Published on 12 Jan 2022

From passion to action to engagement

With NTU’s inaugural Service Week around the corner, we hear from two alumni, Jeremy Lian (SPMS/2020) and Richardo Chua (WKWSCI/2007), who give their time and enthusiasm to the community in unique ways.

By Jasmine Tiong

Happiness packs and lunches for the elderly

In December 2021, the NTU School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Alumni Association (SPMSAA) embarked on its first-ever volunteer activity at SASCO Senior Citizens' Home, Evergreen Place. 

SPMSAA Volunteer(Clockwise, from top left) SPMSAA President Tan Cheng Wee (left) and Jeremy Lian (white t-shirt) on their way to collect lunch for the elderly. The team organising the lunch items. Volunteers preparing ‘happiness packs’ for distribution. Elderly residents enjoying their meals. Photo credit: Jeremy Lian

“When the SPMSAA committee team discussed planning the range of activities throughout the year, one of the suggestions we received was to have a charity project,” said Jeremy Lian, the organising chairman of the Christmas @ SASCO Senior Citizens’ Home event.

The group wanted to start its first charity activity with something that they were familiar with, and eagerly took up SASCO when they learnt that SPMSAA’s staff advisor Ai Ting, had been volunteering actively with the home and offered to be the liaison point. 

As the team planned for the Christmas event, members of the alumni association donated towards happiness packs that included SPMS t-shirts, bottled bird’s nest drink and packs of herbal tea and milk, and lunches for up to 90 elderly residents at the Home. The team drove to different locations around the Chua Chu Kang vicinity to collect local cuisine lunches for the elderly residents. 

On the day itself, together with Ai Ting and an alumnus photographer, the team of eight SPMSAA volunteers conducted the hybrid Christmas celebratory event that included games and karaoke, aligned with the government’s safe management measures. 

NTU Riders Club - Jeremy

“I am grateful for the strong support from our alumni for this event,” said Jeremy. “From the tireless event preparation by the SPMSAA committee, to the generous donations from our alumni members, and finally watching the smiles of the seniors on camera, their enthusiasm made this project possible.”

Following the SASCO Christmas party, SPMSAA looks forward to continuing its partnership with the SASCO Home by organising another virtual event later this year. 

Even though Christmas @ SASCO Senior Citizens’ Home may have been the first NTU-based volunteer activity for SPMSAA, it was not the case for Jeremy, who organised a bike and car washing charity event (pictured, left) at the Singapore Association for the Deaf when he was a member of the former NTU Rider’s Club in 2018. He also participated in an Annual Camp for the Intellectually Disabled (ACID Camp) organised by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), where he helped in logistics. His mutual friend was the organising head during the event. 

“I prefer volunteering alongside people I know because we can better support one another as we plan a programme that is tailored to the needs of our project,” said Jeremy. “If I were to contribute on my own, I would feel lost because I would not know what to expect.” 

Public speaking workshop for children

While Jeremy enjoys the camaraderie of volunteering as part of a group, Richardo Chua (WKWSCI/2007) relished the opportunity to volunteer on his own. 

The seasoned host of over 15 years conducted an online public speaking workshop for children from PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura or the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association) in June 2021 and will conduct another session in January 2022, as part of the University’s inaugural Service Week.

“I see volunteering during Service Week, especially skill-based volunteering, as a win-win initiative,” said Richardo, who is also the founder and managing director of Adrenalin Group, a social enterprise events agency. “Volunteering during Service Week allows alumni like myself to reconnect with my alma mater in a meaningful way, while using my skills to benefit the community.”

“When we bring our skills and expertise to our volunteering efforts, everyone wins,” added Richardo, who occasionally hosts pro-bono for charity causes. 

Richardo hostingRichardo hosting the SAAC Professional Accountants In Business (PAIB) online conference in August 2020. Photo credit: Richardo Chua

Looking back on his undergraduate experience at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), Richardo learnt the importance of communication and believed that many good ideas do not come to life because they are not communicated well. 

Speaking on what he hopes the PPIS students will take away from the online public speaking workshop and how they can put their newfound skills to practice, Richardo said: “When I see the students pick up the courage to do simple things like share about their hobbies or tell a story during the workshop, I’m heartened that they are taking their first steps to becoming a better communicator.”

“I hope that this will have a big impact on their lives going forward.”

Be Part of NTU Service Week and Scale Your Impact

The generosity of volunteering your time can make a world of difference to someone. Join us in this movement of bringing good to others. Through the collective action of the OneNTU community, we can make a greater impact on society.

Scale up the impact of your volunteerism during NTU Service Week. When you volunteer your time, you accumulate points for your service to the community. These points will be converted and matched by sponsors as a donation to the NTU Priorities Fund.