More than 50 professionals and volunteers from the non-profit and social impact space joined us at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre’s multi-purpose hall for this month’s Fuze Night, an event co-hosted by Be An Idea & The Social Co. This month, we’ve collaborated with the Young Women’s Leadership Connection to curate both speakers and guests for a very special Ladies Night talking specifically about social impact. As always, Fuze Nights serves as a platform for our humble, local superheroes to relax, connect and learn from others in the same space.
Kicking off our exciting line-up this evening, our first inspiration speaker, Francesca Wah of BLESS (Bringing Love to Every Single Soul), shared about how a one-off collection of minion toys for kids ended up in her receiving enough to give a toy each to 364 kids. That was when she realised that it isn’t the community that lacks resources or the desire to do good – it’s the fact that someone just needs to coordinate and mobilize others to do the same! She ended her sharing with very simple words of encouragement – “Start by doing the necessary, then do the possible; Soon you will be doing the impossible!”
Our next inspiration speaker, Shantal Chan of The Social Pantry, a social enterprise initiative of The Social Co., shared with us how she got involved with the setting up of this project, and how it was key to find the right partners to work with. She explained that by working with Samsui Supplies, logistics and provision of pantry supplies was a breeze as they were already a company that gave back. Choosing the right beneficiary is just as important as well. Shantal shared about how every order of pantry supplies from http://thesocialpantry.com provides meaningful employment for a beneficiary from the Association for Person with Special Needs (APSN) as they are in charge of packing the goods for delivery to the end user. They also receive a token allowance for their work.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by DUOUS The Band - who come up and share their music with an extremely appreciative audience. The acoustic musicians have been involved in the music scene since a very young age and are largely influenced by their favourite genres – alternative and classic rock for Danny, and musical and indie/pop folk for Sophia. You can find more of their music here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiu-2-PZhU6wcoYS6Z4vo9g
Our knowledge speaker for the evening, Melissa Kwee, currently helms the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Also serving as one of YWLC’s mentors, she shared three valuable lessons about how she chooses to view life through three lenses – I see, I can and I will. Speaking enthusiastically about how it is important to see possibilities in problems, Melissa also shared about how even though she is just one person, she can do her very best and still make an impact – no such thing as “I am but one person.” Most importantly, she shared about how the best work is done when courage is applied and when you are ready to go at it as a team – more can be achieved as a team can do better together. She later shared that an important lesson she learnt was how to manage herself, and her intensity. Many in the audience seemed to agree that this “self-assessment” was something that is usually missed out on.
Our final inspiration speakers for the night were the lively duo from Awesome Foundation. Susan Sy and Christy Davis started their energetic presentation talking about the genesis of Awesome Foundation around the world and in Singapore. Made up of 10 trustees, the foundation gives out $1,000 a month for an awesome idea with no strings attached. The idea was to encourage creative thinking and to think of ideas that are simple and yet have such an impact on the community. Sharing examples of projects they’ve supported including the viral “Before I die…” giant chalkboard in the Central Business District, both Susan and Christy encouraged everyone in the room to apply and apply again if they are not selected this time round.
Our talks ended with an extremely engaging Q&A session where audience members asked questions ranging from avoiding burnout, to finding the best collaborative opportunities in the social sector. All in all, the panel did an excellent job in encouraging our audience to “just start instead of waiting for the right time” and that there is no “optimum” time to give.
Our event ended with an open networking session where guests were invited to mingle and get to know each other better.
Fuze Nights typically take place on the last Wednesday of each month. Look forward to more insightful talks and opportunities to connect every last Wednesday of each month.