How Arleta Used Retirement As a Launchpad for New Opportunities | Swire Trust Go-Givers of 2021
Together with Time Auction, the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program encourages skilled volunteers for Swire Trust NGOs 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 2021!
Arleta has worked for a well-known sportswear and apparel company for over two decades. With her expertise in sourcing and product development in apparel manufacturing, she helped the company achieve significant growth and market presence. After retiring from the conventional workforce six years ago, she decided to embark on a new journey of volunteering.
Retirement as a launchpad for new opportunities and challenges
Having acquired a wealth of wisdom and experience, Arleta sought out to utilize her resources; “since I stopped working after moving back to Hong Kong, I started wondering how I could make better use of my free time.”
She then started volunteering for Food Angel, carrying out a range of roles- from mealbox preparation to corporate engagement, primarily assisting with their Corporate Social Responsibility Programs.
Volunteering quickly became an established part of her weekly routine for the past six years, doing so 2-3 times a week. Reflecting on this new chapter in her life, Arleta feels like volunteering gave her a boost; reminding herself of the need to stay open and curious, and continually seek new opportunities.
After coming across Time Auction through social media, Arleta was immediately intrigued by the concept of using her professional skills to help charities and NGOs.
With her product development background, it wasn’t always easy to find volunteering opportunities which fitted this expertise. So, on the realisation that ImpactHK (an NGO that’s on a mission to help the homeless), was looking for a T-Shirt production support volunteer, she instantly applied for it. Here, she helped with the management of the production schedule and the manufacturing logistics.
Skilled-volunteering as a refresher of knowledge
With her knowledge within the apparel manufacturing industry, Arleta executed the role smoothly. The biggest takeaway from skilled-volunteering for Arleta, is that it gave her a strong sense of purpose during the, often, difficult transition that accompanies retirement. With the extra spare time that it can bring, she feels that volunteering within meaningful organizations and roles, is one of the most rewarding ways she could spend her new-found time.
Besides finding this purpose, skilled-volunteering gave her the opportunity to keep up with the new generational ways of working. “A lot has changed since 2015, when I stopped working. Through volunteering for ImpactHK, I had the opportunity to catch up on the new knowledge in the industry and the evolved mode of working.”
Volunteering within the production support gave Arleta a chance to reconnect with the apparel industry and develop her knowledge within teleworking.
“This whole online working style is new to me!”
Congratulations on Arleta’s well-deserved recognition!
She is proactive and even initiate to have calls for the updates and helps on following up the updates!— Candice Chu, ImpactHK
Having worked in the apparel manufacturing industry for decades, Arleta never thought her day-to-day work, within her career, could be of such high value to an NGO. “I am blessed to have the chance to support such a good cause with my skills. I’m honestly overwhelmed by the kind feedback from ImpactHK!”, she remarked.
Lastly, Arleta offers her words of encouragement to people who are hesitant to volunteer their skills. “It is really important for us to give back to our community, especially in this difficult time.” Born and raised in Hong Kong, she has always wanted to find a way of giving back to local communities.
“While financial donations are certainly useful, volunteering can be just as important. Most non-profit organizations rely on volunteers to keep their programs running smoothly.” There are so many important causes out there that always need volunteers to support the work they’re doing. Even if you only donate a few hours of time each month, you will be making valuable contributions to the community. So, get out there, and see if you can help with a cause that you care about!
Thank you so much to Arleta for contributing 40 volunteer hours at ImpactHK and more to come!
To see details of the Swire Trust Go-Givers Program and support their NGOs partners, head over to Time Auction website.
Interviewed & written by Leo Chick | Edited by Emma Lascelles