We celebrated with more than 130 of our volunteers at our second virtual Volunteer Appreciation Night, but a first virtual event with activities and interaction. It was a celebration of our very own rock stars – THE VOLUNTEERS – who have dedicated much time and effort to HCA Hospice and our patients over the past year. And celebrate they did, logging in from around the world, including Saudi Arabia and Australia.
Dinner was delivered to everyone in Singapore and we kicked off the night, with a video featuring some of our volunteers sharing with us, why they chose to volunteer with HCA. Then, Project Vespera, which comprises five 17-year-olds performed two songs with their friends. Their project utilises social media to spread awareness of palliative and hospice care. They also conduct art and craft activities and music performances for the patients. Their goal is to enable more youths, to better understand the importance of hospice care and uplifting the patients by conducting interesting sessions for them. We then gave out long service awards to our volunteers, albeit virtually, who have faithfully served with HCA ranging from five to 25 years. Everyone then excitedly participated in a Menti trivia game, answering questions like “What does Paddington Bear keep under his hat?” At the next segment of the wiregraphy workshop, our volunteers enthusiastically created “HOPE” with the wires and activity sets sent to them earlier. After the Lucky Draw, we awarded prizes to our best dressed Rock and Roll stars and we ended the wonderful evening with a toast to good health for all our volunteers!
Our volunteers have always been the backbone of HCA, playing crucial roles in all aspects of our operations. The brilliance of our volunteers is even more evident in these difficult times.
To just say that we appreciate the work they do for us at HCA is an understatement. Over the last 12 months, our volunteers had chalked up more than 9000 hours of committed service across a whole range of activities. An average of more than 750 hours a month translates to a profound, positive impact on our patients’ lives. This is especially meaningful for us, as from 2020 to now, COVID has made it that much more difficult to volunteer.
We have long recognised that, one of the keys to our path going forward, lies in our volunteers, who embody the spirit of selfless service. They have shown us that their acts of giving, have now become a way of life.
Over the past year, every volunteer answered our calls for help in different ways, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Our Vigil Angels faithfully stepped up for assignments, to soothe and bring comfort to dying patients. On any other day, it is an emotionally sensitive task that requires kindness and delicateness, but safety measures have made it more challenging. To minimise risk to all involved, our angels have had to don the PPE throughout their assignments, which often leaves them drenched in sweat. Other volunteers took the initiative to purchase and deliver groceries to the households of our needy patients, bringing smiles amidst these stressful times.
The efforts of our corporate volunteer groups have also been outstanding. During the pre-COVID days, they planned outings and activities for our patients. All of these activities came to a grinding halt when the pandemic hit, but our corporate volunteers were determined to explore different ways of bringing joy to our patients. Over the past year, different corporate groups have supported us through monetary contributions, fulfilling our patients’ wishes, as well as thoughtful carepacks for our staff.
Not all of our volunteers may have the time to give as much as we want. For those who chose to donate funds in lieu of time, we are ever grateful. We would like our volunteers to know that whatever the form, every single minute spent with our patient, every dollar donated, makes that someone’s day brighter, their life more bearable. Our volunteers have brought us their life experiences, skills, compassion, talents, friendship and even their sense of humour. We hope these efforts will only grow bigger and better.
A big thank you to all volunteers for their continued support. I hope we will continue to rock and roll in solidarity in the years ahead. I also take this opportunity to thank another group of Rock Stars – my rocking and rolling fantastic HCA VME team! They have spent countless hours, preparing this Volunteer Appreciation Night specially for all our volunteers. Our volunteers have given their resounding appreciation for an evening well spent! Well done, team!
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