From Teaching to Giving

Teaching staff from both branches of Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool had a fruitful day volunteering on Tzu Chi Singapore's Flag Day 2022. Many learned about humility as they bowed 90 degrees to thank donors for their generosity.

Tzu Chi preschool teachers in their staff uniforms with blue collars standing at the back and teachers who are Tzu Chi certified commissioners in their volunteer uniforms standing in the front row. (Photo provided by Audrey Koh)

The day started with a drizzle as if to cleanse the earth before our volunteers walked to the streets with a sincere heart and donation boxes in their arms. 28 staff from both branches of Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool joyously participated in Tzu Chi Singapore’s Flag Day. This was the first time for many of the staff. They gathered with quiet excitement at 2 locations, Chong Pang and Khatib.

Preschool staff, clad in their white uniforms, stood alongside community volunteers, paying attention to the briefing before being assigned to designated spots to begin the day’s activities. In each group of preschool staff, there were staff who were already Commissioners or Grey Shirt volunteers. There were staff who are from the Philippines and also Muslim staff. Through watching Life Wisdom daily, they learned that Great Love knows no boundaries. They decided to selflessly participate in Flag Day on a Saturday, knowing how the donations from the public would help the beneficiaries.

Groups of Preschool staff scattered throughout the neighbourhood in Khatib and Chong Pang with bright smiles on their faces, greeting members of the public as they walked past. They bowed deeply with sincerity whenever anyone put a donation into the donation box.

Despite bouts of rain throughout the morning, their spirits were not dampened. They sought shelter while being mindful not to be in the way of the morning crowd at the market as they continued to solicit donations. As members of the public walked past, Preschool staff called out slogans like “Give Change for Change”. They did not fail to mention that they were from Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation. Many members of the public have heard of Tzu Chi because of the presence of the Preschool at Yishun as well as the Traditional Chinese Medicine Free Clinic at Khatib. Families of children from Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool knew about the donative drive. They brought their children to Chong Pang to look for their children’s teachers to support them.

As Flag Day drew to a close for the morning session, Ms Tan Wei Ping Eve (陈葦萍) from Tzu Chi Great Love PreSchool (Yishun) shared, “It was a meaningful Saturday morning for me. Although the weather was not really good, it didn't affect my mood and enthusiasm for the event. Lastly, I am very honoured to be able to take part in Tzu Chi Flag Day.”

Head of Tzu Chi Singapore Education Services, Ms Tai Nyeok Moi (left) and Ms Cecil Magadia from the Philippines (right). (Photo provided by Audrey Koh)

Ms Cecil Magadia from Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool (Toa Payoh), who joined the centre in May 2021, shared, “As a first-time participant in Tzu Chi Flag Day, it felt satisfying to receive donations from random people while standing on the side of the pathways knowing that those you receive will help the needy in many ways. It even became very meaningful as we bow to the people and show sincere gratitude, which people appreciated so much.”  

Principal of Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool (Yishun), Ms Lim Lay Hong (林丽芳), who is also a grey shirt volunteer, led the Preschool Staff at Chong Pang. She said that she was very touched when her team member would take the initiative to show concern for the elderly who were not very mobile or those who were physically disabled and solicit donations from them, as she wanted to give them the opportunity to give back to society and accumulate good merit for themselves. She also shared that bowing every time there is a donation taught her humility, giving meaning to the Jing Si Aphorism “稻穗结得越饱满,越往下垂。 一个人越有成就,越有谦冲的胸襟.” (Which means “The fuller the ear of rice, the more it droops. The more a person achieves, the humbler he becomes”)  

 (Photo provided by Audrey Koh)

As the sun peeked through the clouds, the preschool staff headed home with tired arms but full hearts. 

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