Out-of-Office-Day Part I: Willing Hearts

Posted by on Sep 8, 2013 in giving back, news | 2 Comments

Ok, so everyone wants to shut the office down. Wish granted.
The office was shut down for an entire day on the 28th August as we geared ourselves for some out-of-office adventure. (Judging by the loud cheers when I announced the shut down a couple of days before, I reckon this is something EVERYONE wants to do again. Maybe not the Canopy challenge, but the get-out-of-office part. Ok, point noted).

Out-of-Office Day Part 1: Morning 6.30am – 12.30pm
Following Chooi Leng’s (a regular volunteer) suggestion and Lyonne’s prompting to do something to bond the thincers, we decided to start the day helping out at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen after getting the ultimate clearance from Clara, our supreme traffic authority (thank you, Clara).

We made our way separately to Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen from 6.30am (Chooi Leng, Lyonne and Jess were already there when I arrived at 8 plus). When I walked in there was already a huge bustle of activities. The kitchen was filled with regulars and volunteers already busying away. On top of the 13 of us, there were also two Hotel groups doing their bit. Nice. That’s the spirit. They had a meaningful day out of office too. Always nice to dump our work for more meaningful endeavours, no?

The interesting thing is that Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen offers an open concept volunteering opportunity for anyone keen to help out. So you can actually walk in and start helping out anytime in the morning. The kitchen was well stocked with both equipment and supplies, and divided into various stations, from food cleaning and preps, to cooking (I was told you needed to be a little more senior to be “promoted” to chef. Ok, something to aim for) to packing. And of course, followed by delivery to the various distribution points islandwide to more than 3,000 needy and underprivileged folks. 365 days of the year.

It’s an amazing operation, given that I heard that the founder, uncle Tony, actually started out from his own home kitchen, continuing his mother’s beautiful legacy of preparing meals for those who needed it. (Read about Tony’s inspirational story here).

We had the chance to meet several ordinary folks that lead extraordinary lives, like uncle Tony, uncle Charles, uncle Michael, uncle Lucas, Siti and Francesca (to name but a few). These people are there everyday from 5.30am onwards, a time when most of us are still in dreamland. And because me and Collin could drive, we were also asked to help drive the Willing Hearts van to 2 of the distribution points in Yishun to deliver the packed meals, where we saw first hand the fruit of the morning’s labour being handed out to the appreciative needy folks from all walks of life. It was a touching moment, as well as a huge reality check for me. Never knew much about the state of needy folks in Singapore. A humbling awakening I’ll remember for life. Things we take for granted, we should really start appreciating.

To the wonderful folks at Willing Hearts, thank you for showing us the amazing heart and unwavering passion to serve and make a difference. We’ll be back. That’s a promise! (Do I hear more cheers?).

[ More about Willing Hearts:  Website | FB ]

[ More photos|videos on our FB | Vimeo ]

To be continued in part II: Not-s0-willing hearts take on the daunting Canopy Sky Walker…


  1. Charles Liew from Willing Hearts.
    14 October, 2013

    Well written ! Thank u for serving & we certainly hope to welcome all of u back.

  2. andy
    16 January, 2014

    The pleasure’s ours, Uncle Charles!

    We’ll try to be back whenever we can! See you soon!


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