Kindness Challenge Day 4: Sign Up For Volunteer Work (On Top of Whatever You Have Been Doing)

This is Day 4 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Good morning everyone! :D Welcome to Day 4 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! :D

Over 770 Official Participants!! FINAL Chance to Sign Up

As of the writing of this post, there are over 770 official participants. We are nearing 800 participants!! :D

If you haven’t signed up, now is your final chance to do so. If you don’t see your name on the official participants list, that means your registration has not gone through.

Now’s the time to stop watching by the sidelines in curiosity and to start acting. Pledge yourself to becoming a beacon of kindness. Here’s how to join:

Check Out Participants’ Comments To Date!!

We’ve been getting some really amazing responses from participants for the first few tasks of the Kindness Challenge! Participants are reporting amazing results, ingenious ways of executing the assigned acts, beautiful revelations, and serendipitous encounters after doing their acts of kindness. I’m so, so proud of all of you

If you haven’t reported your results, please do so in the daily task comments. Check out the other participants’ results. Mingle with all of them! That’s what the comments section is for! By sharing your results, you grow and you help others to grow as well.

At the same time, appreciate if you guys can post your comments in the right places. Some of you have been randomly posting your task results in different threads (e.g., Day 1′s results on the sign up post and Day 2′s results on Day 3′s post) and it has been causing added administrative workload. Seek your cooperation on this. Thank you!

My Day 3 Review: Write 3 Thank-You Notes

Day 3′s task was to Write 3 Thank-You Notes to 3 People You Appreciate.

The three people I chose were my Kydon (Tay), a business associate of mine who is also an reader of PE and an active supporter of my work, and Maddy (Barber), a deejay personality from KISS92 (the radio station where I’m currently a regular at).

Why did I choose them? With Kydon, our relationship has evolved into one of good friends since working together. He has been a great supporter of my work and decisions, and I’m thankful to have known him.

For my business associate, he has been an absolute darling in helping me recently, and have really gone above and beyond to help me in many things, even when he has no reason or obligation to help me at all. I’ve been very touched by his gestures and I can’t wait to work with him closely in the couple of months ahead.

My Thank-You E-mail to Someone

A snapshot of my thank-you e-mail to one of the three people I chose to thank

For Maddy, she gave me the opportunity to be a weekly regular on KISS92, where I’m having my own personal excellence segment every Monday). It’s only been two weeks so far but I can feel that it has been a start to many great things. I’m very excited at the new opportunities that will continue to spring forth from this.

(Tune in for my third episode on KISS92 tomorrow (Monday), 8am, on the topic: How To Tackle Procrastination. Unlike the previous two episodes, I’ll be in the studio LIVE this time round, so you can text whatever questions you have to the station at +65 9717 0920 (for those in Singapore) or post your questions directly at the KISS92 Facebook page during the segment itself!)

I chose e-mail as the medium to send my thank-you notes, and I wrote fairly lengthy e-mails to each of the three individuals, expressing my deepest gratitude, why I feel gratitude toward them, and my excitement at the things ahead for each of us. I just set them out yesterday night, so I’ve not received responses for all three notes (not that I’m expecting a response anyway! I wrote the notes because I wanted to share my gratitude, not because I wanted them to respond.)

That said, I did receive a response within that night from my business associate, who reciprocated with very kind words on his end. It made me feel that kindness is such a beautiful thing, and that when you open yourself to show your appreciation to others, people will naturally reciprocate too with their kindness and appreciation for you.

Update Nov 5 (Day 5): Subsequently received responses from two of them who each expressed gratitude for my thank-you notes. It was great reading their responses, knowing that they are now aware of my gratitude, and also knowing that they appreciate what I had to share. Yeah! :D

Day 4: Volunteer

Volunteer work: Collecting trash

Do you do volunteer work?

