Since I was 11, I have been involved in volunteering for various disadvantaged groups of people in both Singapore and overseas, as my mother often brought me along to her volunteering events. I thoroughly enjoyed the volunteering experience, and aspired to give back to the community in as many ways as I can. Hence, choosing to join a community service CCA in Poly came naturally to me.
P.S. It was also because I am totally unathletic nor interested in Performing Arts.
If you are like me, a community service CCA is perfect! I joined The Leo Club in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, which serves a variety of different groups; from children to the elderly, the environment and the disabled. Such CCAs often have the mission of giving back to the community, both locally and internationally.
The activities organized during community service events include fun crafts like soap making, resin art and painting wall murals which I find very interesting. These activities foster bonding between beneficiaries and CCA members, and can teach both parties a new skill or introduce a new hobby to them!
Now, why should you join a community service CCA?
1. Help Disadvantaged Communities
The beneficiaries of community service CCAs can range from one specific group or a variety of communities, such as less privileged youths, non-hearing individuals, the elderly, and more. If you have a passion for helping people, definitely consider joining a volunteering-type CCA!
I personally love volunteering with animals, because I think that they are one of the more helpless groups. Animals cannot speak up for themselves, nor defend themselves when being attacked, especially smaller animals who are more vulnerable. Having fostered a rescue dog before, it also adds to my care about animal rights, since I would not want to see any other animal suffer from such mistreatment and abuse.
My CCA members and I after volunteering for Willing Hearts at Chai Chee Community Hub. We prepared cheese egg rolls for the lower income families living in the area. Teamwork was very important as every single person had a role in an assembly line of the food preparation.
2. Low Commitment
My experience in Leo Club was relaxed and undemanding. I could sign up for events at my own time and pace, since there is no minimum sign-up target for CCA members. This allowed me to focus on my school work while still volunteering during my free time. I managed my time well as I did not sign up for events when I knew that I had many assignments to submit or during the exam period. If you have commitments in school, family or other areas, community service CCAs are the way to go as they are relatively free and easy!
3. Leadership Roles and Opportunity to Plan Events
Ngee Ann Poly’s Leo Club ensured that their CCA members had ample opportunities to take on leadership roles, through leadership camps, frequent recruitment drives, and Leo Active. Leo Active is a platform where CCA members can plan and execute our own community service projects. Members can sign up with their own friends as well! This is a great opportunity to help a disadvantaged group that may not be widely known or discussed, and you can use your creativity to plan an event that everyone will enjoy.
4. Boosts Mental and Physical Health
According to helpguide.org, volunteering curbs the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. Having social interaction with others by helping and working with them can have a significant effect on your psychological well-being. Volunteering may also combat depression for the very same reason, helping you develop a solid support system with the people you meet when volunteering.
As someone who has few outlets of relieving stress, I find that doing community service helps to take my mind off of the problems that I have. Going to these events and getting myself out of the stressful environment is refreshing for me, hence why I strongly encourage people to volunteer.
Studies have also shown that volunteers have a lower mortality rate than those who do not do community service. It can make it easier to deal with everyday tasks, and are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have improved thinking skills. Volunteering can also reduce chronic pain and risk of heart disease.
Doing community service is great for someone like me who dislikes exercise, since it still keeps me moving while not being too physically demanding!
You can add volunteering experiences and leadership roles in a CCA to your portfolio and resume! These experiences are highly valued in companies who focus on social impact or simply helping people. Volunteering also means meeting new people, thus expanding your social network, allowing you to tap on these connections if you ever need help with something!
This is my personal digital portfolio, where I added in my volunteering experiences.
TIP!: Be more reflective, not descriptive. Include your learnings from each experience and how you have or can apply them to your school, work and other aspects of your future. Additionally, make sure to blur out any children’s’ faces if you are including pictures of them!
I have had a wonderful experience in my community service CCA in Poly. I hope you do, too!
This article is brought to you by Loh Jae Yee. Jae Yee is a third-year student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She is currently interning with SNCF from March 2021 to August 2021. She is also constantly experimenting with fashion and making her own clothes and jewelry.