“Live in the moment.” – A self-motivation that has given Heartist, Marilyn Heng, a reason to look forward on a daily basis. A teacher in a student care centre, she provides assistance and coaching to the children as well as ensuring that their mind and body are carefully conditioned.
“We fill in as caregivers to them, bearing in mind that most of these kids spend more time with us at the centre, compared to their own family,” she says. “We also try our best to instill certain values in them, such as sharing with one another and not wasting food.”
Apart from her daily work, Marilyn also makes time to help out the needy. She says, “It all started after I graduated from Poly and I had some free time to myself to do something more meaningful with it. So why not make someone and myself happy without spending much,” she laughs.
It was through her research online that she chanced upon a social care portal that offers volunteering experience. “I was excited!” she exclaimed. “I immediately signed up for the activities that were available, and soon got myself started on a journey of fulfillment that I rarely get to experience.”
Volunteering brings along confidence.
The spirit of volunteering has since led her to help out at various events and animal shelters for the past 2 years. From the experiences gained, Marilyn developed newfound confidence in herself as well as being a caregiver.
She described herself as an introvert who used to be afraid of holding conversations with people or stepping out of her own comfort zone. Now, she finds herself feeling comfortable and increasingly chatty.
“I want to spread as much fun and joy as I possibly could,” she says. “Many a times, we just have to get past our own hurdle and realise that the only factor that could be hindering us, is ourselves.”
We should be socially aware and involved.
We asked Marilyn on her thoughts about volunteerism in our society today.
“It is ideal for everyone to be involved. Many are aware of the causes and may have raised concerns on issues in one way or another, but we are not involved in the ground works. ” says Marilyn.
She adds, “I believe as citizens, we can be involved, no matter how much or how little time is available to commit. It only needs a small step and one decision to make it happen.”
Words for Aspiring Volunteer.
For aspiring volunteers who want to be involved, we asked Marilyn on how she prepares herself as a volunteer.
“Kudos to anyone who has taken the first step!” she smiled.
Marilyn explains that she will always think of ideas to enhance the volunteering experience. It can be as simple as preparing goodie bags or writing uplifting notes to make the beneficiaries feel appreciated.
On nights before the day of event, she will prepare information on the event and ensure she has sufficient rest.
“The only tip I have is to be brave. Be brave to step up, step out and learn to enjoy the experience as much as those who appreciate your generosity,” says Marilyn.
She adds, “We can only instill values in what we do through leading by examples.”