Volunteer work is one of the best ways to expose yourself to a new medium of helping other people. There are tons of volunteer work out there, from assisting the elderly at the old folks’ home, working with delinquent kids, being a mentor to kids at orphanages, helping out at animal shelters, beach cleanups, and so on.

Volunteer work doesn’t have to be some grandiose act. As long as you are offering a part of yourself pro bono to the world (be it in terms of skills, knowledge, time, effort, or money), you are in fact volunteering.

For example, someone who spends his/her time mentoring kids for free in his/her alma mater out of his/her kindness can be considered as doing volunteer work. Someone who helps to curate and moderate the discussions in an online forum (without charge, out of his/her desire to help) and to ensure the discussions are of quality standard can be considered as doing some form of volunteer work too.

I often regard everything I’m doing now as a form of volunteer work—I write articles, record podcasts/web lectures and constantly brainstorm of new initiatives to help others grow, without tying money to them or expecting payback. I’ve just found a way to make my work pay for my bills, which allows me to give myself freely to others, so that they don’t need to pay to benefit from what I have to offer.

Today, your task is to sign up for volunteer work!

Your Task: Sign Up for Volunteer Work  (On Top of Whatever You Have Been Doing)

  1. Think of a volunteer work to sign up for.
    • It can be volunteer work which you have thought of doing but have never done before. It can be volunteer work which you have done before but somehow stopped doing after a while.
    • It doesn’t matter if you are currently doing volunteer work already or you have done volunteer work before—this task still applies to you. Even if you are currently doing some volunteer work, think of a new volunteer work to sign up for. Please do not say that this task doesn’t apply to you just because you are currently volunteering or because you just volunteered yesterday or last week or last month. That’s just a cop-out reason! The 14-Day Kindness Challenge has never been about going from an “unkind” person to a “kind” person—it’s about challenging our boundaries to be kinder. I’m hereby challenging you to push your boundaries and think about how you can expand your propensity for kindness!
  2. Then, look for an organization where you can volunteer your help, be it for an ongoing basis, a certain duration (once a week? once every two weeks?), or at the very least, one or two days. Google it, check with friends, visit local community websites… Go sign yourself up RIGHT NOW, TODAY. Your day of volunteer doesn’t have to be today or tomorrow, just that you should sign up or initiate some form of registration or inquiry to register BY TODAY. No procrastination allowed! (Coincidentally, my KISS92 Segment tomorrow is about procrastination!)

I’m thinking of volunteering at the SPCA—Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It’s an organization I’ve always wanted to be involved in since a while back but somehow or other have never acted on that. Will update on how it goes in my progress report tomorrow!

Share Your Results!

What volunteer work did you select? Which organization have you signed up for (or will be signing up for)? Why did you pick this organization? What is the duration you have selected to volunteer with them?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done with Day 4, proceed to Day 5: Give a Genuine Compliment to at Least 3 People!

Image: Heal the Bay

  • Ken

    :) i’m the first one. It’s not actually Day 4 yet, but was taking a break from my hobby and I saw the email come in about day 4.

    So for my volunteer things, there are two things that I do. Our company sends employees to an organization called Three Square. The provide sack lunches for under-privileged kids in the Las Vegas area over the weekends. We will pack lunches and my department does this at least once a month. So every chance I get I will go and pack lunches.

    This volunteering thing was my best friends idea from a year ago. When i told her about it, she encouraged me to go, and you know what, this was the best thing to help my self-esteem. Over the year with the fights and stuff I had with my ex-wife, where she did not appreciate the things I did, these kids, never complained back about anything. They appreciated the sack lunches, they would never yell back at me for doing something.

    There was one week when my best friend came out to Las Vegas for a mini vacation and I actually had the chance to pack lunches. My best friend wanted to go do it with me. Unfortunately there was a corporate meeting that I could not get out of. So we both missed that chance. But there will always be a future chance for it.

