"You are a cheerleader" - Emily Teng shares at the President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards Press Conference


Founder of Blessings in a Bag, Emily Teng, shared her personal experiences and stories at the recent Press and Media conference for the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards.

Below is a transcript of her sharing:

 Photo Credit: NVPC

Photo Credit: NVPC

“I have spent most of my life second-guessing myself and what I could share with the world.

In 1997, I was growing up in Serangoon gardens, being raised by both parents with a younger sister.  I recall a time where we had to line up late in the evening just to buy bread that was being marked down for sale or being excited to earn some money when the karang-guni* uncle honked his horn in our street.  

In 1998, I learned what it was like to be looked at as ‘different’ or as an ‘other’; I was one of the few Asian faces in an all-girls school in Australia - I knew how it felt to be sidelined and silenced through bullying and name calling, and what It felt like to only afford hand-me downs or shop at a thrift store, buying clothing that was two to three sizes larger so that we wouldn’t have to worry when I outgrew them and because I knew I could never afford what my peers had.  

In 2002, I remember experiencing the consequences of what happens when people intentionally choose to be unkind - if I was the same girl now that was I was back then, I would not be sitting here with you this morning because I suffered from anxiety, could not make eye contact when in conversation and didn’t really see the value in who I was.  


But in 2005, there was a turning point in my life.  Someone believed in me and they reminded me of what they saw, even when I couldn’t see it for myself.  From this shy, anxious, supposedly ‘worthless’ young girl - I was encouraged by the likes of media veterans, Mark Richmond and Daniel Ong who gave me an opportunity, and took a chance on me to discover my own voice and be able to use that influence for good.  

And that is why I know for sure that: everyone needs someone to believe in them.  And that we need more people seeing the value in others.  

Everyone in this room, sitting here this morning, regardless of your background or upbringing, has had someone cheer them on in some shape or form - your parent, your teacher, a friend.  And it could happen at any time; perhaps years ago, days ago. 

I had a recent experience, just in the last month of being championed and cheered on when the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg and Facebook teams personally told me that they believed in me and announced to the world, their commitment to journeying with me and 114 other community leaders from 46 countries.  What it does to the human spirit to be believed in.

And, it’s the same with our youth. 

We’ve had children attend every week without missing a beat since 2015 - and we know they keep coming back because of the friendships and relationships they have with each other and our volunteers.

Almost every day, I’m reminded of all the stories of impact that have taken place through our community.  One of them happened when I recently took a group to a global tech company.


One of the girls excitedly called me over and I walked across the room and asked if everything was okay and she was like ‘Yes, Cher*…  would love to work here one day! I think I can see myself working here when I'm older!’… and before I could respond with a high-five and a you-can-dream-big-things pep talk… her sibling responded and said “Don't be silly. Nobody like us ends up here. You think so easy one meh?”

That's when I stepped in and shared that anything is possible in life and the fact that we're physically able to be here in the offices means she is (literally) closer to getting to where she sees herself one day.

This same girl, who’s starting a work placement opportunity this week is the same girl who told me that she skipped school on a regular basis because she believed she did not have a future to be excited about.

And that’s the power of believing in someone, of human connection and of strong relationships.  We play cheerleaders to youth who may not have the experience of being cheered on at home, or at school or in the neighbourhood. And whether people are contributing their time with us, their skill sets, their financial gifts, we tell them: YOU ARE A CHEERLEADER.


I’m grateful to be cheered on by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, PVPA and the giving community this morning and we’re so honoured and elated to receive this years award for Kampung Spirit - because I’m sincerely hoping that this will not only inspire but transform hearts of people to live out our community’s motto of:  “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”…and most importantly, to do it with love. And I’m really hoping that this will start greater conversations as to how we can support young people with bold ideas for the Singapore of their dreams and how we can make it an easier choice so that people don’t have to choose between making a living and making a difference in the lives of others.  

Thank you.

