Can you introduce about yourself, and tell us what are you doing currently?
My name is Sylvia Wong. I'm one of the volunteer leaders in the soup delivery program.
How did you get in touch with HandsOn Hong Kong?
I first got in touch with HandsOn Hong Kong was through a friend of mine. She once joined the soap recycling volunteering which I found it interesting; it is something new to me. Therefore, I also joined that too and it was my first HandsOn volunteer work.
What drove you to provide voluntary service to the community?
Sometime ago I saw an old lady picking up food from the rubbish bin on the side of the street in Central; the busiest financial high end area in Hong Kong. The rubbish bin was full. Trash dispersed all over the street. My concern was not only the dirtiness but for sure the health of that old lady. Then I gave her some money hoping she can stop digging and leave to buy something clean. She did not have any reaction after receiving my money but kept digging in the trash silently. That scene stroke my heart. Of course, it was not because she did not say “thank you” but I realized that she probably felt disgrace. I think she would not do that unless it was her last resort and I felt sorry to make her having that disgraced feeling too. We may think it's normal to have disparity between rich and poor. We all know it's happening in Hong Kong and probably see the same scene everyday everywhere. However, the elderly are the ones who provided service to society throughout their life and helped to build our community so that we can have what we have now. I may not be able to help them much but hope to provide my comfort and let them know they are still being cared for and remembered.
What is the impact of your volunteer work?
The elderly citizens who live need comfort from people more than anything else. They wish to feel that they are still being cared for. After they are retired, they feel very lonely and are craving for talking to people. They are already very thankful to have anyone just visit them and talk or listen to them. We are the ones who can offer our time to do so.
If you were going to recommend others to join HandsOn Hong Kong, what reasons would you give?
HandsOn provides a convenient platform for volunteers. There are many different types of volunteer work every day on its calendar which we can choose at our own convenience. HandsOn is enthusiastic to include more and more programs in order to serve more people in need. Myself is more into elderly services. Soup delivery is my favourite program.
Any interesting stories or touching moments you have experienced during your time volunteering with HandsOn Hong Kong?
I remember one time I visited an elderly through soup delivery program. She said she used to volunteer a lot and even received honors from different organizations. We saw the thank you flags hanging all over her wall. She shared that she had visited live alone elderlies regularly trying to send her help and care; those probably are in similar age as her. She kept doing that until her feet were not able to do so. Therefore, after all, she expected people would do the same to her too but somehow she did not get the same return. She was disappointed. This is one of the sharing encourages more volunteers to keep participating in these programs.
Any other suggestions you want to share with our HandsOn Hong Kong volunteers?
I believe everyone has a warm heart to help people in their own way or through different services. And sometimes it is not us to help people but people are also inspiring us through their own stories. I wish all warm hearts could spread and give back to the society. All the best to every volunteer and volunteers-to-be!
Be the Change. Volunteer.