By Ong Sze Ying Gelyn (22S03I), President; Khoo An Xian (22SO6E), Vice-President; Lim Wei Jie, Roy (22S03L), Vice-President
The heart of a volunteer is never measured in size, but by the depth of their commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.
Likewise, Interact is guided by our motto: Service before self. Pre-Covid-19, Interactors visited service centers on a weekly basis to volunteer. Our seniors befriended elderly at care centres, tutored children from disadvantaged backgrounds and planned enriching activities for those with special needs.
Through regular interactions, they built trust and friendships and experienced the purest moments of happiness—when their elderly buddy thanked them with a crinkled smile, when a child they had been trying to befriend for ages opened up for the first time. In these moments, they realised that the beauty of life lies in making life beautiful for others.
Over the past 2 years, COVID-19 has affected Interact greatly. We could no longer visit our service centers; face-to-face interactions moved online, and became seemingly impersonal and distant. Service is our mission, and with that taking a hit, Interact did struggle for a period of time to maintain our morale. However, we were determined to serve meaningfully, especially in these tough times, and have risen to the challenge.
In 2021, we sourced for online opportunities to fuel the passion for service in all of us. Interactors joined service projects and partnered with organisations such as All Saints Home, ItsRainingRaincoats, MINDS, Speak n’ Learn and CDAC, reaching out to beneficiaries from all walks of life. Through digital platforms, we engaged our beneficiaries in new ways and continued to befriend them with sincerity and care.
Online volunteering opened up more possibilities than we could imagine, even allowing us to explore our first overseas tutoring project. In addition to regular service, we have also been preparing for large-scale events. Interactors joining us in 2022 can look forward to organising Relay For Life in collaboration with Singapore Cancer Society and an SPD fundraiser for persons with disabilities. This time of change is an exciting new chapter for Interact, and all members will play an integral part in making our vision a reality.
Interactors come together for weekly GMs on Wednesdays from 3pm to 4.30pm. From event planning, to activities like learning sign language and making care packs, Interact GMs are an enjoyable time for our club to come together, upskill ourselves to better engage with our beneficiaries, and do something meaningful for our community. Being a large family, it is also an important time for us to bond and get to know one another better, forging beautiful friendships through our shared passion for service.
Most of us have volunteered before. We start out driven by the hope to touch others’ lives, but along the journey, some lose sight of this hope and begin to view service as mundane and repetitive. However, service is the opposite of that. Every improvement we make with our beneficiaries, every genuine interaction fills our heart with warmth and reminds us of why service is meaningful and worth our time. In Interact, you can find this spark again and realise that there is so much more to service than you think.
Most importantly, in Interact, you will find yourself surrounded by like-minded people who are passionate about making an impact on others’ lives. From stepping into unchartered waters, serving those you may have little experience with, to exploring new and innovative ways to interact with our beneficiaries, Interact is a safe space for you to learn and share. As a huge 2family of 120 interactors, we support one another in developing compassion, leadership and commitment to helping others, making our service journeys all the more fulfilling.
If you are looking to devote more time to helping our community, Interact is the perfect fit for you. All you need is dedication, a heart to serve and the desire to be part of something bigger than yourself.