It’s that time of year when we are asking the kids, husband and even ourselves, “What do you want for Christmas?” But have you ever wondered what the less privileged want or even need all year round?
Ideally we all give to charities throughout the year, but with busy schedules and family life there’s always a reason to forget. Seize that good intention now! We would love our kids to grow up being kind and grateful, and the best way of teaching that is modeling it. Here are some ways you and your family can help those less privileged, now!
Read More: 5 Things to Consider BEFORE You Volunteer
The Boys Brigade
The Boys Brigade is a uniformed youth organization for boys aged 5 and upwards (there’s a different group for girls). Their year round activities include community service projects where they give back to those in need. The current BB Share-a-Gift Project aims to reach out to a record 41,756 beneficiaries this year with food hamper deliveries.
How You Can Help: You can help by personally delivering BBSG food hampers to the doorsteps of those in need all across Singapore. BBSG is a great opportunity for families to do hands-on charity work and spend quality time together on a meaningful activity. Volunteers need to drive their own vehicle to help deliver the food hampers. Daily delivery of food hampers will be from 3 – 28 December 2018 (excluding eve of and on Public Holidays). There are four time slots each day: 10:30am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3pm.
Read More: How to Foster Gratitude in Kids
CapitaLand Hope Foundation
This Christmas, Plaza Singapura will be running two charity initiatives as CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, will be matching dollar-for-dollar for all the funds raised through these initiatives. All proceeds will go to Blossom World Society.
How You Can Help: Head to Plaza Singapura Level 1 (opposite Breadtalk) to get your gifts wrapped by volunteers from Blossom World Society on a pay-as-you-like basis for a good cause. You can also shop for products from Marks & Spencers, Muji, Watsons, Choco Express and Gadget Plus at the Pay Your Age booth, where you can shop for a gift here and just pay for the item according to your age.
Touch Community Services
TOUCH Community Services is a not-for-profit charity organisation that helps low income families, the elderly and disadvantaged youth.
How You Can Help: Touch provides a meals on wheels service, where you can take your kids to deliver food to disadvantaged families. You can also take your kids on a shopping trip (great for teaching kids the value of money and budgeting) and shop for products (halal-certified canned food that contains protein, such as tuna, sardines, as well as dry food of biscuits, noodles, rice etc and essentials like detergent, washing powder, soap) to donate. Before you buy, please confirm what items are needed in which quantities, by emailing [email protected].
Trash Hero Singapore Clean-Ups
Get your kids involved with cleaning up the environment and looking after our planet Earth with Trash Hero Singapore, an organisation which creates community-based projects that remove waste, and aims to inspire long-term behavior change.
How You Can Help: Spend some quality time with your kids while doing something super useful — cleaning up beaches in Singapore. Guides will have plenty of educational information about the impact that trash has on the global environment, making this a great educational activity for kids too!
Become a Santa Claus for migrant workers! It’s thanks to them that we have our world-class infrastructure and clean streets, so the least we can do is gift them a colourful little wrapped present this Christmas.
How You Can Help: ItsRainingRaincoats is accepting wrapped gifts for migrant workers from 16 November to 16 December, with a goal of distributing 700,00 gifts this Christmas! It can be anything from a jar of Tiger Balm, to an umbrella, water bottle, or gift card voucher. Drop them a private message on Facebook for details on a drop-off location near you!
A secular, non-affiliated charity, Willing Hearts is largely run by volunteers. It operates a soup kitchen that prepares, cooks and distributes about 5,000 daily meals to over 40 locations island wide, 365 days a year.
How You Can Help: You can go in and help prepare ingredients for the soup kitchen (chopping vegetables, and other kitchen tasks), packing lunch boxes, cleaning and washing up (much needed). Willing Hearts encourages families with kids to volunteer as a unit with open arms.
Toys for Tots
Each year, the American Association joins forces with the U.S. Marines to host a charitable and festive family event benefiting the Toys for Tots program, which began in 1947 and has distributed over 500 million toys to children around the world to date. Kiddos and adults alike have loads of fun while collecting a bounty of unwrapped toys to be distributed as Christmas gifts to needy children in Singapore; it’s a wonderful way to teach little ones about the joy of giving to others.
How you can help: This year’s event will be held on Monday 3 December at the American Club (all are welcome to attend). In addition to donating an unwrapped toy or gift, kiddos can also look forward to festive crafts, Christmas carols, and a visit from Santa himself! Click here for the full event details and ticketing information.
The Food Bank Singapore strives to collect surplus food and deliver it to organisations and people in need to reduce food wastage and help those less fortunate. The Food Bank Singapore is currently recruiting junior foodbankers aged 5 to 12 who would like to get involved in this great initiative!
How You Can Help: Junior Foodbankers will get the chance (usually three times a year – next one on 22 December 2017) to visit the warehouse, participate in various hands on activities like packing food hampers, and attend excursions and events organised by The Food Bank Singapore. Kids can also ask their school to host a Food Bank collection box for families to drop off goods, and Food Bank will collect to distribute to those in need.
Children’s Wishing Well
Founded in 2002, Children’s Wishing Well provides monthly groceries to families from low income households to help them cope with rising living expenses. They also aim to grant wishes for items they might need, be it a school bag, washing machine, or even payment of utilities arrears. In addition, they give families hope and a vision of what underprivileged kids could be when they grow up. Through Children’s Wishing Well’s Career GPS, kids can visit companies and meet real life role models to start them thinking of their own pathways and their vision of success.
How You Can Help: You can take your kids along with you on food deliveries (2nd Saturday of every month, 9am- 12pm) plus for adults there are opportunities to pack food, grant wishes and tutor children. Talking to your kids about your role in helping others will be a great start for them to understand that there are others who are less privileged, and hopefully encourage them to be grateful for what they have.
Make-A-Wish is the foundation that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
How You Can Help: While adults can volunteer their time or donate, kids can normally get involved in the annual Santa Run. The registration is now closed for this year unfortunately but it’s a good one to look out for next year. Kids can also organise year-round fundraisers to raise money for this worthy cause – what ideas does your kid have to raise money?
Click here for more deets on the Santa Run for Wishes on 2 December in case you’d like to get in on the costume fun, cheer on runners, or attend the Christmas Carnival!
Therapy Dogs Singapore
Therapy Dogs Singapore works with a variety of organizations – including schools, hospitals, and nursing homes for the elderly- to share the joy of pet-assisted therapy.
How You Can Help: If you have a pet you and your kids can help by visiting the various organizations (by prior arrangement) and letting the residents make friends with your pet. Our Senior Editor regularly took her dog Avon to a nursing home in Cho Chua Kang, where he delighted wheelchair-bound folks by doing tricks and letting them pet him. Talking to your kids about your pet helping others would be a great conversation about how everyone can help, no matter how small.
Blessings in a Bag
Blessings in a Bag is a volunteer-powered community that strives to provide every child and their family – in emergency or challenging situations – with the essentials they need to thrive and to feel safe, valued and joy. They partner with social-service organizations and help communities receive items they need at no cost or through incentivised programs that enable them to take ownership of their situations.
How You Can Help: Take a look at their wish-list and get the kids to have a clear out of their clothes and toys and school supplies.