“The act of giving or philanthropy takes many forms that may often be mistaken as an action only the “wealthy” can do.

Personally, it is acknowledging your privileges and your position to provide others with resources that were otherwise out of their reach.

In the past, I have hosted BBQ fundraisers alongside university club members to support those displaced and affected by the Great Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. All monetary proceeds were delivered to the Australian Red Cross who were providing international aid and assistance to their Japanese counterpart.

In recent years, I have been more inclined to support local orphanages or elderly care centres by donating or purchasing necessary items such as, milk powder, washing detergent, toothbrushes, adult diapers, bin bags etc.

These places usually have a “Wishlist” to guide volunteers and let them know what is crucially needed to continue operating and caring for their residents.

My favourite memory was bringing Christmas to a community home for young children who had parents that could not afford to care for them. A friend had an open invitation so I jumped on the bandwagon. I brought a Christmas tree and all the trimmings while she and another friend brought gifts of toys, books and other day-to-day items for the home. The occasion turned into a potluck lunch party as some of the neighbourhood residents came to celebrate too.

Somewhere in the not too distant future I would like to volunteer and continue supporting causes that are focused on mental health, art, and women.

If you’re thinking of donating or volunteering – DO IT! Try not to focus on the size, quantity or duration of your donation or service. Just be comfortable and have fun carrying it out with your best intentions!” – Ethel Chan

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