Kindness Challenge Day 4: Sign Up For Volunteer Work

This is Day 4 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge held in Nov 2012, where we do different acts of kindness for 14 days. The challenge is now over but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all the challenge tasks.

Hands holding red seeds

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 Email to Someone

A snapshot of my thank-you email 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 email as the medium to send my thank-you notes, and I wrote fairly lengthy emails to each of the three individuals, expressing my deepest gratitude, why I feel gratitude towards 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

People 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!

(Images: Hands holding red seeds, People collecting trash)