I am volunteering for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure this weekend. I’m neither running nor walking the 5K race. When the race starts on Sunday, I’m either going to be asleep or I’ll be enjoying chai and NYT (something I haven’t done for some time now). I’m helping with registration. I register those who haven’t and help get bibs and t-shirts for those who have. I also answer questions as simple as “Is it a rain or shine event?” or as absurd as “Do board members have connections with the Bush administration?”.
Interacting with participants and survivors as well as organizers and other volunteers has been a powerful experience. It’s a great example of individual initiative and of ordinary people uniting for a cause. Most participants and volunteers are middle-aged women from in and around the city. Some are from farther away. I heard at least half a dozens accents today. Some registrants didn’t even know what Komen was or did until they walked up to our table. Everyone had a story. Everyone had an aura that comes from knowing you are doing something good.
What kind of volunteer opportunities are available in S’pore? Are individuals encouraged/allowed to take an initiative and devote themselves to a cause they believe in? Can I organize a bake sale or a bike race? What about a community development project? What do I believe in? What will I fight for? HIV/AIDS (battle of our generation)? Premature babies (celebrate my sisters and my nephew)? Cancer? (in memory of my grandmother?) Or as Meg says – do something positive and don’t get involved in the negativity of the fight against this or that. How about a movement to plant community gardens in urban areas? Or teach kids to cook? Or bankers to breathe? Or bring Vaishali back to NYC. Now that is a cause worth fighting for!