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Four underrated occupations that give back, unexpectedly

A CSR professional, restaurant boss, operations staff and nurse. What do these four occupations have to do with love in action?

We bring you the lowdown on these underrated occupations that give back in unexpected ways.

A CSR Professional… boring job? Not!

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Sharon Eng is the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Maybank and an energetic individual making a difference with the bank for the past eight years. A typical day in her life includes discussions with both internal and external stakeholders to manage the bank’s social initiatives and programmes. Last year, Maybank raised over half a million through their initiatives to give back, and engaged about 9 in every 10 staff in volunteering or fundraising (#companygoals).

One underrated aspect of her job

“Behind every happy and successful moment, lies a lot of planning and sometimes issue management.” It may not be obvious that the job requires her to handle challenging situations but during events, or when managing volunteers and partnerships, such situations are common.

What then, drives her passion in giving back? The answer: an innate motivation to make lives better for those in need. One of Sharon’s favourite projects was when her company organised mural painting and hydroponics garden projects with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). These helped to brighten up the indoor spaces for the patients to support their recovery.

“Personally, I am also an example of how giving can really make a difference for those in need. I grew up in a poor family too, and we received a lot of help from support programmes and the kindness of people. We need to have faith that every little bit helps, even if it may take years to see the change.”

Sharon Eng Head of CSR, Maybank

Living out her childhood dream

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Elaine Yip, 27, works as a homecare nurse with Dover Park Hospice. She shares that she has always wanted to be a nurse since Primary school, to help care for others. Despite her youth, she is assured about her dream and nothing has changed since then.

Their job goes beyond each patient’s medical and physical needs, but caring for their emotional and social concerns as well. Elaine shares that her job is “about knowing the patient as a person and helping each patient to die in a dignified manner.”

It’s the little moments that keep her going

She recounts a home visit of an elderly patient who hardly talked when she visited. Whenever she asked how he felt, he would give guarded replies. When the patient passed on a few months later, she received a call from his daughter. Unknown to Elaine, every time she ended her visitation, the patient would immediately call his daughter, telling her the minute details of Elaine’s home visit. He would describe how she would hold his hand, take his temperature, and even remembered every little gesture she did for him. This caused him to feel the love and care from her seemingly small actions.


“It is really about taking care of the patients when they are in their most vulnerable state… a connection you really cannot experience elsewhere. It is an honour to serve them.”

Elaine Yip Homecare Nurse, Dover Park Hospice

A wayward youth turned boss for good

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Once a wayward youth in his younger days, Daniel Teh is now a boss and an inspiration to all alike. The social entrepreneur is the proud founder of Pope Jai Thai, a Thai restaurant which aims to serve comfort food from the heart. They employ people with physical and intellectual disabilities, youth at-risk, as well as the disadvantaged and vulnerable. When Daniel first started out, he faced many skeptical remarks - people did not believe he could make it in the labour intensive and fast paced service industry.

Everyone deserves a chance

He believes that everyone, if given a chance and the right tools, will be able to carry out job tasks (abled and disabled alike). “We want to remove the misconceptions, and see each and every person’s strength, not their weaknesses”. With the help of caregivers and the staff themselves, Daniel managed to find ways to help differently abled individuals perform the tasks of preparing food. To him, he is simply passing on the same kindness and generosity he had been shown when he was a youth needing help. Satisfaction comes not just from profits, but from the joy and fulfillment upon seeing his employees being independent and learning life skills.

“When I see our diners learning to interact with our employees at ease and sometimes even give them words of encouragement. I feel like we have succeeded! It is one step closer to an inclusive society.”

Daniel Teh Founder of Pope Jai Thai

The administration heroine we never knew we needed

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Meet Teresa, aka finance administrator of Giving.sg’s Hello Team. She has been in the nonprofit sector for the past 13 years. Her job includes finance disbursements to charities on a weekly basis, and she has seen the platform grow from its previous form (SGGives) till its current platform.

The unsung heroes who are never seen but always heard

Fun fact: the Hello team is usually the “first responder” team who answers all enquiries via either email or phone, and for many of these charities, Teresa has walked with them personally by supporting their finance administration needs since the platform started. She is always heartened as she shares, “When I see the campaigns on the platform, it warms my heart to see how every dollar goes to empowering charities, even if I don’t know every donor personally.” Working in this role has also helped in increasing her knowledge of the sector, especially the many different and diverse causes, such as animal welfare, health and education.

“I am always touched by the generosity of the givers.. That individually we might not have a lot but together, we can make a big difference to help more people.”

Teresa Tan Giving.sg's Hello team member

Inspired by the above underrated heros and want to start giving back? Begin your very own giving journey today!

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