Get Involved with the Singapore Salvos!

Virginia Soh and Antonia Marran have volunteered for The Salvation Army Food Ration Programme for over 10 years. Suzanna Pomeroy talks to them about how much they’ve learnt about the Singapore community through this rewarding volunteering activity.

Virginia Soh and Antonia Marran do a Salvation Army ‘food drop’

ANZA has been involved with The Salvation Army Food Ration Programme in Singapore for approximately 21 years, with ANZA members making food drops to the Kim Tian, Bukit Merah View and Jalan Bukit Merah areas. There’s one packing day each month where volunteers put together two grocery bags worth of dry goods for each client and three mornings a month where volunteers follow Salvation Army staff in their van to deliver the bags. Deliveries are made either door to door or directly to clients who wait at the designated distribution point.
When reflecting on her time volunteering with The Salvation Army, Virginia commends the social workers who support the elderly community and other people in need. “The volunteers have a wonderful opportunity to interact with local elderly people,” says Virginia. “This could include the food ration delivery or participating in activities such as crafts, outings and hand massage at the centre’s Elderly Drop-In Programme. Some of our past volunteers say that the food delivery programme was a highlight of their stay in Singapore.”
For Antonia, volunteering has provided a unique insight into local Singapore. “It’s very much outside the ‘expat bubble’. It’s exposed me to a different side of Singapore and shown me the strong emphasis on community support. There is a ‘neighbourliness’ here that’s very special.”
Virginia and Antonia have been able to spend time learning more about the lives of aunties and uncles and their families. They always welcome volunteers with a smile and are happy to talk about their history and the challenges they have faced. “It is a pleasure to team with ANZA volunteers, as they always bring smiles to our beneficiaries with their friendly gestures and kind thoughts. It’s also a good opportunity for both volunteers and beneficiaries to engage in a meaningful cultural exchange,” says Wong Lee Chin, Social Worker, Family Support Service
The Salvation Army is always ready to welcome new ANZA volunteers to participate in the food run, food packing, ‘home help’ and outings. They are also open for volunteers to contribute and plan ad hoc programmes under the weekly Elderly Drop-In Programme. If you would like to find out more, please email anzaaction@anza.org.sg or check out ANZA Action here