    The other volunteer event that I put down as a goal for 2012 and from now on is to feed the homeless on Thanks Giving and Christmas. I’m already signed up for Thanks Giving. This year is going to be the first time I will be alone for the holidays. But I’m going to make the best of it from now on. And every year, no matter what, I’m going to volunteer. Unless illness prevents me, this is something that I will incorporate in my family, if and when I get to be a part of one.

    • Celes

      Aw that’s really kind of you to volunteer to feed the homeless, Ken! I think it would really touch them to have someone there for them, especially during the festivities like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when everyone is with his/her families.

  • wanxuan

    I love buying books and have an almost brimming “library”. I’m also somewhat a book “hoarder” cuz I love books so much hehe. Today I decided to donate some of my books to a nearby public library. :) It made me feel so good cuz someone is gonna benefit from what I’m doing. : :dance:I also got over my laziness to finally do it. Hehehe. Hopefully I can do this more often- somewhat like a regular voluntary book donor :D Sharing books is fun! I also was a voluntary “PR of the day” LOL cuz I sent an email to Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM)(, recommending and sharing my experience so far in the Kindness Challenge to SKM cuz I have benefitted so much so far. :cool: Haven’t received a reply from them yet though. Hopefully the story gets published so more people will get to know of Kindness Challenge ;)

    • Celes

      Aww Wanxuan, thank you so much for voluntarily reaching out to SKM to tell them about the Kindness Challenge! :) I really appreciate it and it’s so sweet of you. :) Another reader has also reached out to SKM to tell them about PE’s Kindness Challenge, which I think it’s awesome because it shows that PE readers are truly seeing the merit and role of our Kindness Challenge in the (Singapore) society.

  • Dolly Yeo

    Nov 4 ‘Kindness Challenge’ – Volunteer work
    I have done many volunteer work over the past 20 years. It’s great to continue doing so.

    I planned to do my first webinar on Stop Parenting Start Coaching after my Passive Income with Celes which actually ends tonite which is our 6th Module. I have learnt much from Celes and apply them as much as I can.

    So instead of having people pay for my webinar, I am going to do probono for all the 4 Modules. I just set up an account with This kindness challenge has given me the opportunity to stretch myself because I have not done a Webinar before. I did one teleseminar which does not require me to upload any materials, so this time I am sure there would be many angels :angel: to support me.

    Already ‘anymeeting’ just announced many new features are added that is going to happen this weekend!! I learnt that when you set an intention to add value to your own life and to others, the Universe will make it happen for all to benefit. You don’t have to worry about the how it is going to happen :D Next I would be lining up my powerpoints and materials from my talks and workshops to get the modules going. Thank you Celes for this opportunity to learn, grow and contribute to the community. I look forward to be part of this community. I would have to go facebook and set up an event, send event to my list. Hopefully, more would join the kindness challenge.

    • Celes

      Dolly, congratulations on deciding to go pro bono with your 4 webinars. I’m sure that you will benefit many more parents by making them free vs. if you had charged a fee, which may in turn help you to generate more leads and reach out to a wider audience. This will ultimately help to grow your business. It shows that by setting the intent to help others, it will eventually return to help you too. Kindness isn’t something that is a zero-sum game; it creates synergy and leads to abundance. :angel:

    • ugi

      Dear Dolly Yeo,

      I loved your saying “I learnt that when you set an intention to add value to your own life and to others, the Universe will make it happen for all to benefit. You don’t have to worry about the how it is going to happen” This is so true and if all people can keep this in mind I am sure there will be more happy people around us. Thanks for reminding this!

      And I wish you good luck with your new start up and the webinar. I do not know you but I feel you will achieve the best!

      have a good day!

      • Dolly Yeo

        Hi Ugi, I really appreciate your generous acknowledgements and encouragements :D Thank you so much. I believe in the Universe making things happen for us because it has happened to me many times in my life. Especially the last few years when I was going through a roller coaster ride in my relationship. Experienced peace amidst chaos. Thanks! We are all blessed :hug:

    • hendro

      Hello Dolly

      Thank you for being so kind to give me words of encouragement during our Passive Income webinar course yesterday. :) I really admire your openness in sharing your knowledge with all of us and your active participation during our webinar course. :D I learned something new from you and I wish you all the best your webinar course. ;) I will probably look for you when I become parents. :p Haha.

