DHL Global Volunteer Day 23 Sep 2017

23 September 2017, I participated in the company’s global volunteer day. It was not the first time I volunteered my service for the good of the society but it was just the beginning.
I came to realise that there is a need to return something back to the society 2 years back, as I was challenged with some difficulties in my life, and as I pondered over the many questions that lingered in my head, it just occurred to me that my blessings could have been used in many other ways to help the people in this world.
I started to look out for charity work to do and the closest to me would be the corporate social responsibility that DHL believes in.
And so, my first volunteer work with DHL was a smaller scale of beach cleaning at East Coast Park.
I’ve never thought that “cleaning” the beach in itself is such a humongous task, till I started picking up rubbish (literally rubbish), from styrofoam meal boxes, to plastic bags and bottles, there were emptied drink cans and sometimes beer bottles, and lots and lots of cigarette butts!
Being a smoker myself, I was guilty for the act of throwing cigarette butts everywhere, never realising that how much I’ve contributed to the litters in Singapore.
And the challenge of picking up all those little cigarette butts triggered the shame I have in me. How shameful I have been to expect the cleaners to pick up my rubbish!
Ever since then, I’ve not thrown a single cigarette butt or any litter at all. If I can’t find any bin around me, I will keep the butt in my pocket, till I find one.
Yes, it will cause a foul smell in my pocket, and I’ve not developed the habit of bringing a plastic bag to keep my trash whenever I leave home. But at least, I do not make things difficult for the cleaners, and I am not one of the contributors to the litters along the street, the Parks or the beaches.
If I’ve not volunteered to clean the beach last year, nothing would have changed in me. And today, I am more mindful of littering.  It is honestly very sad that mankind needs to learn this way.
Back to the recent event, there was quite a big group of volunteers from the different business units of DHL and all of us have come together as one for a good cause.
We were grouped into smaller groups of 4-5, with 1 person appointed to record the different types of trash that we picked up.
It was barely an hour has passed when the weather became warm and humid, and soon, we all settled under the shade to rest while waiting for the organisers to gather us.
As we headed back towards the east entrance of Corny Island, the weather took a sudden change and big droplets of water started raining on us.
Although I had an umbrella with me but I was not spared too, because I saw a couple with 2 young kids caught in the rain too.
Without much thought, I approached them and offered my umbrella which they initially rejected. But I insisted that the kids were more important than me and finally they accepted my help. The umbrella didn’t really help much, as the rain was really heavy and I was trying to shelter the couple with their kids in their arms.
We hurried our pace and soon there was a sheltered rest area in sight and we moved into it. By then, I was already drenched, so were the couples. The kids, though wet too, were not as bad.
The couple quickly helped the kids changed into dry clothes and by then the rain has kind of slowed down and became a drizzle. As I was afraid that I would miss the company transport, I offered my umbrella to my couple, fearing that it might pour again, but this time round, they firmly rejected me and thanked me for my help.
I left the sheltered place feeling good. Although I didn’t really helped the couple much but I was thankful that heaven has somehow arranged for us to meet. I was happy that I could at least shelter the children from the heavy downpour.
Good thing was that I managed to board the company transport totally drenched, but of course, I wasn’t alone.
04.10.2017
Francis Lim

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