True giving brings about the deepest happiness

True giving brings about the greatest happiness. They are inexplicably intertwined. Satheshkumar Rathinam, 34, an IT specialist, has found deep fulfilment through his selfless acts of giving; bringing vouchers to put food on the table for beneficiaries, providing first aid treatments to park-goers in need and donating blood.

Satheshkumar first learnt about the Singapore Red Cross (SRC) as the local bank he works in organises regular blood donation drives in partnership with SRC. His passion for helping people spurred him to register with SRC as a volunteer, where he subsequently engaged in several volunteering activities under SRC’s various programmes. When asked about what fuelled his dedication to the Red Cross, Satheshkumar shared that SRC’s core values of passion, compassion, and professionalism resonated with him.

Satheshkumar Rathinam Fireworks at Bishan SFA

Bringing Food Vouchers to Beneficiaries 

Every month, Satheshkumar delivers vouchers to SRC’s Family LifeAid beneficiaries through its Meals with Love programme. 

“One family, with four children of different ages, was so excited when we arrived. They welcomed us with open arms. I also remember the excitement of an eight-month-old baby whenever I visited a family. Their warm welcome and kind-heartedness made us feel like we were home,” shared Satheshkumar. 

Through speaking with the beneficiaries to better understand their needs, he found joy in offering guidance that might add value to their lives. His volunteering experience also enabled him to hone his interpersonal skills as he often has to approach and strike up conversations with new people. That laid the foundation for his volunteering journey. Satheshkumar also gleaned insights into the distinctive cultures and traditions embraced by different families in the neighbourhood. He even picked up a couple of Malay and Mandarin phrases along the way!

“I found it rewarding that the beneficiaries trust and appreciate our help. Volunteering is a noble act of giving that is so precious as it forges bonds between people. I firmly believe that it is essential to support and stand up for each other in trying times,” he affirmed. 

Satheshkumar recounted his experience being part of a team of four members involved in a vulnerability mapping exercise. Armed with survey pads, they knocked on the doors of 60 to 80 households at Tampines Street 22 to understand the needs of the elderly. These insights were then conveyed to SRC to enable the staff to better determine the ways that SRC could extend aid to support these households.

Satheshkumar Rathinam Vulnerability Map

It was an uphill task as the team encountered many challenges along the way. Some people left their doors closed, chased them away, or shouted at them asking them to leave. The volunteers in his team, who hailed from different backgrounds and occupations, took the challenges in their stride. Through the experience, Satheshkumar learnt to handle different people. 

Providing First Aid Treatments to Park-goers in Need

Satheshkumar learnt about the SRC’s First Aider on Wheels (FAOW) initiative from fellow volunteers. He started volunteering in early February 2020 and has not looked back since.

Satheshkumar Rathinam FAOW1

As part of the FAOW team, he would patrol along parks to provide first aid treatments to casualties in need. Most of the cases that Satheshkumar attended to involved minor wounds, scratches, bites, bruises and dizziness. Once, a casualty sustained a knee sprain and a minor bone fracture following a fall from a bicycle at Pulau Ubin.

Satheshkumar Rathinam FAOW

Satheshkumar believes certain attributes will stand one in good stead in finding fulfilment as a FAOW volunteer. Among them are helpfulness, good interpersonal skills and situational awareness. He perceives that a positive attitude towards learning is indispensable, as volunteering in FAOW is a continuous learning journey where they encounter different cases weekly.

Donating Blood to Save Lives

Besides volunteering, Satheshkumar also devotes time to donating blood. He has donated blood on three occasions and hopes to increase the number of donations in the coming years.

Satheshkumar Rathinam Blood Donation

“Blood donation saves lives. It means a lot to me to impact another person’s life. I encourage people not to hesitate in giving blood as we have nothing to lose. It is a gift to give life,” he underscored.

“I hope that my volunteering journey will never end; that I can continue playing an active role as a volunteer, contributing my knowledge, skills and experience to helping people for as long as I can. I am inspired about spreading love and encouraging others to embrace the art of giving. I hope by sharing my experiences, it will motivate others to volunteer with the Singapore Red Cross. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of people,” shared Satheshkumar.

By Jessica John Posko, Volunteer


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