‘Tis the season to spread the love. Thinking about giving back to your community this Christmas? We found plenty of ways to volunteer right here in Singapore.
While it’s easy for us to get swept away with the Christmas festivities and all that endless feasting and gift shopping, this is a time of the year that can be particularly challenging for others. If you’ve been thinking of taking time to give back to your community and do something meaningful, here’s how you can put that thought into action. Read on for great initiatives in Singapore where you can volunteer or donate this Christmas season.
Where to volunteer or donate in Singapore this Christmas
1. Run for charity
Santa Race for Wishes is back this year! This annual community event organised by Make-A-Wish Singapore aims to raise funds to grant life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses. No need for hardcore fitness training here. You can choose to walk, run, or cycle to clock in that distance. The goal is to accumulate 21,517km, to show Santa and friends all around the world, and back to Singapore. All registration and donation proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Not a big fan of running? You can always send donations over to help cover costs like transportation for children.
Santa Race for Wishes 2023, clock-in period till 31 Dec 2023
2. Donate to the migrant workers
How about doing something for our migrant worker community? They’ve contributed so much to our country, so it’s only fitting we make a difference in their lives. Local non-profit organisation It’s Raining Raincoats welcomes monetary and in-kind contributions. You can donate your pre-loved items such as bags, electronics, kitchen appliances, and toiletries. Care packs and meals are welcome too.
It’s Raining Raincoats, 470 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534235
3. Rehome used textbooks
It’s the end of the year, which means any old textbooks you have lying around your house will be untouched for the foreseeable future. Instead of throwing them out or recycling them, why not donate them? All you have to do is bring your pre-loved textbooks to your nearest FairPrice store. These books will be going to more than 25,000 underprivileged students.
FairPrice Share-a-Textbook, donation period till 30 Nov 2023
4. Help solve food insecurity
Food insecurity is the state of being unable to afford sufficient affordable or nutritious food. It can be hard to measure and identify those who are in need. In Singapore, two in five people face food insecurity at least once a month. Well, besides planning your own food drive or even donating money and supplies, you can always volunteer with Food Bank Singapore. Volunteer opportunities are split between time and skill-based tasks. You can sort through donations and pack them up at the warehouse. Alternatively, if you have a driver’s license, opt to deliver food donations or collect the donations from public food bins.
The Food Bank Singapore, Xpace, 218 Pandan Loop, Singapore 128408
5. Give back to nature
Climate change is real and it’s happening fast. We’re seeing it even in the weather with the crazy heavy rain and the hot temperatures. To help build a more climate-resilient country, you can donate to plant more trees and restore the coral in Singapore. This helps to replenish the reefs that we’ve lost due to coastal development.
World Wildlife Fund, available online
6. Shop to support a cause
Shop away at this social enterprise by Autism Resource Centre honouring the unique talents of artists on the spectrum. They’ve got you covered for your gift list with items including stationery, face masks, kitchen items and dining knick knacks and more. Start adding to your cart and show your support for this meaningful cause! Everything you buy means income to the artists on the autism spectrum.
The Art Faculty Christmas Shop, available online and at #01-07, Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru, Singapore 159053
7. Donate for good
Habitat for Humanity Singapore shows support to the elderly and low-income families in these trying times. With The Gift of Home, donate any amount to make an impact in the lives of these beneficiaries. The best part is each dollar donated will be matched one-for-one, which means that final donation amounts will be doubled up! You can even sign yourself up for workshops like Christmas wreath making and floral pressing. All proceeds will go to supporting vulnerable homeowners.
The Gift of Home, available online
8. The red kettle pots are back!
The bell-ringing ice cream cart uncles are a familiar sight on Singapore’s streets. To donate, keep an eye out for crimson pots at places like AMK Hub, West Mall, Suntec City and more. There’s also an online option where you can donate just by scanning a QR code. The donations will go to supporting beneficiaries like the elderly, vulnerable youth, and migrant workers.
The Salvation Army Singapore Christmas Kettling, from 25 Nov to 22 Dec 2023, various locations
9. Donate food items
Share-A-Gift by The Boys’ Brigade is an annual community service project that helps to fulfil the wishes of kids and families in need by offering them food items at selected supermarkets islandwide. You can easily give back by donating via BB PayNow (located at FairPrice stores). The aim is to bring cheer to 43,000 needy families this holiday season. You can also drop canned food, tin biscuits, beverages, noodles, and rice at one of the four collection points. Alternatively, order food hampers via FairPrice Online!
The Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift, various locations
10. Deliver a meal (and a smile)
For many of us, Christmas is about the turkey and the feasting, but it’s worth remembering that a comforting meal can mean the world to others. Why not volunteer to help deliver 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.
Touch Community Services’ Meals-on-Wheels, various locations
11. 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 a soup kitchen (and it doesn’t have to be just for Christmas). Willing Hearts is open 365 days a year from 5am to 4pm. And it’s always on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to help 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, 1 Lorong J Telok Kurau, Singapore 425792
12. Show some love to local kitties
If you have a soft spot for cats, lend a hand to the Cat Welfare Society. It advocates sterilisation for community cats as a measure to reduce the number of strays breeding and decrease culling efforts. So help the group continue this good work by donating through its Shopee page.
Cat Welfare Society, available online
Be somebody else’s Santa Claus and volunteer for one of these initiatives in Singapore this Christmas!