An avid reader, Patricia Lee jumped at the chance to work with a charity helping underprivileged children to discover the joy of literacy. Now it has become a passion for her.
1. What inspired you to do charity work?
I took a year's sabbatical to travel to South America, Africa and the Himalayas back in 2009. This ingrained in me a deep sense of awareness that the best way to affect change is not to wait for someone else to do it, but to be an agent of change. By undertaking small acts of kindness and compassion in our everyday lives, we all have the power within us to make life better for others.
2. Why did you choose to give back with Room to Read and not another charity?
The anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." Room to Read may have become a successful high impact organisation over the last 12 years, but it is also made up of many groups of thoughtful committed volunteers around the world. One of the key factors for choosing Room to Read was because of its committed helpers in the charity's amazing Singapore chapter. You will not find a group more passionate and more action and impact-oriented than my fellow co-volunteers.
I grew up burying my nose in books from my local neighbourhood library. My parents could not afford to buy them for me, but through the library they were still able to give me the precious gift of learning and reading. They took me there every Saturday of my entire childhood. By volunteering with Room to Read, I can return this precious gift my parents gave me to children in the developing world.
3. How much of your time is spent volunteering?
Hard to say as it depends, but on average it's about 30% of my free time.
4. What would you say to others looking to join and volunteer?
In the famous words of the late Gandhi "Be the change you want to see in this world."
By volunteering with Room to Read, I can return this precious gift my parents gave me, to children in the developing world.
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