New CHCSA volunteers are exposed to the organization’s core values, programs and history at an orientation session.
Contribured By Lau Ber Nard
|PHOTO: Alvin Low|
City Harvest Community Services Association is more than just an organization, it is a family of people who love and are passionate about serving their community. Into its 14th year of existence, CHCSA organized one of its regular volunteers’ training session on July 17. This is the seventh training session for volunteers (also known as Enablers) in the last two years.
30 Enablers made their way down to the People Of Destiny Centre, located in Tampines Street 33 for the training and orientation session. Amidst the cold and wet weather which presented itself on the early Saturday morning, the volunteers arrived energized and ready to learn more about the association and how they could play a part in serving the community as volunteers with CHCSA.
Eden Sim, a program executive of CHCSA, led the Enablers in a few rounds of interactive activities to “break the ice” and warm up the participants on the cold morning. The activities involved teamwork and lessons about serving the needs of the community.
Enablers were given a virtual tour, via slide presentation, on the services offered by CHCSA to their clients and the community. They were also introduced to the various departments of CHCSA and the staff members, so they would know who to approach if they should encounter any difficulties.
Says Irene Ho, program manager of CHCSA, “We place a lot of emphasis in training our new volunteers and upgrading the skills and knowledge of our existing volunteers as they are the arms and legs of the association.” With its wide clientele base, Enablers receive in-depth training on how to bring CHCSA’s help and assistance to the needy in the community.
CHCSA offers services to children with their K.I.T.E. Program (Kids in Total Embrace); Star Family services, to help strengthen family units; an established program known as COPE, or Community Outreach Program to the Elderly; to the youth with activities at the POD Centre; as well as services to the deaf, known as Talking Hands.
Other services of CHCSA include outreach programs for inmates and ex-offenders in rehabilitation (M3—Mighty Men in the Making); services to the intellectually disadvantaged with their RAYZ programs; as well as assistance to the terminally-ill, namely, FIRST Hand for HIV positive patients and MS Care for patients with multiple sclerosis.
Established in March 1996, the association constantly tries to spread a message of faith and hope through its work, and does so by meeting the needs of the community. Regardless of race, religion or language barriers, CHCSA trains its Enablers to be ready to serve the less fortunate in the community. With its regular blood donation drives, food and grocery delivery services for the elderly, hospital escort aid for the terminally-ill, prison counseling sessions, and more, CHCSA has won recognition from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore and the Southwest Community Development Council.
Volunteer “veteran” Herman Lim, a Navy specialist, shared with the new volunteers his experiences of being an avid volunteer for CHCSA for over seven years helping out with the programs offered by FIRST Hand. “Catering to the terminally-ill patients gives me a sense of hope and inspiration when I see how people are able to overcome obstacles in life and live on in spite of their challenges,” says Lim. He went on to share with the crowd of how he used to be an introvert, but through years of volunteering with CHCSA, his life has opened up to be more “colorful” and meaningful through giving and serving.
Through this orientation program CHCSA provides a stepping stone for their volunteers to become more effective and loving Enablers of their community. The last Enablers training session for the year will be held in September.
For more information on the various ways to serve the community, contact CHCSA at +65 6835 9916 or log on to www.chcsa.org.sg.