This is the time of year to spread the love. If you’ve been thinking about giving back to your community this Christmas, we’ve found plenty of ways to volunteer right here in Singapore…
While it’s easy for us all to get swept away with the Christmas festivities and all that endless feasting and shopping, it’s also a time of the year that can be particularly challenging for others. If you’ve been thinking of taking time out to give back to your community and do something meaningful beyond donating your gently used goods and donating to a charity that’s close to your heart, channel your time and energy into volunteering this Christmas and be somebody else’s Santa Claus. With International Volunteer Day around the corner on 5 December 2017, here’s how you can get on board…
The Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift
Fond memories of my Girl Guiding days include encouraging my classmates to purchase mint chocolate cookies for a good cause. Here’s the Boys’ Brigade edition with Share-A-Gift, an annual community service project that encourages the community to fulfil the wishes of kids and families in need by donating food items at any designated collection point at various supermarkets islandwide. You can also take it a step further by volunteering to deliver the gift hampers or by buying a gift that’s been wished for on any Share-A-Gift tree located at various supermarkets islandwide.
The Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift, 21 November to 18 December 2017. Collection centre boxes and wish trees operate 11.00 am to 9.00pm daily.
Singapore Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle Appeal
The bell-ringing ice-cream cart uncles are a familiar sight on Singapore’s streets. This year, you can try your hand at bell-ringing too, but for a charitable cause. From 25 November to 23 December 2017, join the Salvation Army volunteers as they continue the yearly fundraising affair of ringing bells on the streets to encourage passersby to donate. Each Kettling slot will be for two hours and donations will go towards helping the needy and underprivileged. Don’t worry if you have a busy schedule over the holidays: you can choose your preferred location and timing for the Kettling sessions. Make some noise for a good cause!
Singapore Salvation Army Christmas Kettling, 25 November to 23 December 2017
Volunteer with SPCA
Wish you had a furbaby? If you love animals as much as we do here, SPCA is recruiting volunteers who are committed to taking care of the shelter animals on a regular basis. There are loads of different duties that you can take on, from helping to clean animal enclosures, to answering public queries and manning the SPCA merchandise shop. In the spirit of Christmas, check out the annual SPCA Christmas Wish List: you might want to gift these furry creatures with animal feed, clinical supplies or some play items.
Meals-on-Wheels by Touch Community Services
For many of us, Christmas is about the turkey and the feasting, but it’s worth remembering that just a comforting meal can mean the world to others. If you are free from 9.30am to 12.30pm or 3.30pm to 6.30pm, why not volunteer to help deliver nice warm meals to the elderly through Touch Community Services’ Meals-on-Wheels programme? Home-bound and living alone, these elderly folks are dependent on daily meal deliveries. As Christmas approaches, share the love by volunteering to deliver a smile to their faces.
Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen
If you’re an aspiring chef and prefer meal preparation over delivery, here’s an ideal opportunity for you to volunteer at the soup kitchen (and it doesn’t have to be just over Christmas). Willing Hearts is open 365 days from 4.30am to 2.30pm and is always on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to help out with duties such as prepping ingredients, packing lunch boxes and washing up workstations. Your efforts will go a long way in benefiting the elderly, low-income families and anyone who comes to the kitchen in need.
Do you remember the first storybook you read, and how you became enchanted by the many worlds within? If you ever dreamed of being someone else’s Fairy Godmother, here’s your chance to do so by volunteering with the National Library Board’s kidsREAD programme. For an hour every week at any reading club islandwide, you can read to underprivileged children and share with them the wonders of reading and learning.
Sometimes, it’s all about the little things. For the elderly who live alone, they may crave companionship or need help with simple day-to-day duties. Volunteer as a Lions Befriender, which involves weekly visits to the homes of the elderly to provide them with social and psycho-emotional support. Training will be given, so no worries if you feel uncertain about your capabilities – you just need to sign up with a great heart and desire to help. Who knows, you may even be rewarded with a lifelong friendship.
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
Volunteering in Singapore: Charities, donations, and social enterprises to help out
Animal charities: Where to volunteer to help animals in Singapore
Want to donate your clothes or furniture? Here’s where to pass it on.
Or visit our sister site HoneyKids for volunteering opportunities for children in Singapore