“Volunteers are not paid not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.”
— Sherry Anderson
Here’s what some of our amazing volunteers have to say about volunteering with ACRES!
If you would like to share your own thoughts on volunteering with ACRES, please send your testimonial to firstname.lastname@example.org
Clarrissa Dawn Ng, Flagday and roadshow volunteer:
"The experiences I’ve had volunteering with ACRES were pleasant and definitely enjoyable! The flagday was a particularly humbling experience. It wasn’t uncommon to get criticized for trying to raise funds for wildlife protection. Their snide comments were a tat too harsh at times but were easily subsided by encouragement showered upon by those who were supportive of ACRES’ cause!
ACRES gave me the chance to meet and know like-minded people, whose concerns and heart are in helping wildlife and looking out for animals; that’s always nice. The staff and people I’ve met through volunteering with ACRES have taught me a whole lot from their own experiences. Their passion in wildlife protection is inspiring! Volunteering at ACRES has given me a chance to do more for a cause I believe in and brings me a bit closer to the dream of wanting to work with and for animals. I’ll definitely be volunteering at more events!"
Claudia Ang, Roadshow volunteer:
"It's strange to realise that I've been volunteering with ACRES for almost 7 years now. That's a long time, but I've never looked back since. I remember when I was about 12, 13, ACRES roadshows were always something I looked forward to - be it trudging around Plaza Singapura in my sneakers with donation tins in my hands, or sweating it out in mascot costumes (I liked being the lion) getting my tail pulled by children and teenagers alike. I enjoyed every moment of it.
Then there was the counting of donations in the old, dusty office in Woodlands. There was a feeling of warmth, what with two children (my best friend Jessica and I used to volunteer together) being surrounded by optimistic 20 plus year olds so passionate about making a difference for animals. ACRES was like family, which many years later, as we all know now, has blossomed into one with many generations.
I'd like to thank ACRES for so many things, for it has made me a happier person, a more thankful person, and most importantly, an animal conscious person who believes that neither the physical nor mental growth of a person should come in exchange for the suffering of an animal. I have stood strong by these beliefs, and it has made all the difference."
Melvin Low, Wildlife Guardian and roadshow volunteer:
"I found out about ACRES in 2007 after an excursion led by Nisshin Tuition Centre. Back then, I knew that if I were to want to pursue my ambition of being able to work around animals, this would definitely be one of the first few places I would go to. Four years later, here I am, volunteering as a Wildlife Guardian and also helping out in their road shows. As such, I feel that I had just received the best of both worlds, namely being able to work with animals and also being able to talk about them. ACRES has not only brought me a step closer to my ambition, it has also enabled me to meet people from all walks of life, from Ministers to even emcees. While volunteering may sometimes be really taxing, the looks on the faces of the animals and the encouragement from the staff says it all- it's always worth it."
Natalie Cook, Zoo animal welfare, Humane education, roadshow and general volunteer:
"During my time volunteering at ACRES I have had the chance to participate in many different, usually fun, activities that all work towards the same cause – helping animals and ensuring they have a safe future.
I have been lucky enough to help at the roadshows, educating people on the great work the team here do and how the public can help, raising funds for saving the animals, taking part in the HEAL programs at schools, and lots of other jobs here at the centre.
Volunteering here lets me see how much work and effort is made by the ACRES team and every change that takes place makes me confident that although they are unique in Singapore , ACRES is making waves in the animal welfare world, and I know I am part of something special."
Kai Xiang, Wildlife Guardian:
“In May 2010, I had an extraordinary experience volunteering at ACRES. I mainly assisted in animal care but was also involved in a rescue call for a snake and the relocation of wildlife affected by the oil spill at East Coast Park. Stepping into the ACRES compound for the first time felt like entering a paradise outside of Singapore. The gardens, which are cultivated for the animals’ use, strongly illustrates their philosophy of creating a caring and socially responsible society where animals are treated as sentient beings and where the environment is preserved for future generations.
I learned a lot about animals and the environment from the experienced staff and the animals who I worked with and enjoyed the company of the four dogs! I would highly recommend volunteering at ACRES to all animal lovers who want to make a difference.”
Loh Wei Qi, Humane education volunteer:
"I started volunteering at ACRES out of an interest to do my part for animal rights and anti-cruelty efforts. I feel that ACRES has a very well rounded and clear plan to tackle the wide aspects of animal welfare issues and that was the draw for me to volunteer for the organisation.
