A Heart of Service Speaks Louder Than Words

A Heart of Service Speaks Louder Than Words

Darren See’s volunteering journey kickstarted unexpectedly when he was invited to join TOUCH Silent Club’s (TSC) tuition programme and a game of soccer by a school friend. Diagnosed with hearing loss since young, Darren has grappled with an uncertainty if he could ever contribute to society.  This is further exacerbated by his quiet nature.  

Now in his 40s, Darren is celebrating almost two decades of volunteering service with Deaf clients at TSC.  Fondly known as a big brother and role model to many Deaf youths, Darren has volunteered as an emcee, mentored younger clients in their studies, and even assisted at workshops on Conversational Sign Language and digital skills for seniors.  

Finding A Community of Support
Darren was a student when he first joined TSC’s tuition programme to receive academic coaching in 1993. He was excited to take part in the soccer games after the programme as it gave him the opportunity to make new friends.  

Darren See with his friends after soccer
Caption: Darren (second from right, back row) together with his friends after a game of soccer.  

“I looked forward to attending the tuition programme and playing soccer every week as I could receive academic coaching and bond together with other amazing individuals through sports. I’m grateful to have this strong community of support that continues even till today!” signs Darren.  

Stepping Out of His Comfort Zone
Darren’s volunteer journey started when his mentor, David Wee, co-founder of TSC, asked him to help out as a logistics assistant during his school holidays.  

“I never thought that I could give back to the community as a volunteer. This experience made me step out of my comfort zone as I met other individuals who were similar to me yet faced different life situations and challenges. It was eye opening to meet others who had intellectual disabilities but could communicate with me through sign language.”  

Growing as a Volunteer
With his experience as a logistics assistant, Darren soon gained confidence to explore other volunteering opportunities as an emcee and event planner.  

For someone with a quiet nature, Darren is now comfortable with taking on regular emcee roles. Today, Darren has emceed at TSC’s events for over 10 years and shares, “I don’t mind taking on the responsibility to emcee again and again as TSC has a special place in my heart. It’s also a great opportunity for me to improve my public speaking skills!”  

Darren See emceeing at TOUCH Silent Club's anniversary
Caption: Darren volunteering as an emcee at TSC’s 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2023.  

Darren’s close relationship with his mentor made him realise the importance of having a mentor figure to guide youths in their formative years. As such, Darren has been actively involved in TSC’s youth mentorship programme, where he organises activities for youths to bond with one another.  

He recalls how a youth once approached him to share about her struggles at school and expressed gratitude for the trust shown to him. “I’m thankful that these youths trust me enough to share their deepest struggles. I hope my life experiences can give them guidance and assurance, just like how my mentor encouraged me when I was younger.”   

TSC Darren See with his youth group
Caption: Darren (in red) together with his youth group enjoying a time of bonding at Mount Faber Park. 

Darren attributes much of his personal growth to his time at TSC. “Volunteering at TSC has played a big part in shaping my life. I’ve become more attuned to the different struggles of other Deaf individuals and learnt how to connect with them. This has motivated me to lend a helping hand whenever possible and I believe that I can also make a difference despite my hearing impairment.”  

Darren See facilitating sign language workshops
Caption: Darren (back row, extreme right) helps facilitate Conversational Sign Language workshops run by TSC.  

Darren is an example of how everyone has the potential to become someone greater. Through his volunteering experience with TSC, Darren has learnt to overcome his self-perceived limitations and give back to the Deaf community.   

Just like him, most of us can also overcome our circumstances to bring joy, hope and support to those around us.  

If you would like to volunteer with TSC, find out more at https://bit.ly/TSC-Volunteer!

TOUCH Silent Club (TSC) believes that every Deaf person is valuable and has the potential to be an integrated and contributing member of society. TSC's programmes empower the Deaf to be independent individuals and guide them in the areas of education, vocation, recreation and social development. TSC also provides a community of friendship and support to Deaf persons of all ages through academic coaching, social activities and leadership development programmes.  

Story published in 2024.