Can you introduce yourself, and tell us what are you doing currently?
I'm Lovelyn Padernal, a BA Hotel and Restaurant graduate from the Philippines and currently working as a cook at a private residence.
How did you get in touch with HandsOn Hong Kong?
I found HOHK from the internet more than 3 years ago when I was looking for volunteer work during my free time. The flexible timetable, easy access and loads of volunteer opportunities caught my interest in the organization. And from then I have been actively helping out as Volunteer Leader.
What drives you to provide volunteer service to the community?
It's my passion! As I always believed that if you cannot afford to donate money, then donate your time. And along the process I have better understanding of what our society needs and how to work with different people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. Working with various NGO's programs broaden my perspective about how diverse Hong Kong is.
What is the outcome of your volunteer work?
Volunteering has a huge impact in my life. Aside having gained a lots of friends with the same passion as me, it also help build my confidence in dealing with people. For example how to deal with kids age from 10 to 14 years old, elderly, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and teenagers. I learned a lot as I focus on being a volunteer leader at IMC Sunday School. IMC Sunday School provides development opportunities and exposure to the kids to inspire them to identify their own talents and become responsible, creative and confident international citizens through English learning. It is a 2 year non-academic professional program conducted in English. Like Aviation, Business, Medical, Fashion Design etc.
If you would need to recommend others to join HandsOn Hong Kong, what are the reasons?
For me HandsOn Hong Kong offers the most diverse volunteer opportunities. It is friendly, heart-warming and passionate organization. Everyone has the passion to love and share. Their commitment to lend a helping hand is commendable. And I am proud to be part of this family.
Any interesting stories or touching experiences with HandsOn Hong Kong?
I have loads of unforgettable stories. And most of it happened at IMC Sunday School. First, for almost 3 years of being a Volunteer Leader at IMC I attended 2 graduation ceremonies and 3 re-opening ceremonies. Re-opening is the happy event at which, I got to meet new batch of students for the first year and greet the second year batch at the same time. IMC is a 2 year program. Graduation is a happy and sad event. Sad, because it's time to say goodbye to the kids whom I've grown to love for their 2 years at IMC. Happy, thinking that you've been part of their growth as better citizens. But most of all is when you receive the sincerity of the parents being grateful and thankful for all our hard work. It is priceless! I cried at every graduation ceremony when I said my farewells and inspirational speech to them. Second, is when I become their guest teacher on their Chinese New Year cookery class, I taught them how to make Chinese pudding and Chinese cookies. It was the highlight of my volunteering experience. Aside from IMC, I have been volunteering for various NGO partners and fundraisers of HOHK, like Drink for Good fundraising event, China Coast Community (CCC), CHEER, AKA, Ark Eden, Lizzie Bee and more. Every of them leaves awesome, unforgettable and treasurable memories in my heart.
Any other suggestions you want to share with our HandsOn Hong Kong volunteers or new subscribers?
Lastly, to all the old, and especially the new volunteers. Keep your passion for volunteering burning. And I hope we will continue to live up to the commitment of sharing and love to the community. Remember what we experienced at HOHK and "pass it on."