 Photo Credit: NVPC

Photo Credit: NVPC

 Photo Credit: NVPC

Photo Credit: NVPC

 Photo Credit: NVPC

Photo Credit: NVPC


*Karang-Guni: The practice of Karang guni is common in Singapore. Its practitioners are a modern form of rag and bone men that visit residences door-to-door. Read more

*Cher: Local term used by students, shortened of the word, Teacher.

*Meh: A Singlish sentence often ends with words like "lah", "leh", "meh" or "lor". These utterances are included at the end of a sentence to add emotions or feelings to the sentence. For instance, "Come with us leh" (with a long and draggy "leh") is persuading. "Come with us lah" (with a short emphatic "lah") is encouraging. "Come with us lor" is almost like pleading. "You don't want to come meh?" is simply "Don't you want to come along?" Read more

*Kampung Spirit: A sense of social cohesion in a community where there is understanding and compromise among neighbours, even as preferences differ from household to household. Read more


Blessings in a Bag: Winner of President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards 2018

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) announced the eight distinguished winners of the 2018 President’s Volunteerism & Philanthropy Awards (PVPA). President Halimah Yacob presented the PVPA to this year’s winners at an awards ceremony this evening, honouring individuals, companies, ground-up movements, non-profit organisations and educational institutions that have achieved excellence in giving. Several of this year’s awardees have embraced issues pertinent to society today, such as the fostering of social inclusion and religious harmony in Singapore.

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Their stories and contributions act as a platform to connect communities and serve causes that are often overlooked. President Halimah Yacob, said, “I’m heartened that this year's winners include firms that made giving an integral part of their corporate culture, as well as individuals who are passionate in helping those around them. Through their selfless acts, they have shown that volunteerism can be a part of all our lives. When all of us pitch in to help those around us, we can make a greater and longer lasting impact on society.”

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Blessings in a Bag founder, Emily Teng, turned the challenges she faced growing up into a force for good, providing disadvantaged youth in Singapore with opportunities to discover their passions and interests through mentorship programmes, after-school care, field trips, and classroom activities.

Through their efforts, these PVPA 2018 winners have the potential to create a multiplier effect for doing good, and their contributions encourage others to bridge divides and build communities. Their actions exemplify how giving can take many forms, from philanthropy, skills-based volunteering to advocacy, each moving Singapore towards a City of Good in their own unique way.

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“As we come together as a community to celebrate Singapore’s Giving Heroes, we reaffirm the values that hold us together as a society in the midst of many forces that always threaten to divide us. Giving unites people and reminds us that we share a great deal in our common humanity,” said Melissa Kwee, CEO, NVPC. “The winners remind us that each of us can choose to use our power and influence in private and public arenas to uplift, comfort, create and expand our imagination of what it means to do good and do well. Together they represent a microcosm of what is best and beautiful about our society. May we start to put our hands to the plough to give towards the future we collectively envision.”

For media queries and interviews, please contact:

Jessica Chai Pei Shan

NVPC

DID: 6550 9393

HP: 9823 8554

Email: peishanchai@nvpc.org.sg

Interested to volunteer but can only commit on an ad-hoc basis? https://www.giving.sg/manage-volunteers?orgId=3179208

Interested to volunteer on a regular basis and have direct interaction with youth? Sign up for an upcoming information evening and volunteer orientation. https://www.beyondawesomesea.com/workshops/

Join our community of WorldChangeAgents serving through our Beyond Awesome program *click* 

Interested to give financially from anywhere in the world?  *click*

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Meet your WorldChangeAgent, Charmaine!

Our community of #WorldChangeAgents (volunteers) journey through so many adventures through our Beyond Awesome program.  We wanted to take some time to introduce you to some of our favourite faces - well loved by youth in our program as well as those who serve alongside!  Scroll to the very bottom to see how you can get involved/contribute!