      Keep it up :dance: :clap: !!



      • Dolly Yeo

        Hi Hendro, Looks like we are all sending very positive vibes from this Kindness Challenge, living in alignment. I learnt from Celes, she mentioned many times about creating value. You all are so young :clap: and already living life with values, I am very encouraged by the environment created here. Cheers Henro, way to go :dance:

        • Celes

          I love how all of you are interacting with each other with such genuinity and openness. It shows that it doesn’t matter how old or young we are; as long as we are of one heart (to help people, to grow), we are all one with each other. :D

  • Perpetua

    Completely fallen behind already thanks to Sandy. Funny that I should log in on this fourth day after having just completed a long shift of volunteering at an Armory for evacuees. i can’t wait to read through everyones’ lovely findings, etc. But for now… some shut-eye! :dance:

  • Chestnut

    Today I’ve signed up to volunteer for a month in Africa. I’ll be going next summer, via Projects Abroad. It was kind of a spontaneous decision, but I’m sure it’s going to be a great and humbling experience. Volunteering has always been something that’s been close to my heart, and when there is no possibilities in my small town in Norway for such work (e.g. tutoring disabled kids, working at shelters), I create my own opportunities. It’s not until next summer, but I’m glad I signed up now, so I’ve time to look forward to and plan for this wonderful experience :)

    • Celes

      One month in Africa?? Amazing. Chestnut, you blew me away with your comment. Thank you so much for being the person that you are.

      Is it possible for you to share how you registered for this volunteer work? Is it something that can be done online? As some readers may be interested to do it themselves too.

    • ugi

      Dear Chestnut,

      I can only say “wow!”.. My respect and best wishes for your admiring decision. Taking your own life’s responsibility must be something like this and choosing to help others as in your case is such a kind beheviour..

      Wish you all the best,

  • hendro

    Hello everyone

    Another meaningful challenge for today :D I have just signed up to be a voluntary member at Singapore Art Museum through email. :) Hopefully I receive favourable response :bow:



    • Celes

      Hi Hendro, fantastic work! :D I hope you get a response soon. :D That’s nice, finding a way to mix volunteer work with cultural immersion!

      • hendro

        Thank you Celes for your wishes. :D Wow! I receive two likes for my comments. So happy to see that. :) Thank you guys who have ticked like on my comments. :bow: You both are nice and sweet people. ;) All the best for everyone of us! :dance:

  • Alex

    I signed up to volunteer at a dog walking charity – walking elderly/ill people’s pets! It’s over December – I have the month off in-between TEFL jobs – and I thought it’d be something nice to do whilst I think about my next step/where to go next year. I feel good! :)

  • Elton

    I have voluntereed in children training program this weekend in Iskandar, Johor Bahru with Learning Festival, where I am working with schoolchildrens and trainer for more than 100 school children in profiling of character and what they want to do when become adult, and in process of doing that, they enjoyed themselves with chicken dance. :)

    Crazy environment, and the end of result of the day, one of the kids stood up and said that he wants to do what I am doing because of the value delivered, and the expression that he gave was priceless as he hug his teacher and his fellow students after his feedback.

    Thank you.

    • Cheree

      Elton, that’s great! It sounds like very rewarding volunteer work. Being a good role model for children is one of the best things I think we can do. The role models they usually have from television and movies don’t have much to offer. Keep up the great work!

