How Law Student Catherine Channels Education Into Volunteer Work | Time Auction Impact Highlights

Blog banner dimension TA Testimonial Template

Meet Catherine!

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Sociology, Catherine is now pursuing a postgraduate law degree. Prior to joining the Time Auction community, she already had abundant experiences in volunteering. From teaching underprivileged children to planning accessible classical music events, it’s clear that this is not her first rodeo as a skilled volunteer… and yet she notes her Time Auction journey as one that stands out the most!

Previously, we posted a blog post showcasing Natalie from Body Banter’s journey of finding a skilled volunteer for their legal consultant project. This article details the perspective of Catherine, their matched volunteer!

IMG 2877 min 1

Moblising Abilities Through Skilled Volunteering!

As a law student, Catherine undoubtedly has a tight schedule to stick to in order to ensure academic success. So despite many existing engagements, why sign up on Time Auction anyway?

Catherine recalls her prior experiences of volunteering and the difficulties of finding these opportunities in the first place. “The first step of reaching out was definitely challenging as it was up to me to take the initiative. There was no mutual platform and it was hard to ascertain what help non-profits actually needed.” 

“This is why Time Auction stands out -- it’s a pairing platform that works for all stakeholders. Accessible and informative, it tells me what the NGO expects from me and what I can learn from them.”

“The platform enables people to understand the organization they want to volunteer for, what the project is about, and the collaboration timeline.” Amidst the plethora of posted projects on the platform, she found a legal consultant project from Body Banter that fit all her criteria -- flexible hours, working remotely, and a mission that she believes strongly in. 

IMG 2878 min

Catherine’s job was to craft two legal documents to protect Body Banter’s intellectual property rights. She recalls the mind-stimulating process of ensuring she has fulfilled her duties to the best of her abilities. “Each detail in any legal document is desperately important and there is no one size fits all approach!” Unlike her usual exams where she has to apply her theoretical knowledge to fictional cases, as a volunteer for a real organization, she had real clients and was the main driver of the project. From start to finish, Catherine was in charge. Perhaps you could say that this was her real test of knowledge -- an experience of unrivaled personal and academic growth.

“I would like to think that I am now two years ahead in my law studies!”

Jokes aside, Catherine shares her opinions on skilled volunteering and what motivates her to continue dedicating her precious time and efforts. “Skilled volunteering sets a high bar that requires volunteers to put more thought into projects. Perhaps it is even more important than regular volunteering because these skill sets are not usually accessible to nonprofits given the large price tag.”

“For me, it simply does not make sense to exert such immense financial pressure on NGOs who are striving to better our community.”

Volunteering Is A Two-Way Process

Besides helping other people, Catherine believes that volunteering has enabled her to become more confident about her skills. “Initially, something that set me back from signing up was the reckoning that what I do will make a real impact on others.” However, she gradually realized that “if I keep doubting whether I am the woman for the job, then I won’t ever know if I am good enough because I haven’t actually tried to do it!” She hopes to tell other volunteers that “it’s fine to have insecurities or uncertainties about your capabilities. In fact, this just shows how much you care. Continue being reflective and admit your imperfections but don’t let them hold you back. You may even surprise yourself with that leap of faith!”

Furthermore, Catherine notes that Time Auction’s rewards, such as dining with inspiring leaders, are a cherry on top for the fruitful volunteer experience. 

cowomen XC1Ccohy8P0 unsplash 2 2

“Being able to meet influential people is a priceless gift.  Learning about how they overcome obstacles was not only rewarding but it also inspired me to live my life to the fullest potential and write my own stories.”

Lastly, Catherine urges NGOs who are working with skilled volunteers to be supportive and upfront. Speaking from her own experience, “They [the founders] made my life a lot easier as they were always open about the challenges they were facing. They were very understanding and appreciative of my input and efforts.” She also hopes that NGOs will engage their skilled volunteers in some of their one-day activities. As a legal consultant facing paperwork, issues may seem quite distant at times. She has now hopped on another Time Auction project (Mealingful) as an HR Advisor, in which she was invited to participate in a soft meal preparation workshop. “It’s important to remember that though I am simply facing a legal problem, I am serving real people. It would be great for nonprofits to involve their skilled volunteers in direct service events to make the issue become more personal.”

