Penny Fung - Became RMHC Hong Kong Volunteer since 2003
An incidentally walk-by plus the information learned from the Internet brought me to the Ronald McDonald House® Hong Kong and became its volunteer. I recall someone asked me how I feel when seeing the seriously ill children suffered from their treatment and medication. My answer to them was, “Every time it strikes us when my family and I help out in the House. When I see the parents taking care of their children and supporting each other and the children playing joyfully in the playground, I am always overwhelmed by the warmth. It makes me realize that every challenge in life can be overcome with a positive mindset and love.” In the past eight years, no matter how busy I am, I always find time volunteering at the House. It is the chicken soup for my soul!
Time files; I have worked as a Ronald McDonald House® volunteer for 3 years. The job scope has extended from clerical work to yoga teaching. Like many people, I regard volunteer work is to offer your free time to help those in need. However, when I dig into it deeply, I really gain a lot during my service: I observe and deeply understand what is selfless, strength and patience. Comparing to sick kids’ parents greatest love, our giving is tiny; comparing to their stress, our daily worry is minimal! That warm place has extended my horizons. I also learn to treasure everything that I have!
“It is more blessed to give than to receive, discover the happiness in the ordinary.” This saying has been engraved in my mind since I was young under family edification. Since the beginning of secondary school, I started participating in voluntary work such as visiting elderly homes, flag day, and charity mooncake sale, etc. After beginning work these past years, I became engrossed in work and neglected the duty of a responsible citizen – to care for others in society.
During my annual leave six months ago, life was less hectic but I felt that I could not spend my time in vain by indulging in food and amusement. So when I came across a Ronald McDonald House® poster in a restaurant, it encouraged me to become a member of this ‘home’. Prior beginning work at Ronald McDonald House®, I met Cherry, who shared with me moving stories and experiences that tugged at my heartstrings, deepened my understanding of Ronald McDonald House® and encouraged me to give my all to the children in need.
As a manager in McDonald’s, I work ten hours a day and even overtime. Taking time out for volunteering in my busy schedule has led my friends to ask, "Do you need time for yourself?" Of course I do! But the key is time management; I believe that prioritizing appropriately, volunteering does not interfere with my daily work. On the contrary, it can be a stress relief. My workplace frequently promotes the importance of ‘work, life, balance’ and I find that being a volunteer for a day revitalizes my wellbeing and I am able to return to work the next day with more vigor. I think that all matters should be treated with genuine effort and done with the mentality of giving a helping hand to those in need. It is with this attitude that I get the drive to help those in need at Ronald McDonald House®.
The ailing children living in Ronald McDonald House® are all battling with the tight grasp of sickness and aside from financial support, genuine care and compassion is equally important. I enjoy spending time with the children, giving them presents to show my support and encouragement, and seeing their smiles of joy. The work I do at the House, such as working with other volunteers on office work, cleaning and raffle selling, is actually tasks at the lift of a finger and in no way as toilsome as the staff of the House.
In the six months that I have worked as a volunteer in the House, I have devoted only a small portion of my time but gained a lot out of my experience. I have made new friends, expanded my social circle and got to know a group of warm-hearted staff. It is most delightful to see the children recover and return to their homes, and to see the way they encourage and support each other is truly touching.
Working at the House has enhanced my life experiences – it has made it more enriching, made me cherish the value of life, and it is truly satisfying! In the days to come, I will continue to volunteer at the House and I hope that I can inspire my colleagues into giving to those in need as well!
I truly hope to act as a candle that kindles the charitable spirits of others, to gather more sparks and illuminate.