What drew you to support HOHK in such a committed way?
It was serendipity actually. The opportunity to join the board came at a time when I was struggling to juggle two young children, a full time job, running regular volunteer programs for various NGOs and an active social life. After learning about HOHK, it was immediately clear to me this was the perfect way to give back and scale the impact I could make whilst trying to find some semblance of balance in my life.
What drives you to want to put your professional skills to work to serve the community?
It’s simply just what works for me. I think volunteering is a very personal thing because it involves one of our most precious resources, time. Some people are more comfortable giving money, (another precious resource!), and that’s perfectly fine too. It’s what works for you and what makes you feel best about your contribution.
What do you believe is the impact of the volunteer work you have done for HOHK?
When I used to run English-language learning programs in needy communities, it used to frustrate me that I was only able to reach 20-25 kids each week. Through HOHK I’ve been able to ensure my impact involves both scale (number of beneficiaries served, programs created, etc...) as well as the less tangible “feels,” or emotional benefit, that I get from connecting with beneficiaries when volunteering. The feeling you get when you help someone whom will most likely never be able to help you back is amazing. Interestingly enough, over the years, volunteering has actually become an excellent form of self-care because it reminds me how truly fortunate I am and makes me very grateful for everything that I have.
What advice would you have for someone looking to try volunteering – whether on a board or otherwise – especially for someone who would like to use their skills for good?
Experiment with as many different programs as you can to find what works for you, and don’t give up! Just because you’re a lawyer, it doesn’t mean you need to volunteer your legal skills if that’s not what makes you happy. Ask yourself what causes you’re interested in and just give it a go. Over the years, I’ve learned that I don’t do well volunteering with animals (highly allergic to cats and a little scared of dogs!), fundraising is not where my passion lies and that mornings are the best time for me to volunteer (before the rest of my life gets in the way otherwise!). Also, don’t beat yourself up over the time commitment, an hour a month is better than no hours ever. Every little bit helps.
Can you share an interesting story or touching moment you have had when volunteering with HOHK?
For Mother’s Day this year I asked my husband and kids to join me for a Soap Cycling session as their gift to me. I’m not sure it was interesting or touching but it was a hilarious two hours that we spent together that I will remember forever.