Salesforce brings their Ohana Spirit to our Beyond Awesome Homebase!

Last month, we were joined by an incredible team from Salesforce who contributed their time, energy and heart for the community through a group volunteering opportunity that would directly impact children and youth we outreach to in Singapore through our Beyond Awesome Program.  Salesforce is our first corporate group we've accepted through our recent addition of creating group and corporate volunteering opportunities for the Singapore community.

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.

We offer 'Sort + Prep' service opportunities to groups of volunteers because there's just so much to be done - all the time!  It also is felt immediately by youth who are part of our program and use the space on a weekly basis.  

We're grateful to the support and contributions of the Salesforce Team(s) that stepped forward, this particular group contributed SGD $700 towards our Beyond Awesome program which will directly impact some of the meaningful programming and classroom sessions that we have in the pipeline!

Each time we host a group in our space, there's plenty of different activities and ways to support; organising our library, packing kids prizes, cleaning up the kitchen/pantry area, re-organising shelving, making our play are a meaningful space that's inspiring, prepping wall decor and classroom material - lots more!

Here are some photos from our meaningful time together!

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

Yoga for a Change with Laura Zac

Over the last few months, a friend to the organisation, Laura, reached out to share that she'd like to combine her passion for all things yoga with doing good in the community.  This sparked her passion project:  Yoga for a Change.

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How it worked was Laura would put out a call to her friends and yoga-loving network to share that she was leading pay-it-forward yoga sessions under the Singapore stars in partnership with Outta Hatha Yoga and Yoga in Community Singapore.  

After work, Laura would welcome individuals to join her in her yoga practice and charged $20 per drop-in, of which 100% of the proceeds were given to benefit our Beyond Awesome micro-fundraising campaigns.

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Thanks to the wider community who supported Laura's vision of combining back bends and deep breaths with doing something meaningful, they managed to fund-raise SGD$545 of which proceeds went to benefit under-served children and youth in Singapore in need of movement and outdoor activities.   Surplus amounts were given towards our outstanding campaigns such as Beyond Awesome Classroom resources (ensuring students are equipped with the resources and the right environment each time they step into our space) as well as resourcing our program with access to fresh, nutritious fruit to distribute amongst our students and giving them access to explore more of Singapore!

We'd love to thank Laura for all her hard work, her commitment to making a difference and her support for our program.  We hope that this will inspire others reading this to do what they can, with what they have, where they are. 

If you'd like to keep updated on upcoming Yoga for a Change events and on-goings be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

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Some ideas to get you dreaming of ways you can take meaningful action:  Leading a series of workshops or classes, organising a group of friends/co-workers to volunteer directly with the program, holding a garage sale or selling un-needed items on carousell, requesting your friends and family to donate to one of our fundraising pages in order to celebrate a milestone (birthday, anniversary, etc), participating in a run and encouraging your friends to donate for every kilometre you complete - we're sure you can think of loads more!

Other ways you can contribute...

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*

 

Meet your WorldChangeAgent, Joelle!

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...Joelle! 

Photo by Trisha Chan

Photo by Trisha Chan

When I'm not volunteering at Beyond Awesome I...:  Am helping people to become the best versions of themselves, at work. I’m in HR meaning I look after all things people in my organisation. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and connect with lots of inspiring leaders around my business to help them achieve their goals through their teams. I’m a strong believer that people truly make the difference in work and I’m here to guide and enable this. 

Three words I would use to describe myself:  Emphasiser, Coach and Believer!

One fun-fact that you may not know about me:  I’m an avid crossfitter! I wake up at 5:30 every morning to get my exercise in, it helps me to get in the right mindset for the day. 

How did you find out about our Beyond Awesome program?  I was looking for the right volunteer opportunity after trying out a few things in Singapore. I came across Beyond Awesome on the GIVING.SG Platform and I was drawn to the 6 month commitment. It highlighted to me that this organisation really pays attention to the quality of the volunteers; and the well being of the children. 

How often do you serve with our program?  I stick to the commitment of 2 times a month, but I will do my best to commit a few more hours wherever I can. I am also on the Advisory Board so I enjoy connecting with Emily every month to talk about the future of Beyond Awesome and what can be done to enhance the programme further; for the kids and volunteers alike.

Joelle, leading a group of excited children and youth on a JalanJalan (field trip) to Madame Tussauds, Sentosa, Singapore!

Joelle, leading a group of excited children and youth on a JalanJalan (field trip) to Madame Tussauds, Sentosa, Singapore!

Photo by Mithun Rajput

Photo by Mithun Rajput

What do you love about the program/WCA Community?  It’s a community of passionate people who put a lot of time and effort into making the programme as best it can be. Often, we push ourselves outside our comfort zone to do things they wouldn't normally for the sake of the programme and the kids. It's such an incredible experience!

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How are you adding value to the program?  I feel like I add value by showing up and truly engaging with the kids at the sessions - they can learn a lot in a short space of time and you would be surprised the impact this can make. I also have the rare opportunity to be on the advisory board, so I can contribute my ideas on how the organisation can continuously improve itself.

What have your experiences been like with the program?  I've had a fantastic experience so far, it is a wonderful community of people who are working towards the same goals.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with our Beyond Awesome program?  Seeing the kids engaged and learning new things. It’s an incredible feeling knowing that you are helping them to reach their potential. They are growing month by month and it’s rewarding being part of this progression. 

Photo by Mithun Rajput

Photo by Mithun Rajput

Can you share your favourite session or moment that has stayed with you from being with our program?  When we did an art walk around Tiong Bahru. One of the kids, who was only 5, was so inspired by the art work on the wall that he requested to go back to draw it. He did and told us that he was going to take it back for his mum.

Photo by Kristin Kaplan

Photo by Kristin Kaplan

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?  When I managed to teach one of the kids to tie a knot. Although it was a small action, it was an awesome experience to go through the learning journey and celebrate the success at the end of it. 

What tips do you have for new WorldChangeAgents jumping onboard?  Keep an open mind, and stay resilient - remembering that your presence at each session is so valued by the children and the volunteers that it makes it all worthwhile!

Photo by Siti Syarah

Photo by Siti Syarah

What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering with the program?  Join us! Volunteering is such an enriching experience, you will learn new things about yourself, grow as an individual and impact others positively along the way. 

What do you love most about being able to give back to communities in Singapore?  Singapore is Home to me, I believe that it has so much opportunity and growth ahead as an economy. I feel by contributing to Beyond Awesome - supporting and empowering the kids, this is a way for us to develop the future leaders of Singapore.

Photo by Mithun Rajput

Photo by Mithun Rajput

 

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*

WCA Hangout - Wet and Wild

Once a month, our WCA Community meets up for fun experiences or opportunities for self development and growth.  It's a great way to connect with one another outside the responsibilities of mentoring and working alongside under-resourced children and youth and we love seeing so many friendships blossom and bloom from these sessions!  If you've served through our program as a WorldChangeAgent before or are currently serving, please look out for upcoming WCA Hangouts by CLICKING HERE.

WCA Words by Adam Gollifer

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It was an early start on Saturday morning, meeting at the Marina. Always great to see these awesome people out of the volunteering context where we have little chance to really connect when we're chasing around younger kids! Spirits were high as we loaded up the boat. We took a short ride out to sea near some near by Islands, with Mr Wizza bringing up the rear on a jet ski (Very cool!). 

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Upon anchoring the boat we inflated the raft and a few inflatable rings. This was a challenge in itself with a hand pump! Because the electrical pumps were having some problems! Everyone handled it with a giggle and we were done in no time. 

It was now time for the rides to begin! 2 by 2 we jumped on the inflatable and were  dragged relentlessly behind Wizza on his jet ski. So much fun!! Ai (Kristin's friend) overcame her fear of the sea and had the ride of her life. She even jumped on the jet ski for a while! 

Between the rides a few of us were laying out on the raft relaxing and getting very sun burnt. Overcast does not mean no need for sun screen!! 

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After the rides we settled into the boat for a few drinks, some food and a couple games. Sharing stories about our experiences and challenges in the program. 

All in all it was such a great day and super fun to catch up with the crew outside of the space. We always come away from these gatherings closer as a group, recharged with passion and ready for anything the kids have to throw at us! 

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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*

 

Thank you to Water Rampage Asia for providing jet-skis, boat and raft equipment!  We couldn't have had so much fun on the water without you.

Blessings Drop: Taroka, Batam Island

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.

At the end of 2017, more than 100 children received a Blessing Bag Pack stocked full of resources and supplies which were passed to a Singapore-led team.

Contributions from our centre consisted of:

  •  6 colouring books 
  • 10 colouring sets
  • 2 craft sets
  • 9 oil pastels sets
  • 5 oil pastels
  • 11 stationery sets
  • 4 pencil cases
  • 36 sticker books
  • 7 crayon sets
  • 34 boxes of crayon
  •  13 tube boxes of colour pencils 
  • 46 boxes of colour pencils
  • 58 notebooks
  • 30 medium boxes of crayons
  • 3 big crayon sets

Here are some photos shared with us from their team.

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Blessings Drop: Yogjakarta, Indonesia

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by Nur Huda from Spectra Secondary School who shared that some of her students would be embarking on a trip to Yogjakarta and wanted to bring much needed resources and supplies during their time there.

We had some resources from our library that we could share with Nur Huda who would contribute them to the Ponpes Miftahunnajah Banguntaoan Orphanage.

While our community receives donations-in-kind to support our Beyond Awesome program that outreaches to under-served children, youth and families in Singapore, whatever excess we have we gladly share with our friends either in other social service organisations, social workers or to groups who are part of community initiatives in the region.  To see a full list of items we need (please note that this list gets updated almost on a weekly basis) along with the drop-off timings and locations, please CLICK HERE.

Here are some photos that were shared with us.

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Interested in volunteering to sort + prep items as well as support our Beyond Awesome classroom?  Check out upcoming opportunities by CLICKING HERE.

Interested in following our adventures?  CLICK HERE.

Are you curious to know what items we need?  CLICK HERE.

Are you a group that's in need of resources for a community in Singapore or abroad?  FILL UP THIS FORM.

 

Blessings Drop: 'Impact Migrants' in France

We're excited to share some images with you of donations-in-kind contributed by the Singaporean community, supporting a French-based organisation called, IMPACT MIGRANTS, which builds skills among migrants, connecting them with freelance opportunities and facilitating their employment by businesses to enable them to pull their own weight and add value to society.

With children and youth from migrant families, they are equipped with French language lessons and curated cultural workshops such as tap-dancing and art!  This particular shelter is home to a mix of residents who are homeless or seeking refuge for a number of reasons.

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Thank you to Robin Low for personally carrying school back packs, school supplies and children's books.  Robin is the co-founder of the Civil Innovation Lab, promoting Social impact through civil action and local innovation. He works in collaboration with various universities including Stanford University to enhance efficiency and impact on social initiatives. He also runs workshops to inspire behaviour change and innovate business and social impact.  Robin co-founded Relief 2.0 (www.relief20.com) which promotes sustainable disaster recovery, by engaging, empowering, enabling and connecting survivors to the support they need. 

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Most of the donations-in-kind that you contribute will go towards our Singapore-based Beyond Awesome program which benefits under-served children and youth and we also work closely with the Ministry of Social and Family development, other social service organisations and ground-up initiatives in need of resources.  Whatever we have to spare, we share with individuals who are in need of resources for groups outside of Singapore, specifically the Asia region and so this is the first time our items (contributed by our generous givers - you!) have ended up in Europe.

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We wanted to share this with you to say that this is one of the reasons why we update our wish-lists on a regular basis and encourage you to be thoughtful about the items you're passing on.  If it's items that you would be happy to gift-wrap and give to a family member or a friend, then we'll be glad to have them because we want to encourage the concept of 'giving with dignity'.

SEE WHAT ITEMS WE ARE CURRENTLY COLLECTING *CLICK HERE*

Leadership Beyond Authority: American Express Leadership Academy - WCA Words by Kate Johnston

WCA Words by Kate Johnston

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At the end of last year a member of the Beyond Awesome leadership team, Kate, was lucky enough to be selected for the American Express Leadership Academy run by Common Purpose. 

The focus of the weeklong workshop was “Leadership Beyond Authority” in the not-for-profit sector, and it brought together people from various organisations across Southeast Asia. Throughout the week participants engaged in a diverse range of activities from hands-on group work, to keynote speeches by leaders in various fields. 

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This is what Kate had to say about her experience: 

“The American Express workshop was really eye-opening in that it helped me reflect upon and challenge a lot of my (quite archaic) notions of leadership – and what it means for me to be a leader in particular. 

I’ve always questioned my leadership capabilities and never really seen myself as a traditional “leader” at the front of the pack showing people the way. I’ve always been far more reserved and quiet – someone who watches, listens and reflects. But after my experiences throughout the week, and being challenged in my thinking, it’s becoming clearer to me that though I don’t have a traditional leadership style, I can still lead and make valid contributions to the group I’m working with. It’s helped me re-frame the way I see leadership: A leader isn’t the person charging the way at the front of the group, but rather the glue that holds the group together, ensuring everyone is effectively moving towards the same end goal. 

Additionally it was a good reminder to push myself out of my comfort-zone. Even though I’m someone whose comfort-zone is relatively large, there are definitely still things that get my heart rate rising! One of the activities that made me nervous was the “CoLab” – a group collaboration project in which we represented real-world companies that needed to strike deals together. In situations like this my insecurities tend to kick-in and I think “I’ll let the “smarter” people in the group handle this and I’ll take a back seat and observe”. But this time I was determined not to let that get in the way of my participation, so I swallowed the nerves, raised my hand, spoke up, and contributed as much as I could – and to be honest it really wasn’t that scary (thanks in huge part to the incredibly supportive environment set up by Common Purpose). 

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The leadership academy has definitely helped bolster my self-confidence as a leader, and I look forward to being able to contribute further to the Beyond Awesome Program as it continues to grow.” 

Find out more about Common Purpose:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/commonpurposeasiapacific/
Web: http://commonpurpose.org/singapore/
Twitter:  @CommonPurpose

 

How can I contribute meaningfully if I'm too busy?

We hear you.  From the minute that alarm on your phone buzzes and it's been the fifth time you've pressed 'snooze', you're already on the go.  When you're on the way to school or the office, your mind is filled with what lays ahead of you, what to eat for brekkie (if you snoozed for too long) and how on earth you'll get all the items on your to-do-list checked off.

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One of our programs, Beyond Awesome, reaches out to under-served children and youth on a weekly basis.  We receive many messages, pings and social media DMs asking how to help if you're strapped for time (because the minimum commitment time to have direct interaction with our student community is six months).  

The answer?  Support our micro-fundraising drives.  We've shared where our areas of need are and the best thing is that 100% of your giving will directly impact what happens for the specific month that's been listed up.  For instance, if you've supported our 'Beyond Awesome Food' drive for May, it means that for that entire month, your contribution has meant that all of the children and youth who walk into our space have access to nutritious food and healthy snacks.  This also means that they will leave with not just hearts and minds full to the brim with love and learning but will leave with full bellies, too.

So what can you support?  You can check in regularly to our program website (updated monthly) to see what micro-fundraising drives are open to your generous support or scroll through the list below.  (Pro tip:  We list these up regularly on our Facebook Page, too!)

Have a look and see what you'd love to contribute to - the great thing is, everybody can give because you can even contribute $2 to each drive - so it doesn't matter how old you are, whether you're in school or you're a working professional, it also doesn't matter if you're reading this from the other side of the world.  We thank you in advance for your heart for our work and we can't wait to share the love with our community soon!

 

APRIL 2018

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome Student community has access to sport, well-being and healthy snacks:  Beyond Awesome Sport *click here* 

 

MAY 2018

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome classroom is supported through much-needed resources and supplies: Beyond Awesome Classroom (May 2018) *click here*

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (May 2018) *click here*

 

JUNE 2018

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (June 2018) *click here*

 

JULY 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (July 2018) *click here*

Give to ensure our WCA Community are nurtured, celebrated and empowered:  Beyond Awesome Volunteers (July 2018) *click here*

 

AUGUST 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (August 2018) *click here*

 

SEPTEMBER 2018

Give to ensure that every child walking through our doors has access to quality food: Beyond Awesome Food (September 2018) *click here*

 

OTHER CAMPAIGNS

Give to ensure our Beyond Awesome Student community has access to inspiring excursions and field trips: Beyond Awesome Buses (Whole 2018) *click here*

We're really excited to know that we are not alone in this work thanks to your support and championing of some of the micro-drives we've listed here.

Follow our adventures and see how your giving contributes to our work:

Beyond Awesome Instagram and Facebook.

Blessings in a Bag Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

We're headed to New York City this Summer!

We've been tip-toeing in expectation and excitement as we count down the days until our Chief of Awesome, Emily Teng, flies to New York City to represent our work at the Starting Bloc Institute for Social Innovation. Starting Bloc is a Fellowship of leaders the future needs. They convene, support, and grow leaders from high-potential to high-impact. As a result of StartingBloc, Fellows report growth in their professional networks, greater clarity of purpose, and transitioning into leadership positions.  It envisions a just and thriving world that works for all beings, stewarded by leadership that is purpose-driven, inclusive, whole, and collaborative. StartingBloc exists to convene and grow one million conscious leaders.

One hundred candidates have been selected from around the World, joining a global ecosystem of more than 2500 fellows! After earlier trips to Australia + San Francisco, this will be Emily's third opportunity of the year representing our values, culture + community to a global audience - and our tiny red dot, Singapore!

Follow her personal adventures via her instagram: @emilywjteng