‘Tis the season to spread the love. 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, channel your time and energy into volunteering this Christmas and be somebody else’s Santa Claus. Here’s how you can get on board…
Run for Charity
Kickstart the holiday season with the fambam for a day of jolly at the Santa Run for Wishes. No need for hardcore fitness training here – you can choose between the 2.5km, 5km and 10km running routes. All registration and donation proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation (Singapore).
Santa Run for Wishes 2019, 7 Dec, 3-8pm, Singapore Sports Hub, 1 Stadium Drive Singapore 397629
Donate food items with The Boys’ Brigade
Remember encouraging classmates to purchase mint chocolate cookies for a good cause back in those days? 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 selected supermarkets islandwide. Take it a step further by volunteering to deliver the gift hampers (just register online) 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 Nov – 18 Dec 2019. Collection centre boxes and wish trees operate 11 am to 9 pm daily.
The red kettle pots are back!
The bell-ringing ice-cream cart uncles are a familiar sight on Singapore’s streets. This year, you can spot The Salvation Army volunteers at your fave malls including The Centrepoint, Ion Orchard, Nex, Tampines Mall, Tangs at Tang Plaza and Raffles City. Spot the iconic red kettle pots, make a donation and walk away with karma points and limited edition magnifying cards or pocket calendar cards. There’s also an online option where you can donate by scanning a QR code (available on the Facebook Page).
The Salvation Army Singapore Christmas Kettling, 22 Nov – 23 Dec 2019, various malls islandwide
Furbabies need some love too
Wish you had a furbaby? If you love animals as much as we do, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (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 cleaning 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: gift these furry creatures some food, clinical supplies, play items or even make a monetary donation if you’re not quite sure what to get.
SPCA Christmas Wishlist, make a donation online.
Deliver a meal (and a smile)
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. 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. They are currently seeking volunteers for weekdays.
Meals-on-Wheels, 9.30am to 12.30pm or 3.30pm to 6.30pm, daily, distribution locations include Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Batok, Jurong and Toa Payoh.
Cook a meal
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 5am to 4pm 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.
Willing Hearts, The Soup Kitchen is located at Chai Chee Community Hub, 11 Jalan Ubi Blk 6, #01-51, Singapore 409074
Become a storyteller
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.
kidsREAD, sign up online.
Spend the day with the elderly
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.
Lions Befrienders, register to be a volunteer befriender.