It’s that time of year when we ask the kids, “What do you want for Christmas?” But have you ever wondered what the less privileged want or even need all year round? Here’s where you can volunteer in Singapore this holiday season
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 modelling it. Here are some ways you and your family can volunteer in Singapore and help the 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 2019 iteration of the BB Share-a-Gift Project aims to reach out to a record 43,276 beneficiaries with food hamper deliveries.
How You Can Help: You can help by donating food supplies (either in person or online), or 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, while also getting the unique opportunity to interact face-to-face with beneficiaries (including low-income families and individuals, and vulnerable children in the KIDstart Programme). Volunteers need to drive their own vehicle to help deliver the food hampers; delivery of food hampers will span various dates from 9 – 28 December 2019. There are three time slots each day: 11am, 1pm and 3pm, and deliveries take about three hours to complete. Click here to check the delivery calendar and register!
Read More: How to Foster Gratitude in Kids
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]. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, be sure to keep a lookout for TOUCH Giving Hong Bao 2020, which encourages individuals to donate a portion of their red packet collection to the less fortunate — this is a wonderful way to teach kids about giving to charity. In the meantime, throughout December volunteers ages 12 and up are welcome to help assist by wrapping boxes for hong bao collection.
Food from the Heart
Food from the Heart is an independent non-profit Singapore Food Charity that was established in 2003 to alleviate hunger through the efficient distribution of food. Today over 1,700 volunteers help reach 40,300 beneficiaries – including low-income families and individuals – across Singapore.
How You Can Help: Food from the Heart offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, and kids under 15 are welcome so long as they’re accompanied by a parent! Team Sassy Mama recently spent a morning at the state-of-the-art warehouse, sorting food donations and putting together food packs for distribution. Other opportunities include collecting bread from hotels and bakeries; helping out in a professional capacity, such as with administrative tasks or logistics; and of course donating money or goods to initiatives like the annual toy buffet and the School Goodie Bag programme. Click here to read about the range of both one-off and regular volunteering opportunities at Food from the Heart!
Running from 1-7 December and initiated by Singapore’s National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), Giving Week celebrates Singapore’s caring spirit and encourages non-profits, residents, and even brands to share their Time, Treasure, Talent and Voice to support a wide variety of causes.
How You Can Help: There will be events and initiatives happening all over the city, including The Giving [email protected] One from 2-6 December, Good Neighbour Day at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, and the Passion WaVE Carnival at Bedok Reservoir on Saturday 7 December. There will also be dozens of charity initiatives from leading brands across Singapore; for instance, when you Shop & Donate $50 to any of the listed charities at FairPrice Online, you can receive a 20% off ZALORA voucher! Click here for the full list of events and initiatives, and be sure to use the hashtag #TheGivingWeekChallenge to raise awareness on social media and perhaps find that your little act multiplies through our beautiful city!
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 2019, with a goal of distributing 750,00 gifts this Christmas to migrant workers in Singapore! Some recommended gifts include a jar of Tiger Balm, umbrellas, water bottles, gift card vouchers, backpacks, headphones, non-perishable chocolates and cookies, or top-up data cards. All gifts must be new and gift-wrapped — why not take the kids on a shopping excursion to pick out and wrap a few new gifts? Then you can drop them at various collection points around the island. Be sure to check back for ongoing gift distribution dates where you and your kiddos can help spread some festive cheer!
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 2 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 about three times a year) 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) 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 for Wishes, happening this year on 7 December. Click here to register! Kids can also organise year-round fundraisers to raise money for this worthy cause – what ideas does your child have to raise money?
Click here for more deets on the Santa Run for Wishes on 7 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.
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!
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: This year Blessings in a Bag is partnering with The Toy Folks to run a book and toy drive from 25 November to 31 December 2019 at Forum The Shopping Mall. You can donate new or like-new toys and books for toddlers to 12-year-olds by simply dropping them off at The Toy Folks at B1 during opening hours (10:30am-7:30pm daily). As a sweet bonus, for all donations you’ll be entitled to 5% off your purchase at The Toy Folks with a minimum spend of $30. Key items to donate include children’s books, children’s puzzles and games, or children’s ‘Full Set’ toys (like LEGO). No soft toys or electronics, please. Click here for all the details!