      • Elton

        Thanks Cheree for your kind words, saw your initiative here too

  • Netta

    I have often volunteered my time and at some points had to extend services. I have chosen to volunteer to help with my children’s church they attend. They can use all the help they can receive on Wednesday nights because they have a huge group of children that attend as well as a lot of activities for the children.
    I also volunteer for my daughters’ school activities. Just last Friday, I went with my oldest daughter on a 5th grade field trip and assisted with the children. It was an 8 mile hike on The New River Trail and was gorgeous scenery, not to mention the exercise.
    I know that I will be enjoying a lot more volunteer activities at their school and now I can enjoy my time shared at their church also.

    • Cheree

      Netta, volunteering for your children’s events is great! I know my volunteer work at my son’s schools are some of his fondest memories, and many of the trips, camp outs, etc. are great memories for me as well.

      An 8-mile hike! Wow! That’s really ambitious! Keep up the great work!

  • Robin

    I didn’t complete today’s exercise, but I’ve added it to my November goal list. We are doing a collection at work for military personnel, in conjunction with a veteran’s day event, so I gathered things around the house to donate at work tomorrow including some food items and an iTunes gift card. I looked in to a few volunteer opportunities near me, but the one I’d really like to do was during my work hours and many of the other ones are a decent drive from my home. Hopefully I’ll find something this month that I can do near home.

    • Cheree

      I’m sure something will turn up, Robin. in the meantime, it sounds like you are doing other acts of kindness!

  • Cheree

    This one was easy for me! Our church is having our annual ladies meeting, so I volunteered to help out in a couple of different areas. Also volunteered to do a website for a non-profit group. Enjoying the challenge. I got started late, so combined days 0-3 into one day. Blogged about the first four days today, and will be blogging daily until the end of the challenge now. (also doing #21 days simultaneously)

    • Celes

      Hey Cheree! So awesome to hear that you have been blogging about the Kindness Challenge. And congratulations on completing Days 0-3 in one day! Have included you in the blog roll for Kindness Challenge. :D

  • Fufu

    What volunteer work did you select? Which organization have you signed up for (or will be signing up for)? Why did you pick this organization? What is the duration you have selected to volunteer with them?

    I chose to volunteer in helping my little brother in his homeworks and tests. I haven’t volunteered today but starting tomorrow I’ll do that and to my mom that means a lot because I love teaching and to help him study there has to be a lot of effort and teaching like an actual class because he’s from special education.

    It’s a task I had done since before but haven’t done so in months. I’m going to contact a friend of mine after I finish this post, to see if she can allow me to volunteer at the catholic church and while I’m at it get to know the religion since I once visited her church on Christmas and I really loved the atmosphere compared to my old church which was that of the protestants.

    My task for this date is not yet over.

    • Fufu

      And I decided to volunteer with mom maybe for a week or a month? For now a week

      • Celes

        Oh sweet, Fufu! :D What are you volunteering to do with your mom?

        • Fufu

          Ups! Sorry :sweat: I wrote this before going to sleep so my words got all mixed up. I told my mom I’d do community labor by tutoring my little brother on his school subjects.

          And the other thing was that I was going to see if I could do community labor at the church, cook for the elderly, etc. but I’ll have to wait for my bff (who is a bit of a slow responder) to verify if I can help out at the Church.

          • Fufu

            I wasn’t able to sign up for volunteer work at the church since the only volunteer work available was singing and I don’t sing but found volunteer work teaching how to cook and draw :) For now I have 2 friends who I’ll teach how to cook on the weekends but I’ll still keep my eyes out to find volunteer work in an organization :)

            The ironic thing is that neither of my friends knew of the challenge and they both asked if I could teach them how to cook the same day. The universe sure loves to surprise me and make wonders! :dance:

  • Ngee Key

    I will be exploring a few of the volunteer organizations the next few days before deciding which one to embark on. There are too many out there and I just want to make sure that I find one that is aligning to my overall purpose and objective.