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When I’m not volunteering at Beyond Awesome I…:  am a full-time video producer - and have been doing this for the past 7-8 years. In my free time, I enjoy travelling, reading, going for hikes... And I really love sunsets/sunrises. :) Also I can't say no to a good cup of coffee or wine :p

Three words I would use to describe myself:  Empathetic. Organised. Assertive

One fun-fact that you may not know about me:  I can drift a car! Couple of years back I did a full day defence driving course, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I like driving and the need for speed. Shh :p

Where was the last place you travelled to and what did you do?  I went to The Philippines for work - but 'work' doesn't sound very exciting, does it? The last place I travelled to for a holiday was Bali - I basically lazed by the beach, went paddle boarding in crystal blue waters, saw sunrise at Mount Batur, got a nice golden tan, went to a hot spring, went dancing... Hey I couldn't say no when the DJ played 80s and 90s music all night!

How did you find out about the program?  Through a fellow volunteer, Kate. I was looking for a place to volunteer at - specifically with children, somewhere not on an ad-hoc basis. So she told me about Beyond Awesome, I signed up, went for an orientation (check out the upcoming ones - Beyond Awesome 101 - here), and here I am, (exactly) one year later!

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How often do you volunteer with the program?  Because of my irregular work schedule, I started out volunteering twice a month - but since becoming a captain, I spend more time at the space, around three or four times a month. Sometimes heading in for packing/cleaning! 

What do you love about the program/WCA community?  I love how different all the WCAs are - different personalities, different races, ages, occupations (we have scientists, pilots and producers?!) and backgrounds... But yet we all share one thing in common, and that is to want to make Beyond Awesome a great place for the children to spend time at, learn, and grow into amazing young adults.
 

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How do you add value to the program? How are you contributing?  Bringing along my experience and skillsets of a producer - I am able to help manage and coordinate bigger events. 
 

What have your experiences been like with the program?  It has been... BEYOND AWESOME! (Am I the only one who made this lame pun?!) That said, I won't deny that on some days, it gets overwhelming. It takes a lot of energy and patience to handle the children whenever they're a little harder to handle than normal. But, with the support from the other volunteers and Captains, things are always made easier. You feel less alone. You help each other get through the most dramatic of situations! We also have WCA Hangouts every month, and it's really fun to just get to know the others better and bond.
 

Why did you want to/do you volunteer with the program? I like children! I am actually ok with crying babies on the plane. It's fine, babies cry, it's normal. But I won't tolerate naughty behaviour!
 

What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with Beyond Awesome? The most rewarding aspect of being involved is seeing children grow - intellectually, emotionally, socially. The change is gradual, but it gets so prominent over time. I've seen how some of the children who were once really rebellious/hard to handle last year - now step up, and lead examples to the new/younger children. It makes my heart so full.
 

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Can you share your favourite session or moment that has stayed with you from being with our program?  I have so many moments that I remember and love throughout the past year. Some are sad but mostly heartwarming and funny! The most memorable session would be the session that one of the other volunteers, Aruno, led on Bullying. I thought that the children wouldn't be as interested or might even talk back - but turns out that they were super engaged during the session. I think the boys look up to the male volunteers and the girls look up to the female volunteers. We all have been there before - we look at an adult and think to ourselves, "I want to be him/her when I grow up". So having people like Aruno and Adam share their stories from when they were in school, made it very relatable and real to the children. 
 

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Beyond Awesome does not primarily focus on academic success but other measures of success which are largely intangible such as compassion, emotional intelligence, resilience, creativity, etc - what does success mean to you, personally?  You are absolutely right, that intelligence/success isn't all about education and academics. It's all that you mentioned above, and even being able to tell a witty joke or having a high EQ are signs of intellect! To me, success is something that doesn't always immediately come at the first try. It is when we put our minds to something and see a change, even a very slight one - is still success. 
 

Think back on all your time journeying with the students…can you think of one specific interaction you’ve had with a child that has just stayed with you? 
Wow.. There are so many! If I had to pick one... It would be seeing one of the youths, E, growing into this intelligent, witty, kind-hearted girl the past year. We were working on an art and craft project - she did pretty much 3/4 of it while I helped. When another volunteer praised her on the end product, she said, "Thanks! It was team work." It made me feel so happy knowing that she had that sort of mature mindset. Other children offer to share their prizes with each other, holding the lift door for strangers... It's the kind of thing I love seeing in the children, because they not only become better human beings but also set examples to the younger ones.

