Jane Chan wears two hats daily, firstly as an IT-professional by day, and a Tzu Chi volunteer by night. Her life is just like any of us, with aspirations that are common in our society: get an education, work, get married and start a family. She lives a hectic life juggling work and family commitments.
She shared that in the past, her life was full of hustle and bustle, and it was sometimes hard for her to discern the meaning and purpose of living. In 2005, when she joined a Tzu Chi medical relief mission on Batam Island, she witnessed many sickly poor people, who probably would have had no opportunity to see a doctor in their lifetime. Through witnessing the many faces of suffering during the trip, she began to learn to count her blessings in her own life, and she also tasted an unspeakable joy through serving the poor and sick.
On 8th November, Jane joined a group of Tzu Chi volunteers in an after-hours visit to Times Software Pte Ltd, and the team shared with the staff moving stories of Tzu Chi’s missions as well as their personal volunteering experiences. The volunteers also shared their joys and benefits through service to others, and hoped to build bridges of love, to send out love to the greater community.
Jane highlighted in her talk that the beauty of Tzu Chi lies in the fact that everyone has opportunities to be of service to others, so long as one can apply one’s own skills and knowledge in areas of need. Besides, the volunteers also learned about humility, gratitude and respect in the process of helping others.
“I want to thank everyone for staying back after office hours to listen to the sharing by Tzu Chi volunteers, and I thank the volunteers for taking their precious time to prepare the programme for everyone. I hope that everyone will benefit from this sharing session,” said the person in-charge of Times Software, Tang Han Cheng.
Tang, who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer, recalled how 8 to 9 years ago, he was touched by a similar sharing session organised by Tzu Chi. Till today, he is still deeply touched by Tzu Chi’s humanitarian efforts. He said, “Wherever there is a disaster, so long as it is reachable by foot, you will find Tzu Chi volunteers rendering comfort and much-needed aid to disaster victims, and it really touches my heart.”
Tang often encouraged his staff to find time from their busy schedules to take part in charitable activities, as a form of giving back to society. It was because of this that he specially invited Tzu Chi volunteers to his company and share about the VWO’s missions on this special day.
The night’s activity not only included sharing by volunteers, but also a documentary filmed by Discovery Channel. Through the film, the staff not only learned about Tzu Chi’s founder, Master Cheng Yen, but also the global footprints of Tzu Chi, in reaching out to the various corners of the world where darkness and human misery reigned.
Another volunteer, Dr Ho Xin Qin, who works in a government hospital, often finds herself busy every day to the point of physical exhaustion. Although she had always desired to do good in the past, but she never really carried out her wish, and would spend her idle time without much purpose. When she came to the realisation that she couldn’t waste any more time in her life, she knocked on Tzu Chi’s doors, and finally became a volunteer.
“Tzu Chi has helped me realise the limitless potential within each human being. As long as you have the will, you can surely attain it,” said the young doctor.
She shared that she currently takes part in Tzu Chi’s various missions and activities, which allows her to serve in various spheres and capacities. This helps her to expand her knowledge and learn new things. After joining Tzu Chi, she has finally found meaning in life, and life has become more vibrant as well.
An experienced staff member, Ms Catherine Poon especially liked the volunteers’ sign language rendition of Tzu Chi’s song “Give Love”. The volunteers took the opportunity to share with her other Tzu Chi songs as well. Catherine said that she had once been an “environmental ambassador” in a previous company, and is very supportive of environmental protection. As she has turned 60 this year, she admitted that she might not be very suitable as a volunteer. But the volunteers encouraged her to take the opportunity to serve, and even invited her to take part in Tzu Chi’s community recycling activities.
On this night, many of the staff members were inspired and moved into action. A total of 25 staff members responded to the “111 Ethical Eating Day” campaign, by pledging to go vegetarian for a day on 11th January, to show their love and care for Mother Earth. One of them even signed up as a monthly donor of Tzu Chi on the spot.