Written by Jeeheng Yew
From Left: Berny, Kwok Kiang, Zoe, Jin Yan, Jared and Koon Han
Birthed by a group of students back in 2007 as part of their Service-Learning project in college, LoveFAD, in collaboration with The Salvation Army, is running its 10th edition this year. LoveFAD is a youth-led volunteerism project that provides gift-wrapping services at shopping malls island-wide during the Christmas season, to raise funds to support the work of selected charities and beneficiaries.
I was humbly involved back in 2009 as the co-organiser but have always been following this charitable initiative till today. Eager to know more about their motivation to keep this project running every year, I speak with the dynamic team behind LoveFAD. Spreading the ‘good’ can be easy and fun.
“We are a diverse team from different background that have one common goal and that is to contribute a little back to society in a way that we can every year.”
The LoveFAD team is 7-member strong and each of them come from different universities and vary slightly in age. The combined efforts of just 7 persons to create a large-scale event spanning across Singapore is definitely formidable. With so many difficulties and obstacles to overcome when organising events, I wanted to know what motivates them to keep this annual event running each year.
“Our adopted charities”, “all of our past and present volunteers”, “companionship with the rest of the team”, “seeing our actions actually helping others” … As I received these answers, I could feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride in all that they do.
And of course, I had to ask them the golden question: “What is the best advice your team has ever received?” While I was expecting a legacy quote or a phrase, the response was simply “Think Big”.
“Always strive to make this project bigger year after year to raise more funds for the adopted charities”, added the team. “For the first time this year, we have created a web application that can better facilitate the process of volunteer registration across different shopping malls. Although it is not easy to conceptualise it, and certainly not cheap to create one, I guess thinking big and striving to make this project bigger and better really kept us moving forward.”
As I mulled over the best advice given to the team, I reflected on how the team was initially formed of students and young adults, who do not necessarily have the experience in handling such a large project. “Thinking Big” has reminded me that the sky is the limit and nothing should hold us back in terms of ideas and suggestions (of course in a logical manner).
Above: Gift wrapping in action
To close this article, I asked the team what ‘good’ do they want to spread through LoveFAD:
“We want LoveFAD to be a platform for anyone who wish to volunteer in a simple but meaningful manner, contributing just a bit of their time yet derive enjoyment from wrapping gifts for others.”
Indeed, spreading the ‘good’ can be both easy and fun. It is even more heartening to see a project I once participated in achieve such great results year after year. Good luck LoveFAD!
LoveFAD will be operational from the 15th to 24th December across different parts of Singapore. To learn more about LoveFAD and how you may contribute, visit http://www.lovefad.org