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 What tips do you have for new volunteers?  You are not alone. There are WCAs and Captains who are with you. So don't be afraid to ask questions. Things may not always have a structure, so come with an open mind and take initiative as much as possible. Treat the children like adults, respect them like a friend, but also be firm when necessary. Remember that you're working with children, so our actions and words really help set examples. Most of all, have fun!
 

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering with Beyond Awesome?

I think the answer above would be the same for this one here!


What do you love most about being able to give back to communities in Singapore?

Knowing that it creates meaningful change and improvements to the children's lives, one way or another. 

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Interested to volunteer but can only commit on an ad-hoc basis? https://www.giving.sg/manage-volunteers?orgId=3179208

Interested to volunteer on a regular basis and have direct interaction with youth? Sign up for an upcoming information evening and volunteer orientation. https://www.beyondawesomesea.com/workshops/

Join our community of WorldChangeAgents serving through our Beyond Awesome program *click* 

Interested to give financially from anywhere in the world?  *click*

Shop for Good - October 27th 2018

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We're excited to present our 'Jumble Sale' which curates all of the items that are either unsuitable or surplus goods that we would normally present to communities we work with locally. 

This is our way of preventing more waste ending up in landfills or the incinerator.  In a world that thrives off fast fashion, constant 'season sales' and the dopamine-like-high we can get when we shop online, we're here to prevent more items from ending up down the chute.  

We're not talking about grubby items either.  In fact, a lot of the items we receive are un-used and/or brand new in original packaging and some with price tag in tact!  

So expect to find brand new or like-new children's goods (toys, books, games, puzzles, etc), homeware, decorative items, gifts, bath & body, kitchen-goods and more!  100% of the proceeds will go directly towards our work with children and youth in Singapore.

Everyone's welcome and if you are coming with kids they're more than welcome to hang out in our child's play area - stocked full with games, dolls, LEGOs, etc.

Click here to visit our Official Event Page

Date:  27th October 2018, Saturday

Time:  2PM to 5PM

Venue:  315 Outram Road, #08-06A Tan Boon Liat Building



Meet your WorldChangeAgent, Dani!

Our community of #WorldChangeAgents (volunteers) are off on so many adventures through our Beyond Awesome program.  We wanted to take some time to introduce you to some of our favourite faces - well loved by youth in our program as well as those who serve alongside!  Scroll to the very bottom to see how you can get involved/contribute!

INTRODUCING...DANI!

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When I’m not volunteering at Beyond Awesome...: I am a mother of two beautiful children who I feel very blessed to guide and raise. I also run a meditation business called The Meditation Teacher based here in Singapore. I hold private courses, corporate and high school courses and well as retreats to Java Indonesia. I was born in Sydney Australia, and have lived in London and New York with my earlier career. I have a legal and financial background and had a wonderful career in strategic planning, capital raising and corporate communications, before I decided to focus on serving the community.

I have always volunteered my time to community-based programs like Blessings in a Bag and I also donate generously to charities each month from the proceeds of my meditation courses. I believe this is everyone's responsibility to help in whichever way they can those in the community who need help and support. In the two years before I left Australia to live in Singapore I started a community-based program in Sydney called GIFT. It enabled the gifting of un-used family items like clothes, books and furniture to families in the same neighbourhood who were struggle without. It also enabled cook-offs of nutritional family meals that were given for free to hungry families in the local area via a local food bank along with ingredients, recipes and nutritional information to the families could recreate better meals at home. GIFT continues today and I think it's one of the reasons that I connect so deeply with BiaB which has similar focus on helping children find belonging and enrichment.

Three words I would use to describe myself:  These change nearly every day...but today my three words are: Happy, fulfilled, spirited

One fun-fact that you may not know about me:  I surf and play guitar!

Where was the last place you travelled to and what did you do?  I love travelling and make a point to travel both with family, but also on my own each year if possible. This year I have travelled to Utah to spend time with Naive American elders, the French Alps for some hiking with the kids and in a few weeks I am off with a girlfriend to visit the ancient sites of England and Ireland. 

