You inspired us to do this
It wasn't quite turkey and stuffing, but for Christmas this year, our team thought it'd be fun to join the cooking at Willing Hearts. The volunteer-run kitchen delivers free meals to 3,000 people across Singapore every day.
So for a few hours one Monday in December, we washed and chopped vegetables, cooked them in giant woks, then packed them together with rice, egg and fish that other volunteers had prepared.
It felt good to be working with our hands, and there was an easy camaraderie with the other volunteers. But by the end of the morning, we were stiff, sore and ready to go home.
We'd done a story on Willing Hearts some months back, and some of us spent a few hours helping out in the kitchen then. But doing it as a team this time made us appreciate more deeply how much effort goes into feeding thousands of people who would otherwise go hungry.
It made us think of other people we've come across this year who've inspired us with their commitment and conviction.
We thought about Extraordinary Horizons, the group of deaf drummers who campaigned and raised $4,000 to travel to Cambodia to share their love for music with deaf kids there.
Sri Lestari, who made an incredible 1,200-km journey from Jakarta to Bali on her modified motorbike, despite being paralysed from the chest down. She inspired dozens of people with disabilities face-to-face, and thousands more through the web series we made of her journey.
We thought about Mavis Ching and the soup kitchen she runs for children in Siem Reap out of her home, as well as the 100 or so people who've volunteered, donated or delivered supplies after hearing her story.
Ren and Adrien, whom we told about Shweta, a woman who creates safe spaces for children to play in India. The couple raised S$15,000 for Shweta's organisation, Toybank. That money's being used to set up four large toy libraries to reach 4,000 rural kids aged five to 16.
And we thought about all of you, our community, who got involved in these stories, gave them life and helped create change.
So thank you, for telling and retelling these stories, journeying with our friends doing good and with us. It's made a real difference.
We feel very fortunate to have experienced the inspiration and witnessed the kindness, action and faith that we have this year. It's more than we expected and we can't wait to discover what's in store in the new year.
From all of us at Our Better World — Alexis, Ashima, Josh, Mai, Noelle and Rebecca — we hope you had a joyful Christmas and wish you an inspiring 2014.