You Matter Project, 24/7.17:29
24th July will never be the same again. This year 24th July, a small group of us started this project called You Matter to appreciate all the staffs in the service industry. They play a very crucial role in our lives and yet they are often the one we take granted for.
The service staffs, work almost every day and any time of the day. Most of them have no Public Holidays and weekends like we do, they just work as and when they are assigned to. You don't agree? Well let's take a look.
Do we still see buses and MRT in operation during weekend and PH? Yes we do. Do we still see cleaners, security guards and stall owners taking off days during PH or weekend? Maybe yes during big day like Chinese New Year, Hari Raya or Deepavali, but I believe they are mostly open.
Yes they do have off days, maybe once a week. But can most of them enjoy their time with their family? Most of the family members, especially the kids who are in school, they are only free during weekend or PH, however, their parents who are in service industry are most probably working during those days.
Every service staffs matter, no matter what they work as, what their job scope is, they matter. Through this event, I realised that many of them are really very under-appreciated. I am glad we did this together.
Pre-eventThis is the very first time I am part of the planning committee of an event. Normally I would just take part and follow. I realised that there are a lot of things to do before the actual day, like really a lot.
I needed to juggle a little with my family matter as well. It was kinda tough. But I am glad to have this group of planning committee who were very supportive and concerned about me. They assured me that they will be helping me out as well.
Our initial plan was to give the service staffs a goodie bag with some useful stuffs inside like drinks, towel and such. However, those need fund that is beyond our reach :(
Therefore we had to find sponsors for this. Emails after emails to find sponsors for the event as well as asking for permission from various organisation as we are approaching them during their working hours.
A lot of admin stuffs to do. Everything has to be in black and white. And we realised that we actually needed to start emailing the organisations at least a month before the event. That was a very valuable lesson we had learnt so that we can prepare better for the next year's project.
This whole event was supported by Singapore Kindness Movement, which I believe many of you had heard of! Otherwise, time to Google it hahaha.
Day of EventWe had targeted to appreciate 1,000 service staffs on that day and divided into 3 shifts. There were a total of 36 volunteers involved in the event and quite a few of them actually helped out with more than one time slot.
We had settled with just cards and badges as goodie bags weren't possible due to the shortage of time we were facing. But it's alright, we can always do better next year ;) Both the badges and cards were designed by our own friends from the planning committee. I am so so proud of them! Some of the recipients actually praised that they are all very pretty!
The back of the cards were blank because we want to handwrite and customise the message to the service staffs. I mean, can we compare this simple thing to all the things that they had done for us?
We also planned to approach public, to ask them to write something on the cards and pass it on to the next service staffs that they were going to see on that day.
06:30 - 09:00 a.m: Clementi area
We are so so so thankful that there were 10 volunteers who sacrificed their beauty sleep to appreciate the service staffs despite having the other 2 later time slots to choose from. We have this early time slot because we aimed to target the service staffs who wake up early everyday to start their daily routine. They are just too awesome!
*Note: all the pictures taken and posted here are all taken with permission from the people in the picture themselves :)
Good morning from us!
One of our volunteers with one of the stall vendors that we appreciated on that day. Many of the vendors were actually so touched and thankful that we actually recognised their hard work and they even offered to buy us drinks. Although many of us rejected the offer, but we really appreciate their sweet intention :)
The bus drivers who wakes up early to drive us to our destination so that we would not be late for our school/work and in this case, our event hehehe.
The cleaners who constantly keep the table clean so as the next user could use it. Some may not agree this as to some of you, many of the tables were still in the mess when you visited the hawker/foodcourt.
I would like to take this chance to emphasise that, it's not the cleaners fault that some of the tables were not clean. There were just a few of them and yet there are thousands of tables to be cleaned. I believe everyone of us should do our part in keeping the table we are occupying clean by clearing our own tray, so that the cleaners would have an easier job, probably just have to wipe the tables.
This is a win win situation, no? the next user could use it at ease and the cleaners can clean more tables. Don't forget, you can be the next user yourself :) So instead of complaining, why not let's make a difference together? Everything starts from a small act!
02:00 - 04:00 p.m: JEM, Westgate and IMM
Weee! more volunteers = more service staffs appreciated = more smiles!! The afternoon batch of volunteers, you guys rock!
Two of our volunteers with the cleaners that we spotted outside Jem. Thank you for keeping the environment clean!
The staffs in Fairprice, thank you for your amazing service!
Another happy staff :)
The bus drivers taking a short break before their next trip. Thank you for driving us to our destination, some of you even go to the extra mile to greet us good morning/ good afternoon/ good evening with the greatest smile!