Thank you so much to Catherine for contributing 18 volunteering hours and more to come!

To be featured as our community member, embark on your volunteering journey by discovering projects you can help with now: http://www.timeauction.org/projects 

Interviewed and written by Katia Shek

Updated on 10 August, 2021
Share on

Volunteer Your Skills for Worthy Causes

Ever thought you could volunteer with your skills?

Discover volunteer projects where you can use your skills to support causes – all while building your resume, gaining references and making a difference!
Discover Projects
【2024義工活動】點樣加入義工行列?5大義工服務種類推介
你對「做義工」嘅認識有幾多?好多人都未必熟悉除咗賣旗籌款同探訪老人院之外,仲有咩其他類型嘅義工服務。究竟坊間有邊啲做義工嘅途徑,可以搵到適合自己嘅義工機會呢? 其實香港大大小小嘅慈善團體或非牟利機構  (NGO) 都會招募義工,而非牟利機構嘅義工服務範疇亦非常多元化,包括技能義工 (Skilled-volunteers),善用義工嘅個人技能同專長服務社會。你可以根據唔同嘅服務種類,或者按自己嘅喜好、關心嘅社會議題選擇義工機會。以下係5種常見嘅義工服務範疇同機構簡介畀你參考: 目錄 (一):動物福利 (二):長者服務 (三):青年發展 (四):環境保護 (五):社區服務 技能義工配對平台推介 常見嘅義工服務範疇(一):動物福利 如果你係狗奴、貓奴,或者鍾意動物,不妨考慮做動物義工!除咗有機會親身接觸毛孩之外,仲可以利用自己嘅一技之長,支援NGO嘅日常運作。雖然根據政府公佈的數據,動物棄養嘅數量有持續下降趨勢,但因近年的移民潮影響,保護動物慈善協會表示棄養寵物個案兩年升近三倍。因此,很多關注動物福利的團體都十分需要義工加入服務行列。 義工服務性質:清潔籠舍、照顧動物、活動推廣等 香港動物基金 Hong Kong Paws Foundation 香港動物基金係一間完全依靠慈善捐款同義工支持嘅動物福祉組織,希望拯救被虐待、遺棄同走失嘅動物。 香港愛護動物協會 SPCA (HK) 香港愛護動物協會係本港首間兼顧動物福利各方面嘅慈善團體,提倡善待動物,同時打擊同防止虐待動物。 Bring Me Home (Suppaw) Bring Me Home (Suppaw) 係一個寵物社交網站,亦係香港首個無償動物領養平台。 嘉道理農場暨植物園 Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden 嘉道理農場暨植物園為需要支持的農民提供農業援助,幫助他們過上獨立嘅生活; 並為公眾提供休閒同教育體驗。  Team for Animals in Lantau South (TAILS) 南大嶼山動物保護隊為有需要的貓狗提供救援、醫療、絕育、養育、庇護、寄養同領養服務,包括那些 流浪、被遺棄、受傷、虐待同忽視既貓狗,大力提倡動物福利,相信教育可以創造有利於香港動物嘅變革。 立即發掘更多! 常見嘅義工服務範疇(二):長者服務 隨著香港長者人口上升,越來越多關注老人家嘅機構都招募緊義工,希望為老友記送上更多關懷。 義工服務性質:家居維修、網頁設計、文字翻譯等 […]
Community Spotlight: Chris Mak, Civil Engineer
Curious about what volunteerism and Time Auction events are all about? Meet our community who has shared their memorable experiences in their volunteering journey and meetings with our featured guests! Meet Chris Mak! Chris is a civil engineer and his daily tasks include calculations, site monitoring and project management. He is a football enthusiast and […]
How to Get Started as a Skilled Volunteer
We hear you’re interested in donating your skills and time to a non-profit! While volunteering has obvious personal benefits and there are tons of projects available on our own matching platform, we know that going into your first volunteer position can be daunting.  But not to worry!  Here are a few tips on getting the […]
Community Spotlight: Karen Yiu, Entrepreneur