How did you find out about the program?  My friend Lexie (who has since moved to NY) introduced me to the program too years ago which I am very grateful for.


How often do you volunteer with the program? Once a month 

What do you do in the program? I hold mindfulness and meditation sessions with the kids. The emphasis is two-fold. To teach them more about their human design and how it remains healthy and balance when we dwell in present awareness; and to nurture states of gratitude and awe and wonder in life and in themselves.

What have your experiences been like with the program?  Its a pleasure and privileged for me to be involved. Despite most of these kids having a tough start in life, I am always blown-away by their curiosity and enthusiastic engagement with what I can show them. The program itself is beautifully run, very progressive in it's thinking and willing to try new things always - this is what keeps it dynamic and growing.

Why did you want to/do you volunteer with the program?  It's a major aspect of my purpose in life and I tend to focus volunteering effort on programs that support children, families and women.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with Beyond Awesome?  The insightful an often very funny and cheeky feedback discussion we have after the mindfulness practices. The program also has a very welcoming and energetic culture which I love.

Can you share your favourite session or moment that has stayed with you from being with our program?  I have been so happy with all the sessions, but one of my favourites has to be this recent July session:  We explored the wonder of the senses. We talked about how hearing, sight, touch and taste really work and how we can so easily take these dazzling powers for granted.

We also talked about gut feel, the intelligence of the digestive track and shared examples of when our tummies and bodies told us something that our thinking mind wasn't aware of. One very tuned-in boy shared that he could sense his teacher coming when he was eating a sweet he shouldn't have been in class. He popped it into his pocket just in time. (An excellent use of gut-feel I say!)

We then experienced a practice of mindful eating which is based on a much older one called 'Raisin Contemplation'. The kids each took a small piece of fresh fruit and entered into stillness. Then step by step they engaged with the fruit with all the senses and feelings. 

What followed was a very animated and beautiful discussion about how just through the fingertips, in one touch, we can sense temperature, texture, size, moisture; or how our mouth responds in an explosion of senses when we place a small piece of orange on the tongue; and how the tongue and jaw move in a dance to chew and how the tummy starts to grumble and almost reach up to receive when it senses yummy fruit on the way. So fun!

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Think back on all your time journeying with the students…can you think of one specific interaction you’ve had with a child that has just stayed with you? There's one little girl who was new to the program when I came in. She was very quiet and had large beautiful eyes. They held so much - sadness, questions and also curiosity. I was very drawn to her and sat with her during the craft exercise after the meditation which was focussing on finding different perspectives on what we see in life and with our friends. She slowly opened and created some beautiful expressions in her craft. Later I learnt that she had experienced violence at home. I didn't see her again for some time and then in the new year when I returned for my session, one of the volunteers gave me a card that the children had made for me. She had written a beautiful message of thanks and said 'I was the best'. It reminded me that sometimes just sitting with someone and feeling what they are feeling is enough.

What tips do you have for new volunteers?  Just do it! Be clear on what time you are able to commit and try to be consistent - whether that's once a month like me or whatever you can manage. Relationships are formed quickly with the children and they are so excited to see you come in again. The volunteers are like trusted family for these little ones and our presence, smiles and softness is what they are needing most. Don't worry if you don't have a particular skill like meditation for example, it's your presence that is the most powerful thing.

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering with Beyond Awesome?  Go to an information session, meet the other volunteers and follow your heart. It's not a huge draw on your time but it yields such huge blessings and expansion of your own sense of self and was you are able to achieve through giving.

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Interested to volunteer? https://www.giving.sg/manage-volunteers?orgId=3179208

Join our community of WorldChangeAgents serving through our Beyond Awesome program *click* 

Interested to contribute any amount from anywhere in the world?  *click*

Corporate Giving: Salesforce Transforms our Beyond Awesome homebase!

It wasn't until the recent months that we were contacted by some of the team members of Salesforce Singapore wanting to rally some of their employees to get involved in meaningful, local causes.

