Story

The People of Giving Week 2017

It's really the people that make Giving Week special. Here are some we’d like you to meet!

If you follow us on Instagram and watched our Instagram Stories, you’ll know that we had a very busy Giving Week. This year’s movement saw over 86 Festival events, 135 companies participate and over $1.2 million raised during the week!

But when you strip away all those numbers, it’s really the people that make Giving Week special. Here are some of the people

1. Nicholas Lee, volunteer photographer

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Nicholas answered our call for volunteer photographers through Creative for Causes. Initially, he wanted to volunteer in the lead-up to Giving Week, but it fell during his O Level exams. Nothing would stop the earnest 16-year-old from giving back; after his exams, he committed time and energy to follow us around the island to photograph the festival events during Giving Week. Nic turned up on time every day, camera in hand with a smile on his face, and never once complained about the long hours, heat, or that he was hungry. Our team is convinced that age is no barrier to true professionalism!  

Check out Nic’s photos here!  

2. Phyllis Chen, florist

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Medical researcher by day, florist by night (she runs her own floral business, @listoria_floral) and volunteer at heart, we met Phyllis at one of Be Kind SG’s Giving Week Festival activities.

Phyllis has always believed that Listoria Floral should deliver happiness to whoever receives their bouquets. What made this activity even more special was the recipients: caregivers of children with special needs from non-profit organisation, AWWA. They worked day in and day out, tirelessly taking care of their precious one(s), with little chance of taking a proper break.

Wanting to acknowledge this tremendous effort, Phyllis decided to volunteer her time to teach 16 volunteers floral arrangement. In just two hours, they created 16 vibrant floraboxes, which were then given to the caregivers, in the hope that it would bring joy to them.  

Have a skill you can teach? Or just want to learn something new? Follow them for updates on upcoming volunteering activities!

3. Shawn Soh, blood donor

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Shawn has always been afraid of donating blood and until July, he had zero intention of ever becoming a blood donor. It isn’t the needles that scared him, but rather, the thought of “losing” so much blood at one go.

I wasn’t sure if it was okay to lose so much blood… would I feel really dizzy after? Or faint?.

Shawn Soh Blood Donor

Everything changed when he met with Red Cross (Singapore). After listening to them share about the importance of donating blood, and with a little cajoling from a fellow blood donor, Shawn was convinced. Immediately after the meeting ended, he donated blood for the first time.

Shawn made his second donation during Giving Week, and would like to become a lifelong donor. We couldn’t be prouder of him! 

Every drop of blood donated goes a long way to save a life. If you can, donate blood at one of Red Cross’ blood banks from now till 31 December, and you’ll be given $5 worth of Mobike coupons!  

4. Bilyy Koh, volunteer guide

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A volunteer guide with Dakota Adventures, and one of the area’s oldest residents (he recently had to move to Marine Parade, after living in Dakota for over 50 years), Bilyy is the best person to share stories of Dakota and how it has changed. As we stood outside his old house, a rare two-storey block where Tian Kee Provision Store used to be, he told stories of his childhood – how he used to practise “parkour” from the railings instead of using the stairs, and the many businesses that used to inhabit the first storey of the block. More than that, he shared his personal views of Dakota’s redevelopment, and what it’s like to have to move away from your home of over 50 years, which left the entire group deep in thought even after we said goodbye. 

Gain a deeper understanding of the Dakota community by volunteering with Dakota Adventures. 

5. Lian Szu-Jin, volunteer writer

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For Szu-Jin, our volunteer writer from Creative for Causes who wrote this story on Beyond Social Services, the highlight of her volunteering stint was meeting the super makciks and hearing their stories. It was a wake-up call for her: “We are always making excuses about being too busy to volunteer, but here are women who are busy with multiple jobs, taking care of children, not having a proper place of their own to stay… but are still willing to give their time”. 

Uncover more stories of this #CityofGood by writing with Creative for Causes

From Us to You

Giving Week would never be a success without the time and passion of the people behind the movement. Each year, we meet people that make us truly believe that we are a #CityofGood. Whether you volunteered your time to organise or participate in festival events, made a donation to one of the Great Giveaway campaigns, read our Giving Week stories, or just shared about the movement on your social media pages, THANK YOU! We couldn’t have done it without you. 

Want to lend a hand too, like these guys did?

BE A VOLUNTEER