How Chris Took Training out of the Classroom with Skilled-Volunteering | 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!
Chris is currently an undergraduate student studying at the University of California, Berkeley, pursuing a degree in Economics and Data Science.
Prior to joining the Time Auction community, he was already a frequent volunteer from preparing meal boxes for Food Angel, to participating in service trips across Cambodia, the Philippines and China. With these fruitful experiences, his passion for volunteerism continued to grow, and he decided to step it up a notch with skilled volunteering!
Chris recalls the difficulties he previously encountered when looking for volunteering opportunities. “It was challenging for me because there were no platforms that match volunteer projects with volunteers’ skills.” He also felt like a lot of the volunteer work he came across, were projects on a one-off basis, which was less appealing to him. Time Auction’s accessible opportunities resonated with him, especially since they allowed “volunteers to develop a deeper connection with the organizations.”
“Time Auction has made volunteering opportunities very accessible! What I love most about the projects is that they are usually not on a one-off basis, which allows volunteers to develop a deeper connection with the organizations.”
Looking for a Sense of Purpose Amid the Pandemic
The pandemic has kept a lot of us at home for longer than anyone could’ve expected, and with all that extra time indoors, it’s easy to feel a little aimless. “You know, it’s really hard to beat procrastination when taking online lectures at home all day. Then I thought, why don’t I spend the time helping others and supporting a good cause instead?” Volunteering remotely is a great way to donate time to a cause that matters, making a difference from the comfort of one’s own home.
Skilled-Volunteering Project for the First Time
With his interest in environment economics and sustainability, along with the time available, Chris was successfully matched with BLOOM Association Hong Kong as a Sustainable Seafood Research Assistant, carrying out research on seafood restaurants in Hong Kong.
Chris’s responsibility was to help with building a database of restaurants, that serve sustainable seafood, to give conscious consumers the option to eat sustainably.
Not only did examine the menus of the restaurants online, he also visited several of them, taking the time to talk in-person with the staff. Over the course of 4 months, their team ultimately researched 300 seafood restaurants in Hong Kong!
Take a look at the sustainable seafood database here: https://www.chooserighttoday.org/where-to-eat/
“Fun fact: I found out about a local sustainable source for flathead mullet in HK!”
Chris’s biggest takeaway from skilled-volunteering, is that it takes training out of the classroom. It gives individuals hands-on experience, and creates opportunities to sharpen existing skills and learn best practices.
Through this first-time experience of channeling his passions into a volunteer project, he’s found that the more involved he gets, the greater the sense of satisfaction he receives.
As most of the work is done remotely, the schedule is flexible and can be set according to what suits him best. “It’s the perfect way to get the most out of the time stuck at home!”
Congratulations on Chris’s well deserved recognition!
Chris was extremely helpful and was willing to go the extra mile for us. He also completes his tasks on time and managed to collect lots of data for us!— Kathleen Ho, BLOOM Association Hong Kong
“I’m very honored to be selected!” Chris believes that in these trying times, it’s very easy to feel a little unmotivated. Therefore, it’s very important to help each other out during the pandemic- “the organizations really do appreciate your work!”
Lastly, Chris encourages people to volunteer their skills to a cause they are passionate about. “Volunteering may just take you a few hours every week, but it creates a lasting impact for the community. If you can find a cause that you’re passionate about, contributing a few hours doesn't even seem enough!” He even encourages people to bring your friends or family to volunteer with, “it’s like a fun group activity too!”
With the abundance of remote skilled-volunteering projects available, it is easier than ever to fit volunteer work into your schedule.
Check out more of these opportunities here! https://timeauction.org/projects
Thank you so much to Chris for contributing 50 volunteer hours to BLOOM Association Hong Kong 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