Kay previously worked in a large, well-known financial institution, back in 2010. Assisting customers with their general/billing inquiries and up selling credit card services were some of the tasks that she had to deal with everyday. The company had not only offered her financial stability and career growth, but also an opportunity to help the less fortunate, which had never crossed her mind until she was given the chance to do so.
Kay describes herself as someone who does her own thing on her own time. It had never beer her interest to do volunteer work or any kind of community service.
“It just wasn’t my thing. Back then, all I think about was to provide for myself and my family. All my time was dedicated for work, friends and family. For several years, I failed to look around and observe the community that I was in. I failed to offer help and show compassion to the people who needed attention. When I found out that the company had organized a community service, I even thought twice about whether I would join or not. My co-workers encouraged me to participate, and so I decided to give it a try”, she confided.
The company rented several buses, and at exactly 9AM in the morning (exactly 2 hours after their night shift), they drove their way to their destination. Upon reaching the town, they had to pack their belongings and walk hundreds of meters to reach the village.
“It was a hot, sunny day. I did not expect that we would be walking that long. Each of the girls carried a huge bag of clothes, while the boys took care of the large boxes of noodles and canned goods. It was hard because I am not really used to carrying that weight, but I did enjoy the walk because my co-workers and I entertained ourselves by joking and teasing around. I was just amazed of how my teammates managed to stay cool and loud despite of the situation that we were in. I suddenly felt a genuine gratitude inside me because I knew for a fact that all our sweats and exhaustion would pay off once the goods would reach the hands of the people”, Kay said.
After less than two hours of walking, they finally reached the community. They didn’t think about relaxing their tired muscles, but instead, they immediately turned to their team leader and asked for the tasks that they would be doing next. The men focused on carrying and passing on hollow blocks, mixing sands/cements, and other construction activities. Some of the girls, including Kay, participated on in this activity as well.
“Honestly, I am not into physical activities. I hate to see myself sweating. But when I got involved, I just didn’t think about it at all. It seemed like I was loaded with lots of adrenalin and I just couldn’t see myself sitting there and watch these guys work. I made the most out of it”, she said.
After Kay participated in the house construction, she joined the girls and together they distributed the goods. She made it a point to smile as she handed the goods to the people.
“I wanted them to feel my sincerity, that I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of having it done. I was very happy to do it. It just felt so fulfilling and overwhelming”, she added.
After the tiring activities, they had their lunch and finally had some time to themselves to relax. Kay and her girlfriends couldn't find a comfort room to change their clothes. A resident, overhearing their conversation, offered them to change in her home.
When Kay and her co-workers entered the lady’s house, they took the opportunity to have a little conversation with her.
“We found out that they were struggling with food and water supply. Originally, they were informal settlers in the city, and the government provided them this new residential location to start a new life. One of their dillemas was that they couldn’t find a stable job, because unlike in the city, the opportunities there were very minimal. They have a home, but they lack enough resources to live and maintain a good and healthy lifestyle. I almost got teary eyed when the lady thanked us for what we had done. I could see the happiness in her eyes, and the peace of mind that she had something to provide her children for the coming days. I never realized that a small thing for me would mean a lot for others. I was very thankful that I joined the community service, and was able to touch somebody’s life”, Kay shared.
After having become part of a community service, Kay realized how blessed she has been, and how important it is to be aware of the situation of the people surrounding her. She's learned the importance of giving, participating and influencing.
“This activity actually served as an eye-opener for me. It taught me how to be involved. After this event, I found myself participating in other community services in our area. It still isn’t a regular gig, but I always make it a point to volunteer whenever I have the time. I wish I would have had the realization a few years back. But I know that it is never too late for me, or for anyone, to serve their compatriot. It doesn’t matter when or how you start. What’s important is that you do it wholeheartedly and selflessly”