Volunteering is a great experience
Our new curriculum requires us to do at least eight hours of volunteer work. I welcome that because I love volunteering.
Last year I joined a programme at the YMCA which helped the elderly. Their heartfelt smiles cheered me up.
I have since joined other volunteer projects. They included visiting a home for the elderly, helping children with their studies and taking disadvantaged children to Disneyland. They have all been meaningful experiences, which have changed the way I feel.
My volunteer work has not only helped others but helped me, too - by teaching me about life.
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and get to know people. It can be hard work, but it's well worth it.
Tiu Yuk-wa, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the Editor
Thank you for your inspiring letter, Yuk-wa. So many people sign up for volunteer work out of a sense of duty. They believe helping others will look good on their CV, or will impress their parents, teachers and future employers.
But as you have learned, there are many benefits for the volunteers, as well as those they help. You say you have made new friends. Volunteering is a great way to interact with people you might not otherwise come across in your everyday life.
As well as learning to socialise with many types of people, volunteering offers opportunities to learn practical skills - you might have to do anything from making schedules (so you show up on the right day) and team-building, to life-saving and building homes.
You may not hold onto the skills for life - when I was at secondary school, I volunteered at a deaf school, but I can't remember much of the Chinese sign language I learned back then - but the fact you can learn new, useful things is exciting in itself. It also reminds how much every one of us can offer society.
Karly, Deputy Editor