It’s coming again… the season of love is almost here! So, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day 2024?

While we are busy making plans to spend time with our loved ones, why not take the opportunity to do good and share the love with others out there through an act of volunteering?

Here are 4 stories of volunteers who do just that. Read on and learn more about why they do what they do, and you can also make it a more meaningful Valentine’s Day too by volunteering with a loved one, family or friends!

Honouring Mother’s Memory Through Volunteerism

Festive holidays and anniversaries bring the warmth and memories of time spent with loved ones.

For the Fetalvero family, these celebrations took on a new meaning since the matriarch of the family, Rhodora, a former HCA Hospice patient, passed away. Rhodora used to enjoy giving back to her community as a volunteer.

To honour her generous and giving spirit, Dad Manolo, and his sons, Nathaniel, Ezekiel, and Gabriel, joined HCA Hospice’s Oasis@Outram Day Hospice event on what would have been Rhodora and Manolo’s 30th wedding anniversary.

The family used to run a cake business and often baked together. They opted to bake their favourite clementine cake for HCA Hospice patients.

Through each step of the baking process, the Fetalvero family guided the patients as they cracked eggs, whisked, and poured batter, with a gentle helping hand. The cake was distributed on-site for the patients to enjoy during teatime.

The Fetalvero family looks forward to coming back to volunteer again on special occasions, like Rhodora’s birthday in the future.

Meeting as Volunteers Which Sparked a Relationship

When Han Lin first heard of the FamChamps program mentoring youths by Focus on the Family, it drew him as he always had a passion to coach youths and share with them what he knew about building a positive family culture.

At that time, a sibling had fallen ill and Han Lin’s family were dealing with issues and tensions that came with it. That experience made him reflect on the kind of culture he desired for his future marriage.

Volunteering with Focus on the Family has provided Han Lin with especially new insights on how to strengthen families.

But even better, he found his life partner too.

He met Li Ping during a FamChamps volunteer training program and today, she is his proud wife and they are parents to two children.

Together, they serve as mentors in an 8-month Camp Experience for youths where they befriend them and help them navigate their family journey through the program.

Through volunteering, they learnt many things about each other, which facilitated their work as a team, for instance, through deep discussions and finding the best solutions together in doing their best as mentors for the teens.

For the couple, it’s a wonderful opportunity to volunteer together, creating many wonderful memories, giving a shared purpose and opportunity to be in a community of like-minded people.

To explore volunteering with Focus on the Family’s FamChamps youth mentorship program, find out more here.

The Love of Nature Brings a Shared Camaraderie

Devakumar and Martin, who are in their 70s, have been volunteering together at the Woodlands Botanical Garden for 3 years now.

They met while taking a stroll through the garden, and a friendship blossomed, and they have been good friends since then.

Having grown up surrounded by plants, and with a love for nature, both of them wanted to give back to the community by helping to grow the garden, from its infant stages, into an award-winning garden it has become today.

A volunteer roster was planned amongst them to help water the newly planted plants and they played an instrumental in the garden’s growth and beauty.

One time, when fellow residents had trouble looking after their ageing pet birds, the team decided to incorporate a spacious aviary in the garden to house these domesticated birds. The birds wouldn’t survive if released into the wild.

Devakumar and Martin helped to obtain the materials and built a beautiful aviary that housed these lovely feathery friends for their remaining years, bringing much joy and cheer to the community, especially the young children.

They often share fond memories of their younger days as well as their current family life, and both families have become close enough that they visit each other’s homes on Deepavali and Christmas, and even for the occasional home-cooked dinner.

Thanks to the Woodlands Botanical Garden, many beautiful friendships like that of Devakumar and Martin have been forged, a testament to how communal spaces can bring people together and enrich the community.

Finding Joy in Uplifting Communities

Alice and Hugo are a married couple who enjoy doing many activities together, trekking, travelling, cinemagoing, and serving the community is no exception.

And when it comes to volunteering, they each have individual preferences – Alice enjoys work that involves artwork design and language translation, while Hugo prefers more physical activities like charity runs.

During the pandemic, Alice came across Be Kind SG’s #Craftforgood online events. Inspired by its founder Sherry’s story, Alice began participating in online events together with her two boys, her sister and niece, giving the family a meaningful and fun activity to look forward to during the period of lockdowns and restrictions.

When restrictions were lifted, Hugo began joining Alice in volunteering activities with Be Kind SG and they made monthly visits to welfare homes where they engaged homeless residents and individuals with disabilities in crating, dancing, singing and many other interactive activities.

For the couple, their biggest reward is the warm welcome and sheer exuberance they receive in return from the residents. It’s an opportunity they relish, giving them a valuable experience and reminder of gratitude in being able to serve others.

Inspired and looking to make a difference? You can do so too, by exploring volunteering opportunities on This Valentine’s Day, volunteer with a loved one, family or your friends and share your love with a cause close to your heart.