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03 February 2010

During the festive season, we often see the familiar sight of volunteers in red aprons at shopping malls, ringing bells and encouraging passers-by to drop a donation into the kettles.

I decided to volunteer this year and encouraged my seven year old daughter to be my partner in manning the kettle. She was very happy to be able to help out and do something meaningful during her school holiday. Our assignment started from 3 pm, and for 2 hours, we put on our best smiles for hundreds, maybe thousands of shoppers, appealing for donations while ringing the bell and thanking the donors.
I was very touched by the passers by, some of whom were so forthcoming in donating money. Even some elderly people who themselves did not look well, took out coins from their old wallets and donated them. Many parents who saw my daughter standing and ringing the bell, in turn, encouraged their children to donate. Though I had earlier taught my daughter that all contributions count, no matter how big or small, she was thrilled and motivated to see donors dropping into the kettle 50 and 10 dollar notes. We challenged each other to see who could garner the most donors as we took turns to ring the bell. To cap our experience, one kind lady donor even returned to give us drinks she had bought! This experience definitely left us in high spirits and we will definitely be signing up for next year’s kettling!I am glad I spent a fulfilling and meaningful afternoon this Christmas season by volunteering with my daughter and inculcating the values of altruism and sharing in her.

Would you be keen to volunteer next year too?

~ Jennifer Lee and Daughter