Joining the education team has been a great experience so far, as I've enjoyed getting to know like-minded volunteers who, despite having individual busy schedules, have come together and helped the HEAL programme in one way or another to make it the success it is today. Knowing that the HEAL programme will go some way in educating our youth on animal welfare issues has made the efforts all the more worthwhile. I was involved in the recording of the narration for the skit and it has been great fun trying my hand at studio recording as a first timer, not to mention the various laughs we had during our NG takes and a subsequent spontaneous recording of a Singlish version of the skit!
In all, it has been a great pleasure volunteering at ACRES thus far and I look forward to every chance I get to help out. It is certainly a fulfilling experience putting in effort for a good cause and having fun at the same time."
Alpana Ahuja, Humane education volunteer:
''When I moved to Singapore I did not have a pet and felt a vacuum in my life.So I decided to look for voluntary work where I could do something for animals and a friend introduced me to the ACRES team. After seeing their work I decided to help them as much as I could. As an artist and art teacher I interact with a lot of children and wanted to create awareness in young minds about the plight of animals. Working on the HEAL programme has given me a lot of satisfaction- to see the idea through the conception stages and the actual 'birthing' and the positive way children have responded to it."
Joo Kim, Humane education volunteer:
"Helping out with the skit for the HEAL programme was fun! It's affirming to be around other volunteers who are committed and passionate about ACRES' cause. I look forward to more volunteer opportunities and experiences as I support and respect ACRES for the dedicated work they're doing for wildlife and animals."
Jnanee Krishnasamy, Humane education and roadshow volunteer:
"I decided to volunteer with ACRES as I believed with all my heart that animals need love and caring just as much as us humans – except that they don't get enough of it. Participating in the Education Team was an invaluable experience for me – I was united with people from all walks of life to express our common love for animals. This shows that differences amongst living beings can be transcended by love!"
Regina Ong, Humane education volunteer:
"ACRES stands for a meaningful cause and I am happy to be able to contribute in tiny ways. It's been great fun to know you guys, amazing people who are so passionate about the work you do! Through the interactive HEAL skits reaching out to the young, my own awareness on wildlife protection has also been raised."
Cassandra Tan, Humane Education volunteer:
"Volunteering with ACRES has been a really fun and enriching experience. It serves as a constant reminder for me to do more for the animals who do not have the voice and ability to speak for themselves. Each time I volunteer, it really makes me feel good that at least one more person has learnt about the sufferings of these animals."
Shirley Kot, Hong Kong:
“To me, spending a month as a full-time volunteer for ACRES was an inspiring experience, as that was also my first time to start eating vegetarian meals in my life. I may have not done something big during that period but the memories that I got from there, after meeting those passionate people and knowing the efforts that they put in to achieving their goal, were definitely worth my summer.
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunities to volunteer in different animal welfare organisations in the past 5 years, yet I have never been that greeted and welcomed before. The staffs in ACRES are gorgeous; they treat volunteers as their real friends, with respect and thankful hearts.
Instead of being treated as free labour, I felt like being a part of the family and making real contributions! Frankly at the very beginning I was surprised when knowing that there were less than 10 staffs working in the centre, as there seemed to have much work to do! Yet all ACRES staffs are so enthusiastic in making a difference for our animal friends; they take up their responsibilities and work as a team.”
“I was really impressed to find out that everyone at ACRES is vegetarian. It seems obvious now, but I know there are a lot of animal welfare organisations that mainly concentrate on cats and dogs, and at night their staff will go home and eat other animals. From what I’ve witnessed, everyone at ACRES is extremely passionate and committed to what they do. Sometimes it seems as if they are completely dedicating their lives to animals- it’s amazing.
I was especially impressed when I went to help look for animals at the site of the oil spill and realised that the phrase “all creatures great and small” applied to the ACRES philosophy: so much care was taken to save the lives of crabs and worms!- animals that would otherwise be overlooked in such a situation as they’re not charismatic mega fauna.”
I feel incredibly lucky to have been included openly in what ACRES does -particularly in the aspects of animal care. I can only speak for myself, but I look forward to coming back in the future. I hope with all my heart that the main sanctuary comes good at minimal emotional and financial cost, and the sooner the better. Thanks ACRES!