My Journey with Social Gifting - A Reflection

Hello, My name is Leanne! I started my journey with Social Gifting at the age of 16 and have continued to work here during my school holidays over a span of three years. During my time here, I have gained valuable insights, acquiring both new skills and a deeper understanding of myself. I am proud to say that Social Gifting has played a role in shaping my personal growth and here I am sharing a reflection of my experience so far.

We often find ourselves in our own bubble and may be unaware of the circumstances of those who are less fortunate. My time at Social Gifting has given me the opportunity and exposure to realise some of the difficulties and issues that those who need support are facing.

One particularly impactful event that left a deep impression in me was the opportunity to work with a colleague with autism. I was tasked to work with this colleague and create a CNY ornament for seniors to make during one of the crafting sessions. Initially, I had concerns about effectively conveying each step of the process to her. However, as I engaged in conversation with her, I discovered the importance of clear communication and delivering instructions in a straightforward manner. When introducing new processes, I learnt that having an overview before delving into specific tasks and supplementing my guidance with questions to assess her comprehension helps. This gave me a good indication of her level of understanding at each interval, and ensured she did not miss out on any important information.

Taking the time to let her process information independently without immediate assistance was another valuable lesson. Recognising her self-sufficiency, I realized that my role was leaned towards assessing the final quality of the product rather than providing constant support. Additionally, through our conversations about her school and daily life, I learnt more about her interests.

Following this experience, I realise that individuals with different abilities can be approached with the same consideration as anyone else. I am grateful for this experience to cultivate empathy and gain a deeper understanding of working with individuals with special needs.

Additionally, working at Social Gifting has taught me about the importance of being open to new experience and learning. As this is my first job and being one of the younger ones here, I was unsure of what to take note of when working in a profession setting. However, with the patience and guidance from Valen and my colleagues, I was able to complete the tasks assigned to me and pick up useful skills such as using Shopify and Microsoft Excel at the same time. This has helped paved the way for my growth and adaptation to working environments.

From handling orders in the office to interacting with the crafters over the past 3 years, I am grateful for this chance to give back to the society. I would like to express my gratitude to Valen and my colleagues for providing me with this opportunity to grow and discover more about myself. They have given me a truly unforgettable and one-of-a-kind experience that has helped sculpt me into the person I am today. 

Social Gifting’s mission to empower differently-abled crafters to build on their strengths and enable them to live an enriching life with dignity deeply resonates with me and I hope that it can inspire you too. I encourage you to consider supporting Social Gifting in any way you can – it can be through sharing their mission with your friends or supporting the crafters by purchasing small gifts for your loved ones. Together, we can work towards building a more inclusive society that embraces our differences.

Written by: Leanne Suen 

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