We were excited to hear from them.  After all, "giving back is at the heart of Salesforce. Through Salesforce.org, we empower nonprofit and educational organizations with technology, community engagement, and strategic grants. From the beginning, giving back was the best decision we ever made — it created a culture that attracts and retains the best and the brightest, and allows our employees to be change makers in their own communities."

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We launched opportunities to accept group and corporate volunteers to our space earlier in the year - which has been a new addition to how people can contribute meaningfully through our programs.  Before, those who could serve were already part of our #worldchangeagent community.

Our doors open to groups (schools, teams, social circles, etc) and corporates where they can participate in our Sort + Prep sessions.  The activities change day to day and based on needs of the Beyond Awesome Community. 

Some days we sort and prep prize bags for student reward incentives other days we're sanitising the floors, wiping surfaces and checking the food stock in our refrigerator.  There are some days we're channelling our inner creative geniuses through wall decoration and then there's tasks that true neat and tidy folks will appreciate:  colour coding pencils, sorting our stationery supplies, re-organising our library or our art shelves!  The possibilities to serve are endless and we are really thrilled to welcome more corporates and groups of volunteers to spend a few hours with us.

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We're incredibly thankful that the team leaders, Choong Koon Fong and Barbaros Karatas encouraged the #OhanaSpirit amongst their teams to come together for a fun morning.  We had the best time jumping in with the different activities that are often said to feel therapeutic for many who work 9-5 corporate jobs as they were able to let their inner child come out to play while checking out board games, some were able to unleash their inner artists through putting together a wall feature and other were able to give of their skills and time in support of our weekly programming to support children and youth in Singapore.  Check out some of the fun we had below!

 Wall (Work) in Progress!  Can you guess what it's about to say?

Wall (Work) in Progress!  Can you guess what it's about to say?

Check out a time lapse of the wall!

 One of our favourite walls now!

One of our favourite walls now!

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 Team members learning how to create some gorgeous wall art for one of our classroom walls!

Team members learning how to create some gorgeous wall art for one of our classroom walls!

 The result (after watching Youtube Tutorials) - How beautiful!

The result (after watching Youtube Tutorials) - How beautiful!

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 Sorting out the classroom supplies - always needed!  

Sorting out the classroom supplies - always needed!  

 The after!  

The after!  

 No task too small, too challenging or too insignificant - everything and everyone matters in this space!

No task too small, too challenging or too insignificant - everything and everyone matters in this space!

 Organising our classroom stickers and being able to have meaningful conversation with each other outside of the work space was so enjoyable!

Organising our classroom stickers and being able to have meaningful conversation with each other outside of the work space was so enjoyable!

 Our wonderful library was made even more special and inviting thanks to this amazing team!

Our wonderful library was made even more special and inviting thanks to this amazing team!

Thank you, Salesforce!  We hope many other teams are inspired by your acts of service and giving.  

Are you a school, informal group or corporate (any teams, really!), you can learn more through this link:  https://www.beyondawesomesea.com/groups/

Interested to volunteer? https://www.giving.sg/manage-volunteers?orgId=3179208

Join our community of WorldChangeAgents serving through our Beyond Awesome program *click* 

Interested to contribute any amount from anywhere in the world?  *click*

 

 

 

 

Shop for Good - September 15th 2018!

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This is our way of preventing more waste ending up in landfills or the incinerator.  In a world that thrives off fast fashion, constant 'season sales' and the dopamine-like-high we can get when we shop online, we're here to prevent more items from ending up down the chute.  

We're not talking about grubby items either.  In fact, a lot of the items we receive are un-used and/or brand new in original packaging and some with price tag in tact!  

So expect to find brand new or like-new children's goods (toys, books, games, puzzles, etc), homeware, decorative items, gifts, bath & body, kitchen-goods and more!  100% of the proceeds will go directly towards our work with children and youth in Singapore.

Everyone's welcome and if you are coming with kids they're more than welcome to hang out in our child's play area - stocked full with games, dolls, LEGOs, etc.

