Developing Websites and Volunteerism | Blue Li, Swire Trust Go-Givers of 2022
Together with Time Auction, the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program encourages skilled volunteers for Swire Trust NGO partners from 2020 to 2022. 10 outstanding volunteers will be selected annually as the “Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year” with special rewards & recognition. Meet our 10 Go-Givers of 2022!
Imagine living with a health issue that stops you from leaving home. Most people might get pretty depressed. Yet, some people will not get discouraged and will still strive to better their lives no matter what. Blue Li is one of these optimistic warriors of life - let's hear his story.
The bugs in life
Born with an artistic soul, Blue was working his dream job as a graphic designer in the publishing industry a few years ago. However, his health conditions soon bound him to the walls of his home and forced his rising career to an abrupt stop.
Although the wheel of fortune did not turn in his favor, his flexibility and growth mindset guided him to utilize his time productively by learning new skills at home. It is hard not to applaud his extraordinary will power to self-learn the extremely complicated expertise of website development. Soon, he found his alternative path as a freelance website developer.
Testing new codes
With this new career plan, Blue wanted to train and polish his skills. Having stumbled upon Time Auction's LinkedIn advertisement by chance, he seized the perfect opportunity to build his portfolio by becoming a website maintenance volunteer for the Hong Kong Children in Need Foundation (HKCIN).
When Blue first signed up, he simply thought that it was a project to solve some problems on their existing website. It turned out, however, that they were looking for an additional member to assist their current website developer in building a new website from scratch! This new website, Solab, was planned to serve as an educational platform for users, primarily students, to showcase their STEM projects. It was intended to have many advanced functions, such as uploading photos, adding descriptions, posting on discussion forums, and signing in through a membership system. These website requirements made it particularly complex to build and, actually, a little too tricky for Blue!
However, he didn't just quit. The level of difficulty “was beyond my expectations,” Blue admitted, “but, since I was already onboard, I couldn't pull out, so I had to go ahead regardless.” With a courageous spirit and steadfast determination to continue what was started, he tried his very best to help solve all of the problems.
Indeed, “Blue's expertise has helped,” HKCIN’s Amy Hui commented. “Our project has gone smoothly after Blue joined. The total volunteer hours exceeded our expectations, but Blue was still willing to help us with the entire project. Also, Blue gave us a lot of advice on our organization in addition to the project he applied for. He is without a doubt the best volunteer we've recruited through Time Auction so far.”
Launching the volunteer life
This is indeed the second consecutive year that Blue has been selected as Swire Trust Go-Givers (read his interview here from last year)! You may be wondering: why does Blue treasure volunteer opportunities so much? “For the past several years, I have spent most of my time working alone at home,” Blue reflected, “but through these projects, I am able to meet other people and broaden my horizons.”
For example, when volunteering on a project to make a website intended to be used by the visually impaired, he learned about and catered to their needs, which he had never thought much about. Such sensitivity to people from different walks of life invites Blue into a fresh perspective vastly different from commercial jobs, which are mostly targeted at consumers and used for generating profit. On the other hand, volunteering for NGOs offers the opportunity to contribute to visions and missions that are much richer and more diverse.
Maintenance of volunteerism
Likewise, developing websites and a successful launch marks the first step towards achieving the goal, while continuous maintenance is critical for long-term life goals, such as volunteering. In Blue's case, he has done a remarkably wonderful job: he is the only awardee to have received the Swire Trust Go-Givers of the Year for two years in a row!
Evidently, he demonstrates an exceeding devotion to volunteerism. When asked what fuels his drive to active volunteering, Blue simply shrugged and joked, “I know saying that helping others makes me happy sounds quite a cliche, but actually it is quite true.”
Thank you so much to Blue for contributing 83 volunteer hours & beyond at the Hong Kong Children In Need Foundation!
To see details of the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program and support their NGO partners, head over to Time Auction website.
Written by Margaret Ng, Volunteer Copywriter