Curious about what volunteerism and Time Auction events are all about? Meet our community who has shared their memorable experiences in their volunteering journey and meetings with our featured guests! Meet Karen Yiu! Karen joined the advertising industry after graduation. After contributing in the customer marketing field for more than a decade, she decided to […]
Impact Highlight: How Our Volunteer-Matching Platform is created by Skilled-Volunteers
The Challenge: Time Auction needed to build a new website, but doesn’t have the budget for UX/UI design, graphic design and copywriting, which are essential components for web development. The Outcome: 3 skilled volunteers dedicated dozens of hours to create graphics, content and designs for over 60 webpages, delivering a user-friendly brand website and volunteer-matching […]
There Is No Failure — Dinner with June Leung, Founder and Chairperson of Beacon Group
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their lives and career. “There’s no failure, only delayed success.” Change our mindset and our life changes. Thoughts have an incredible influence on our everyday life, ranging […]
【想支持性別平等?】Time Auction搵到符合你專長嘅義工服務
自上世紀後期開始,香港社會逐步邁向性別平等 (Gender equality),透過《性別歧視條例》、《殘疾歧視條例》、《家庭崗位歧視條例》同《種族歧視條例》嘅法例落實,保障所有人免受基於性別、懷孕、婚姻狀況、殘疾、家庭崗位同種族歧視,而女性喺法律、社會、經濟等嘅地位亦有所提升。 不過,社會上仍然存有性騷擾、性別歧視等問題,而性小眾 (包括LGBTQIA+) 權益亦係近年嘅社會議題,需要社會各界共同努力同提高關注,推動性別多元文化。以下為大家推介一啲喺香港關注性別平等嘅非牟利機構 (NGO),俾你了解一下佢哋嘅服務同理念: 性別空間 Gender Empowerment 性別空間係一個支援跨性別 (Transgender) 社群嘅慈善自助組織,透過邀請專業人士就各種關於性嘅專題進行分享,並提供心理輔導,以幫助跨性別人士融入社會及解決性別上嘅疑難或困擾。 青躍 Teen's Key Hong Kong 青躍是一個完全由年輕女性領導、幫助弱勢青少女嘅非牟利團體,關注年輕女性嘅性與生育健康,致力協助弱勢年青女性學習新技能、實踐理想同活得自信自在。 Resolve Foundation Resolve Foundation 致力培育來自邊緣社群嘅社區領袖,透過社會公義育才計劃同工作坊,改變了有關社群人士嘅生命路向,為香港社會帶來正面改變。 婦女基金會 The Women's Foundation 婦女基金會致力改善香港婦女同女童生活,透過舉辦多個社區項目改變社會對性別嘅刻板印象、提升女性喺決策過程中嘅影響力,使女性能夠達到經濟獨立自足、成為未來嘅成功領袖。 關注婦女性暴力協會 The Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women 關注婦女性暴力協會由一群關心婦女權益嘅人士所組成,希望透過危機支援、法律諮詢服務和教育活動等,促使政府及公眾人士正視婦女遭受性暴力的問題,讓受害婦女重過有自信同自尊嘅生活。 以上幾間針對性別平等嘅機構都不時需要技能義工 (Skilled volunteer) 支持運作,如果你都想出一分力,可以考慮以下各類型嘅義工服務,或者直接按【立即申請】睇下最新嘅技能義工服務機會! 義工服務(一):電話熱線義工(Hotline Volunteer) 電話熱線義工主要提供情緒支援同相關嘅資訊協助,聆聽致電人士(如面對家暴、性暴力和歧視等問題)嘅困難同需要,並提供例如危機處理技巧等實質協助。義工將會需要先接受基礎同深入嘅培訓,以幫助有需要人士度過難關。 【立即申請】 義工服務(二):榜樣義工(Role Model Volunteer) 一個好榜樣對個人成長非常重要!佢哋嘅經驗同心得分享可以啟發其他人。榜樣義工其實比較類似坊間嘅師友計劃,主要係透過互動交流,鼓勵參加者建立自信心同正面嘅態度面對生活上唔同問題、逆境,同時發掘自己嘅潛能,實現夢想。如果你都想支持下一代出一分力,尤其打破社會對唔同性別嘅枷鎖、標籤,幫佢地建立自信,就快D報名啦~ 【立即申請】 義工服務(三):創業分享講者 (Entrepreneurial Guest Speaker) […]
Top