Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen is a non-profit organisation that caters to over 5000 underprivileged families and or individuals all across Singapore. Pots and Pans start clanging from as early as 530am and the lights in the kitchen go off at 5pm. However, I doubt that they ever stop working as they operate Monday – Sunday; 365 days a year including public holidays. There are only 3-4 employees. Everyone else are volunteers. And yes, even children can get involved.
As Willing Hearts is a soup kitchen,you can expect to be doing one if not two of the following:
It all depends on what time you turn up!
I “signed up”* for the afternoon session (12pm to 4pm). This session is mainly focused on:
- Preparing for the next day
When I got there, one of the employees took us on a little tour of the kitchen and told us a bit of what they do. Once that was done, I started getting dirty.
I spent the first 2 hours in the kitchen scraping metal trays then oiling the trays and then arranging tuna puffs onto the tray. Of course it wasn’t just me doing this for 2 hours! There were other hands as well! I felt like I was in a factory as it very much resembled an assembly line. You might also be thinking “what the heck! It took them 2 hours to just place puffs on trays?!?!”
Well, let me tell you, first of all, we’re not only talking about catering to 1000 people, we’re talking 5000 humans! So one can only imagine the number of puffs we had to prepare! And secondly, because they were frozen, we had a hard time separating the puffs and we had to be quick about it as the pastries would melt if we left them out for too long… Trust me, it was tiring.
The next 2 hours, I spent packing the golden puffs that had just came out of the oven. They looked amazing.
And yes, before you ask, you are allowed to eat them! Just not too many 🙂
Once that was done, I went back into the kitchen and helped with the cleaning/ washing up of all the equipment used.
For first time visitors, here are some tips before volunteering:
- Wear closed shoes/ runners
- Expect to get dirty and smelly afterwards… so bring an extra shirt if you want
- There are fans so you don’t have to worry about sweating buckets
- You are allowed to sit unless you’re in the kitchen then…
- You can arrive and leave any time you want
- If you’re interested in the age groups, the morning sessions are usually filled with students in the kitchen. The afternoon sessions are mainly older people along with companies employee volunteers.
Nevertheless, don’t fret if it’s your first time there! You’ll get the hang of it!
Head on over during the weekends or school holidays. Any help is much appreciated! Children and people as old as 70 can help out! There is no age limit.
*You don’t actually have to sign up, I just thought you did because that’s what it said on the website. You can turn up anytime you want. You can leave when you want. Even if it’s just for an hour, any help is much appreciated!
11 Jalan Ubi Blk 6, #01-51
Kembangan – Chai Chee Community Hub