So Dilah, what does doing good mean to you?
“It doesn’t take much to be a good person, honestly. No matter what, we should treat people like how you want to be treated.”
Dilah has been a volunteer at ‘Happy People Helping People’ for years now. Happy People Helping People is a community filled with volunteers who set aside the time to put a smile on a face, despite having their own set of commitments and responsibilities. When asked for the reason that keeps her consistent in her volunteering efforts, Dilah mentioned that it was because of each and every one of the uncles and aunties in the community. Having come from a background of struggles growing up, Dilah relates to how it must feel to be in a position of helplessness.
“I struggled through a huge portion of my life because my family was not well off. That said, I was young and able. Can you imagine having to go through that at old age? If we don’t do this for them, who will?”
A challenge that volunteers may face in the community is the initial trust barrier that is understandably there. There were even instances where help was rejected. However, over the years of getting to know the community, it is lovely to see the level of trust that has been built up. Many eventually opened up their hearts and accepted the genuine help and kindness that the volunteers provided.
Dilah’s experience at Happy People Helping People gave her feelings that no amount of money can buy. That is, the warmth from seeing the gratitude from the elderlies and knowing that she has done something to help them in their lives, one way or another.
“There may be 1001 excuses not to volunteer, but you only need 1 to start volunteering.”
According to Dilah, volunteering is the best decision that she has made, and she will never regret it. Her reason for her volunteering efforts is one so simple and heartfelt. She simply wishes to see the people happy.
The motto of Happy People Helping People is a meaningful one: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something”. It advocates the concept of how actions, no matter how small, can make a difference. Even though one person might not make a difference that significant, a community’s collective efforts can be powerful.
Two years ago, Dilah experienced the potential impact a community could have on the lives of those in need. When she heard about how a family lost their father in a tragic hit and run, she knew she had to do something to help. Although Dilah did not know the family personally, the very thought of a mother raising four children single-handedly was one that she could not stand. Through the fundraising platform, GIVE.asia, she successfully managed to raise $110k with many contributions made by those who wished to make a difference in the family’s life.
Some of us are guilty of using the excuse of life getting in the way. Many may even use their hectic schedules as a reason to put volunteering off because they feel like they do not have the capacity or resources to give. We need to remember that one person alone may not have the time and energy to do everything, but they can very well do something. When many individuals make a contribution, no matter how small, the results can be inspiring. That is the power of community. Together, individuals create the potential of changing someone’s life in ways that they never thought they could.
Together, we can make a difference.
Everyday Heroes is an online series that captures stories of youths creating impact and embracing possibilities to build a more positive community in Singapore. Most importantly, they help stand as positive reminders that doing good doesn’t have to look a certain way!
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