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Date:  15th September 2018, Saturday

Time:  2PM to 5PM

Venue:  315 Outram Road, #08-06A Tan Boon Liat Building

Click here to visit our Official Event Page

DHL, Living Responsibility with Blessings in a Bag

A lovely team from DHL reached out to us to organise a group activity in which their Human Resources team could contribute meaningfully towards our Beyond Awesome program in some way.  We organised a Sort + Prep activity with the team which is a very popular way to take some time out during your day to serve alongside your co-workers!  

For DHL,  “Living Responsibility” is their motto, with a focus on environmental protection (GoGreen), disaster management (GoHelp) and education (GoTeach) and support employee volunteerism (Global Volunteer Day, Living Responsibility Fund) 

We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Hui Boon and Doreen for co-ordinating their team's visit to our space!

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From the minute the team arrived, we knew their hearts were in a good place and that they had an attitude ready to serve with joy!  They asked meaningful questions after we shared about our work in Singapore.  They shared how they'd like to contribute, voting on which activities they'd like to participate in.  And instead of simply doing their tasks for the afternoon...they lived out service and did more than the bare minimum.

For instance, the kitchen team helped to create a better environment for our kids to grab snacks and drinks of water from.  Instead of simply wiping down the counters, these teams were so meticulous and thoughtful in their tasks that they decided to re-organise items in such a neat way that it has impacted the efficiency in which our own teams serve children snacks each week ever since they left!  They were the Mary Poppins of the day!  

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The library team curated a wonderful selection of books to celebrate Singapore's National Day and went a step further to hand-craft signs to celebrate the special day as well as make our libraries more enjoyable for kids to hang out, grab a book and read.

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The craft and decor team worked so hard to create a welcoming vibe to our space - with a hand-crafted door sign along!  It's still up to this day!

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We had other members of the team who helped out with cleaning of our space which is always needed as we welcome large groups of kids and volunteers every week!

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And most wonderful of all, the DHL team supported us by creating a new hang out space for our older students (12 and up!).  

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DHL presented us with their very own sand-art kit to share with kids in our program at upcoming sessions along with a donation of SGD 200 which will support the work we do every week through Beyond Awesome.

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It was truly such a wonderful session that Emily was almost moved to tears when we did the final reveal at the end of the session!

Because our program relies on the generosity of the community, we are incredibly appreciative of the many hearts and hands that come together to do what they can, give what they can and serve however they're able to.  To learn more on how your team at work or school can contribute meaningfully, click here for our group volunteering opportunities.

Thank you, DHL! We hope many other teams are inspired by your acts of service and giving.  

 

Blessings Drop: Jakarta and Sentul, Indonesia

We were first contacted by a young student, Dominic, who was writing in on behalf of his Youth Expedition Project team to share that they would be heading to Indonesia to work together with some local schools and children's homes.  Dominic reached out to request for certain materials and items that we had extra off such as art supplies, painting material, school supplies and more.

Thanks to your generous support in dropping off items, we are able to continue resourcing other social impact, community initiatives and ground-up teams working in Singapore or across the region.  If you're interested to see what items we are currently resourcing/collecting, please CLICK HERE.

If you're a group, ground up initiative or community impact organisation that is in need of resources, please connect with us and we'll see if we have the items you need!

Here are some photos that Dominic shared upon arrival back home in Singapore with his team members.

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Shop for Good - September 2nd 2018!

We're excited to present our 'Jumble Sale' which curates all of the items that are either unsuitable or surplus goods that we would normally present to communities we work with locally. 

This is our way of preventing more waste ending up in landfills or the incinerator.  In a world that thrives off fast fashion, constant 'season sales' and the dopamine-like-high we can get when we shop online, we're here to prevent more items from ending up down the chute.  

We're not talking about grubby items either.  In fact, a lot of the items we receive are un-used and/or brand new in original packaging and some with price tag in tact!  

So expect to find brand new or like-new children's goods (toys, books, games, puzzles, etc), homeware, decorative items, gifts, bath & body, kitchen-goods and more!  100% of the proceeds will go directly towards our work with children and youth in Singapore.

Everyone's welcome and if you are coming with kids they're more than welcome to hang out in our child's play area - stocked full with games, dolls, LEGOs, etc.

Click here to visit our Official Event Page

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