, to come together for a good cause."