For residential project, i signed myself up along with Boys’ Brigade Annual Share-A-Gift project. The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift is a community service project that promote the spirit of caring and sharing among Singaporeans during the Christmas season. This project is unique as donors does not contribute through pure financial giving, instead through buying a ‘gift’ for the less privileged in our society.
The theme of this project revolves around “ Have a Heart, Share a Gift” , whereby its intention are to bring cheer and relief to the less fortunate, as well as use the platform of students who are serving in Boys’ Brigade to inculcate the spirit of community service, and promotes on the caring and sharing culture among Singaporean.
I represented the company i was volunteering with then, Boys’ Brigade 9th Singapore Company as a Primer ( Volunteer Instructor ) to help out in Headquarter for this mass event. Share-A-Gift event last during the whole of December and i was assigned to Shift 6, to help out for consecutive 5 days of duties up to 60 hours clocked. One of my responsibilities as a Primer in my shift was to take care of the hotline enquiry from the beneficiaries and the public. Stationing at the hotline, i would often receive call from the beneficiaries most of the time, and purpose of call usually revolves around the period for delivery of “gift” to them. It is important for me to keep my professionalism during duty as sometime i would receive call from beneficiaries who are slightly more aggressive and agitated in their tone, complaining on the efficiency of our delivery and alongside with some irrelevant question or prank call from time to time. Other than beneficiaries, we also do receive calls from volunteer of the public as driver to help us with the delivery as long as they have a vehicle. It was really heartwarming and motivating for us to have the member of the public to contribute in their own ways, using their own free time to help out the needy and promote the need for more such kindness to continue spreading in Singapore.
Primers other responsibilities includes warehouse management, manpower distribution, and assists in delivery/collection.
At the start of a day, at 8am, all the primers representing different company will all gather the meeting room along with officer in charge who will update us on our roles and things to take note for the day. At 9am, Senior Boys representing various secondary school in Singapore will fall in at the headquarter, ready for inspection and get ready for the day. The boys will then be breakdown into group of 8/9, each assigned to a primer. Each team are to take charge of various section of warehouse which is classified based on category of food item stock, such as Rich/Noodle, Biscuit, Canned Food, Drinks, and other special section such as Gift Bag Packing Team and Delivery Team.
Each team are responsible for the neatness and quality of food stock at all times during the shift. I was assigned to the Rice/Noodle section. I was given a team of 8-9 boys everyday. Throughout the day, huge truck carrying food stock collected from various supermarket in pallet will be dismounted at the headquarter and our duty is to dismantle the pallet and move all the stock toward various sections, getting it ready for packing. I would ensure that my team is always on task and keeping up the neatness of their section so the packing team can have access to all stock easily for packing.
For the last two day of the duty shift, i got the chance to assist in helping out in the delivery. Due to surplus of stock piling up at the warehouse and most of the delivery of ‘gift’ bag to beneficiaries are done, excess food stock are packed in boxes and delivered to different NPOs ( Non-Profit Organization ) within Singapore.
Overall, five days of consecutive shift of volunteering for Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift was physically draining with arranging and packing of stock and doing delivery across Singapore but at the same time meaningful. Being able to use this platform to reach out to the public about spreading kindness and helping the less fortunate people, in my opinion, i feel like it is more than just giving out the “gift” bag of necessities and food item to the beneficiaries , it is also to let them know, that the society do still care for them, and give them the drive, the motivation to continue to enjoy living through everyday. Also with the boys, also our future generation, this projects certainly taught or shape them with the heart to continue in spreading kindness, helping people who are in need no matter of their ethnicity, color, rich or poor.