Spotted the pest control group of people having their break at the coffee shop! Another happy group of service staff!
I need to special mention this!! The McDonald outlet at IMM, we approached the manager to inform that we were going to appreciate her as well as her staffs. She was so thankful and she even said "Oh dear, I wish you came earlier. Today is a tough day, but thank you for coming and recognising our effort!" she even introduce to us to all her staffs. She took over one of her staff at the counter so that we could appreciate them one on one. She is so sweet please! To all the fast food restaurant, WE LOVE YOU KAYYYY! Let us all be nice to them, because they matter!
Even though you can't see any queue from this picture, but there was actually a queue okay! Hahahha. I had an idea and tell my team that we should queue up like others and surprise them with the appreciation cards and badges!! Muahahaha. We queued up yo!
I went to school to settle some school stuffs before joining back with them and decided to spread some love in school!!
One of my favourite vendor in school! This uncle is always smiling so brightly whenever I patronise them! Thank you for being so lively!!!
One of our canteen cleaners! She was actually very busy when I passed her the appreciation card and badge, the supervisor was there to help out too. They were so shorthanded and therefore working non stop!
I approached the supervisor before hand to inform her about our movement. She was very thankful and asked me to go ahead and pin the badge on their uniform. She then told me that they get very busy because all the students came out for break at the same time, there were too many tables to be cleaned at one time and too little help. She urged us to return our own tray after our meal, to make things easier for the cleaners.
YOU SEEEEEEEEEE! Told ya returning our own tray is helping them! It's also a very good manner to portray. People would stare at you when you return your own tray, they stare in awe O.o Let's be the trend starterrrr!
Our lovely Librarians <3 They were so sweet! Kept thanking non stop and said they were very happy that we recognised their hard work. I realised they are also the one who are very under-appreciated T.T I love you all, my dear librarians! Thank you for putting the books in order so that we can find them easily!! You matter!! So much!!
07:00 p.m - 09:00 p.m. Location: Jurong Point Shopping Centre
The evening peeps! Too much awesomeness and love from them!
This time, we were divided into three groups! Two groups would be appreciating the service staffs, one in the old wing and one in the new wing. The other group, which was the one I was in, we would be approaching the public to ask if they are keen to write a thank you note to the service staffs that just served them!
Approaching the public:
We spotted two shoppers in front of Mini Toons!
As you could see, they had just bought something from there. So we asked if they want to write an appreciation card for the service staff that attended to them just now, they were more than happy to do that!
Dat serious look :")
Shoppers from Young Hearts!
Went to KFC and approached the people who are in the queue so that they could surprise the counter staff with the appreciation cards and the badges as they take their orders!! Dat surprise look from the counter staffs was just priceless!
Thank you for for the support!
We then went to Mcdonald and approached those who are sitting down to ask them if they want to join us to appreciate the service staffs, most of them were more than happy to do it! I am so thankful!
Thank you for taking a few mins off to appreciate the service staffs!
They were all so serious and sincere. What more could I ask for?
Approaching the service staffs:
The awesome volunteers with the happy staffs!
Another happy staff!
and MORE happy staffs!! hehehe
The staff at Singpost that "attended" to me because I queued up as though I was going to post something hahaha! But I surprised him by saying "I am not posting anything today, just wana appreciate you and thank you for all your hard work!"
Another group of happy Singpost staffs!
My thoughts14 hours of hard work, 36 selfless volunteers, 1,000 happy service staffs. I would say, I am very proud of the planning committee as well as the volunteers. Without any one of them, this project would not be possible.
I had come to realise that sometimes it's all the limitations and the rules and regulations that refrain us from doing good to other people. We want to do good, but we are afraid to get into trouble, so majority will think "less trouble is better, so I just pretend nothing happen".
One of the public I approached actually replied me "not in Singapore. Singapore is not that open yet." it's sad to see that she actually holds no hope in the society. There are also someone who told me, "all these are not what they need. They just need a better wages for their work. It's more practical".
I explained to her that I understand her concern. But increment of wages is not something that we could do for them. The only thing that we can do for them is to thank them and let them know that they are very much appreciated by us. Although it's something very small, but I believe, it boost their mood instantly, knowing that their hard work is recognised by us :)
Well, those were just the minority! Majority of the people were actually very supportive and happy at the same time that this group of us actually want to make a difference. I am so happy and proud at the same time to be part of this project. To everyone who was involved in this project, YOU ARE SPECIAL!!
Let's end with two of my favourite quote again hehehe "If you are not making someone's life better, you are wasting your time!" and "to be able to give is a blessing."