For the first time, three local charities – the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities, Lions Befrienders Service Association and YMCA of Singapore – joined forces to rally other non-profit organisations to show their appreciation to volunteers, on this International Volunteer Day (IVD).
IVD is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. This mega national volunteer appreciation event is supported by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth.
More than 6,000 volunteers and 70 charitable organisations came together at the Singapore Management University Campus Green on Saturday, joined by Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.
There were game booths and food stalls run by social enterprises, a flea market, arts and craft run by charities and a concert featuring artistes such as Hady Mirza. Volunteers also enjoyed free entry to the National Museum of Singapore and Singapore Arts Museum.
Mr Laurence Lien, CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, said: “We are heartened to see charities take ownership and responsibility to organise a mega appreciation event for volunteers. Volunteer affirmation is a key component to effective volunteer management as much as ensuring volunteers are adequately briefed and meaningfully engaged.”
Mr Wong said: “Amidst our fast-paced lifestyles and many responsibilities in Singapore, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of our purpose in life and our volunteers here remind us that we can show kindness and compassion to one another. You remind us that we must care for one another and treat each other with dignity and respect.”
Said Joseph Cheong, Group Director, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities, the organising chairman of IVD 2012, “I’m honoured to put together this event with Lions Befrienders and YMCA of Singapore to salute all the volunteers who have given their precious time and talent to help those in need within the community. Volunteers play a critical role in many of our programmes and services. We want to say a big thank you to them.”
Meanwhile at the Singapore Memory Project booth, visitors wrote about their experiences of being involved in volunteering efforts. More of such stories are being sought at http://www.singaporememory.sg/campaigns/irememberdoinggood.
Launched by President Tony Tan earlier this month, the irememberDoingGood initiative seeks to collect memories of people “doing good” in Singapore through volunteerism and philanthropy – from immigrants and tycoons, to working adults and students.
This article is an adaption of news articles published in CNA, TODAY and Asiaone.