We “match-made” volunteer writers and photographers with various non-profits. Read on to find what came out of it!

1. Chasing down wildlife in our concrete jungle

Kenneth, who runs his own production house, came on board Giving Week as a volunteer videographer for the first time. What he expected was to produce a video featuring ACRES and the work they do, but he never expected to find himself face to face with a 3.9 metre long Burmese python, snakes, monitor lizards and more.

Beyond being just an observer behind a camera lens, Kenneth got to experience first-hand what it takes to be on an animal rescue mission. His takeaway at the end of the day? “I never expected giving to be this thrilling!”

Watch their exciting adventure here!

2. Life lessons from a 13-year-old

This in-depth profile story of 13-year-old Hui Qin, a beneficiary of the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund, came with its fair share of challenges. Volunteer writer, Ler Jun, struggled to identify beneficiaries who were willing to be interviewed. And when he did, there were obstacles in reaching them. He found out that one of them did not own a phone – something most of we take for granted these days.

He eventually got connected to Hui Qin, who surprised him during the interview by giving him #lifeadvice on money, studies and time management. As a beneficiary of the Straits Times Pocket Money Fund, she receives extra help for her assessment books, school bags etc.

What touched Ler Jun the most was Hui Qin’s maturity and close relationship with her mother. In particular, he remembers how Hui Qin commented that “Even though she is not well-educated, my mother has been teaching me many valuable life lessons. She taught me that results don’t necessarily matter. Who we are and what we are as a person does”.

3. Friends fur life – It’s a match

Unknown to many, SPCA has a cattery which houses cats that are ready for adoption. This particular love story saw us swooning over how Stephanie met Lucius, also known as SPCA’s Longest-Staying Feline Resident (a solid record of 11 years). After seeing Lucius’ profile on the shelter’s website online, Stephanie promptly fell in love with him, not because of his good looks, but… his name. The black-and-white tabby is the namesake of her favourite character in the Harry Potter series, Lucius Malfoy. She adopted him, and the pair has since spent a good six years together. Lucius’ personality has changed to become more affectionate and more expressive, much to the surprise of all who knew him before. This is one of the many successful “matches” that SPCA sees year after year of running the shelter.

4. Growing old together

Is the purpose of healthcare for an ageing person with an illness to cure them or to make them feel better? Does cure necessarily mean an improved well-being? This introspective piece touches and explores the themes on ageing, and what happens to us when we age in a society that places importance on speed and efficiency.

Using her own relationship with her grandparents as an inspiration, volunteer writer Desiree explored the perspectives of healthy ageing versus simply ageing. She realised the importance for seniors to feel connected and be part of a community where they can enjoy shared experiences. Whether it was angklung, wushu or painting, it was the connection and the feeling of being valued that the elderly cherished at O’Joy Services Centre.

5. Volunteering helped him heal, and find love

There are few “kampungs” left in urban Singapore, but Ground up initiative (GUI) provides one of the few places where visitors can experience farming and get acquainted with the culture of sustainable living and being mindful of the environment.

The volunteer writer and photographer team, Fern Yu and Muhammad Nazree, also met the famous “Kampung Couple”: Khin Boon and Mei. Khin Boon is a volunteer turned full-time staff, who found his healing in GUI. Ten years back, he was going through a bitter divorce. The financial burden of the legal proceedings was taking its toll and his ex-wife did not allow him to see his children. Where his weekends used to be occupied with spending time with his family, he suddenly found himself with a lot of time on his hands. That was when he joined GUI as a volunteer. Connecting with nature helped Khin Boon through the difficult season in his life then, and he is now paying it forward by helping others. Another bright spot in his journey of recovery: he met his current wife Mei at GUI.