As a veteran volunteer, Mr. Abdul Wahid has seen disabled people living without support, single mothers trying to support their families by themselves, and children unable to flourish at school because their parents can't afford to pay for school essentials. Yet the plight of these people never fails to have a profound effect on him, and he now makes it a point to volunteer with his family as much as he can.
"It's always an eye-opener. There is always somebody worse off than us, so we learn to be more grateful for what we have."
We were lucky to have his help as we distributed aid to the elderly in Singapore in December last year. He also brought along his young son Daniel, who was just as eager to help out as his father was. Mr. Abdul Wahid tells us that volunteering is a regular activity for the family, even with everyone's busy schedules. "Whenever there is an opportunity, we will inform one another to make ourselves available," he says.
Mr. Abdul Wahid often emphasizes to his children and the rest of his family the importance of helping those who are less fortunate, especially as a Muslim. He remembers an old English joke that unexpectedly became a turning point for him; the joke mentioned that God will not ask you what kind of car you drove, but what good did you do with the car that you drove. It was a stark reminder for him that this is the reality for all Muslims; Allah will not judge us by our material possessions but by how much good we have done with them.
Spurred on by his epiphany, he now makes it a point to spend time with his family volunteering together at various organizations. His son says that Dad is the one who regularly gets everyone together for volunteer days, and also comes up with other family activities. The family regularly has dinner together, and Quran sessions where they study the meaning behind Quranic verses. These are some novel and meaningful ideas for family bonding, and it's clear that spending time together doing something beneficial for yourself and others definitely helps relationships to grow stronger.
Mr. Abdul Wahid also reminds us that volunteer work does not have to be costly or time consuming. Some families may not have the time or flexibility to volunteer regularly, but can contribute their ideas for a smoother workflow, candidates to receive aid, new ideas for fundraising events, or anything else. Volunteering does not have to be in one form, and each family can find a way to give back to the community that fits with their lifestyle and time requirements.
If you'd like to spend some quality time with your family while also doing good for others, you can follow in Mr. Abdul Wahid's footsteps and sign up to volunteer for Global Ehsan Relief! Once you've registered your interest, you'll be added to a group where you will receive updates on upcoming events, and what sort of help is needed for them. Find a date and time that works for everyone, and come on down to spend a day together helping the community!
Click here to sign up and be part of our Ehsan Community!