Most meaningful morning in a while...

Willing Hearts Signboard

Hello my friends,

I just had one of the most meaningful and productive mornings in a long while! Let me tell you about it.

Recently I've been feeling stuck. I tried various methods like sleeping more, or doing more, to try to feel less lethargic, but to no avail. Cycling through different projects didn't seem to help either.

Now, regular volunteering has been something that I have been wanting to do, but it has always been on the back burner due to work commitments (and other excuses).

In my mind there are just so many things I need to accomplish! I want to improve my guitar skills, learn coding, learn drawing with my free time. Well, sometimes it does happen but more often than not, the free time is eventually squandered (usually to doom-scrolling?).

So yesterday night, I decided that since I'm not getting anything done, I might as well use this time to accomplish something more useful! 

I went ahead and signed myself up via the e-portal  for a volunteering session at Willing Hearts, which by the way, has moved to a new location at 1 Lorong J Telok Kurau, Singapore 425792.

This is my first time helping out at their new address.

(You can read about my First Time Volunteering at Willing Hearts too if you like)

Previously I only got to work with preparing vegetables. Today I got to do so many different tasks! ๐Ÿ˜†

First up, let's suit up!

  1. Scan the QR code at the piano area to check in if you want to register your hours. 
  2. You can put your belongings at a metal rack in the vegetable cutting area.
  3. Put your hair in the disposable hairnet, wear an apron (disposable or cloth), and put on gloves.

At about 8.30a.m., we packed rice, minced meat and vegetables into rectangular plastic boxes for delivery. 

  • Collect huge tray of rice
  • 'Cut up/mince' and scoop meat
  • Scoop veggies
  • Cover tightly with plastic lid
  • Pack and it's ready for delivery!

Sounds simple enough but when you're preparing thousands of these... it's not as breezy as it seems! WH serves 11,000 meals a day! Isn't that amazing?

The packing room seems to be the most well ventilated so far, with a large fan in the middle. There's even radio music to listen to while packing. We had three efficient stations so time flew by quickly. 

Soon some of us were called to help at different stations. Some of us ladies were tasked to cut open packages of sliced ham and separate them into single pieces for easy assembling. There was a lot!!!! of ham. 

While preparing the ham slices, I couldn't help but feel like I was preparing food for a buffet. Kitchen staff are really such heroes! If you ever entertained thoughts of working in kitchen (maybe because you play Overcooked like me, or watch too many episodes of Gordon Ramsey), you can maybe experience a tiny sliver of kitchen staff life here.

The kitchen area is definitely much warmer, so I was glad to move to a different part of the place once we were done with the task. 

Next, we prepared food for steaming. Some cooked rice has already been portioned out by the earlier batch of volunteers (who start at 5am!!!), so now we have to:

  1. Put vegetables (broccoli, cailan etc) in the box of uncooked rice. 
  2. Add water.
  3. Stir.
  4. Add the meat (minced meat or 3 slices of ham).
  5. Close the plastic boxes.
  6. Load them onto the huge trolley.
We worked a lot with huge metal trays and at some point I accidentally cut my finger on one of the trays. There are first aid kits located in many parts of the place though, so don't worry! However, there are mostly bandages, gauze and eye shields in the first aid kit. I couldn't find any plasters so I just used the gauze and tape. Luckily it's just a tiny cut, which is more annoying than worrying because we are handling food. Don't worry, I wrapped it up well and put on some new gloves. 

Compared to my previous visit, the core staff seemed more jovial and willing to teach today. I think the new place also seems larger, cleaner and more organised. What didn't change though is that initiative is always appreciated here!

If you see an empty tray that is disrupting the assembly line etc, go ahead and find a way to replace it etc. If you don't know where to get something, ask. Usually someone will know what to do and give instructions. 

It is also nice to work in a cheerful environment where everyone has the same goal - to serve the beneficiaries. Loved getting to know and work with everyone!

Like I said, I hope will integrate volunteering in life and make it regular! It really does give me an added sense of purpose and I appreciate feeling useful. 

If you are keen to volunteer, visit https://willinghearts.org.sg/ for more information!

Love,

Skye

2 Comments

  1. we're all guilty of doom-scrolling! wow i'm glad Willing Hearts improved the volunteering environment. Some places like senior care centres welcome musicians too, to perform for elderly as music engages them well. jiayou!

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    1. Hi Yams! Yes, I enjoy the experience even more now! I've actually performed in senior care centres but that got shut down real quick during the Covid-19 period T_T I think it is unlikely that they will accept performers again until the pandemic truly dies down. Also, thank you for reading and leaving a message! :) It's always nice to read your comments.

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