    • Claire R

      Dear Ngee Key,
      Just to ask; what are your objective and purpose ? Where do you feel a need ?
      I ask because we were talking the other day all of us said we did originally
      plan to do the things we are very active and dedicated to. It just seemed right
      at the moment of realization and commitment

      • Ngee Key

        Hi Claire,

        My objective is to help unemployed people or those with low education or disabilities to go back to the work force. And for those who are not being able to go back, I would like to equip them with survival skills so that they are able to continue their life journey. There are many people out there who needed this form of help and with my ability, I am sure I will be able to assist them.

        Ngee Key

  • ugi

    Hey everyone!

    I just applied to our municipality library as a volunteer for reading books for visually impaired people. I always thought about this and thanks to this challenge I finally did it. Hope they come back with approval and I can actualize it!

    Have a good day

  • JadePenguin

    Bit late but I was super busy yesterday.

    I had already applied to volunteer at Nightline (a student-run counseling service) but since the challenge asked for more…

    I also applied to York Students in Schools again (I was gonna leave it for summer term and focus on Nightline but I can probably manage both). It’s volunteering in schools, as the name suggests. The tasks vary so I dunno what I’ll be doing. I was gonna do it this term but me and the primary school did not fit well and I was released. Not doing primary again! I have no clue what to do with the kids, especially if the staff doesn’t help (it seemed like they didn’t really need me).

    • JadePenguin

      Oh, almost forgot – I’m also part of a Food Not Bombs group which gives out free food to homeless and at events. We get the food from supermarket leftovers and donations and do the cooking ourselves. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve met some wonderful people in the group :)

  • Celes

    I love all the different volunteer projects that all of you are being a part of. It tells us that as long as we are willing to offer our time, there are so many different ways we can be of service to others. :D

  • Tina

    I’m all about volunteering today and for as long as necessary.

    I’m from NY and we were just hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and there’s a Nor’ Eastern headed our way so temperatures are expected to drop and we’ll be getting rain. There are still hundreds of thousands of people who don’t have power and many have lost their homes.

    I even created a Facebook page where people on Long Island can find donation centers.

    If anyone is looking to make a financial donation to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy, please go to one of the following websites:


  • Daria

    I looked up some volunteering opportunities in my area and there were plenty. But I can’t sign up :( yet. Not having a proper ride is the main reason.

    When I was talking to my mom about it, she suggested an idea which was very similar to something mentioned in the article above. The idea was to pick up at least 10 pieces of litter off the ground when I go out. It was a great idea and I took it up immediately. And yesterday was my first day of completing that task.
    I hope to be able to volunteer officially soon though, because I want to be useful in other ways to my nurturing community.

    • Claire R

      Cool idea. : :clap:
      Listen, if you like something make one or two visits. Maybe you can find a buddy to ride with
      or see if a friend would like to volunteer with you

      • Daria

        On behalf of my mom, thank you Claire for the compliment :)

        You know what, now that I think of it, I remember having talked to a friend a couple of months ago about volunteering and she did express interest, she also happens to have a ride! I don’t want to pressure her, since she’ll be the one doing more effort with the ride and all, but I hope she’ll like the idea. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    • Celi

      That is so sweet.

  • Claire R

    I already spend a few hours a week doing volunteer projects and was all set to gush over that.

    After reading the article itself I realized I was completing the something new- this weekend a friend and I decided to start a local support group for us caregivers of Alzhiemer and Dementia family members.We will also take in anyone who is a caregiver of elderly, mental etc. A group that can talk,
    complain, cry and laugh together and help each other out. And grow as friends.
    Today I offered to help out a neighbor’s child with English. The mother was thrilled.
    It is nice to feel you Can help ! That alone is worth it.
    Still sending thank you notes over the net.-and compliments

    • Daria

      I totally agree with you Claire, that the feeling generated from helping others is very precious all by itself. Opportunities to help others are indeed blessings! :angel:
      Best wishes to you and to your new support group project :)

  • Karen

    I officially donated to the heifer organization today and I look forward to doing it regularly

    • Daria

      Even your name rhymes with “caring”, Karen! :) Good job :clap: