In the fast-paced world we live in today, the thought of ‘serving others’ may not be the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, it feels like there is barely time to focus on ourselves, much less others.
But as Oprah Winfrey once said “Helping others is the way we help ourselves.”
This month, we chat with Helena Oh, an active member of YWLC's Community Engagement (CE) subcommittee, and find out what inspired Helena to be part of CE!
Why did you join YWLC’s CE subcommittee?
Helena: The CE subcommittee has provided me with the perfect platform to give back, spend my time meaningfully, and do my bit for the society. As a working adult, I am guilty of being caught up with the “busyness” of the daily grind of work and social activities. While it has always been a desire to want to make a difference, I was initially hesitant to take part in activities as I was uncertain if I could spare the time to commit.
Fortunately, CE had many initiatives such as “100 Wishes”, “Female & Fearless”, “Pay It Forward Mentorship Programme”, and other ad hoc activities throughout the year that catered to different commitment levels. This provided me with ample opportunities to choose how much time I wanted to volunteer, be it through organising events, or simply just dedicating a few hours on some weekends.
Helena (2nd row, 3rd from left) at the Female & Fearless workshop,
an initiative which seeks to build confidence for teens
What was an instance that inspired you during the activities?
Helena: One of the first few events I joined was 100 Wishes. Over that session, we conducted a baking class for mothers and their children at the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) star shelter during Mother’s Day.
During that afternoon decorating cupcakes with the mothers and their children, what truly touched me was seeing the love in the mothers’ eyes after they have completed their cupcake designs with their child. Even though the session was only a few hours, I could feel the mothers’ gratitude, and every child’s joy. That filled my heart with emotions that I cannot describe, but I knew then, that every little action counts and means something.
It then also inspired me to become a mentor and part of the organising team of the six-month Pay It Forward Mentorship Programme, where YWLC members mentor female tertiary students.
The inaugural run of YWLC x Luxasia: Headstart!, a workshop that aimed to
help young women have a headstart in their first jobs, on 14 Dec 2020, that Helena (2nd row, 3rd from left) helped to organise as part of the organising committee
Tell us the top 5 things you've learned.
Helena: 1. It is more blessed to give than to receive
2. Kindness goes a long way and it all starts from the heart
3. Time is a gift, so spend it meaningfully
4. Networking with like-minded ladies in CE, who are compassionate, driven and resourceful, is a co-learning journey that has also enabled me to see and experience the world from a different perspective.
5. Alone we are strong, together we are stronger
Describe your experience being in the CE subcommittee in 5 words.
Helena: Active, Blessed, Compassionate, Dedicated, Encouraging
What would you say to new members who are looking to find out more about CE?
Helena: Community Engagement with YWLC is truly a rewarding experience. It has been a journey that has allowed me to grow as a person, as well as build strong connections through its various activities.
There are so many different ways to be involved! You can choose to be part of the organising team for selected projects or volunteering over the weekends with the ongoing 100 Wishes that teaches skills to women shelter beneficiaries.
If you are interested to find out more, check out some of the past activities here, or reach out to any of the CE members here.
You just need to take your first baby step to believe you can make a difference!
For more information on 100 Wishes, join this WhatsApp group to stay connected - the various 100 Wishes project leads will be sharing updates and volunteering opportunities there.
Stay tuned to our social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) for more information on Female & Fearless coming up at the end of the year, and the new cycle of the Pay It Forward Mentorship Programme in Q1 2021!
Please note that only YWLC members can take part in CE activities. If you would like to volunteer with us but are not a member yet, you can sign up to be a member here or find out more about membership here.
Click here to subscribe to YWLC's monthly newsletter and be the first to get our latest updates in your inbox!