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Giving Back to Charity: How to Spread Festive Cheer to the Less Privileged

LearnPost Category - LearnLearn
MamaPost Category - MamaMama

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 back 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 from 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 42,296 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 is needed from now to 29 December 2017. There are 2 time slots daily at 10.30am and 2pm.

          Read more: How to Foster Gratitude in Kids

Royal Plaza on Scotts Gift & Share toy donation box
Royal Plaza on Scotts is collecting preloved toys for the less fortunate under the Toys from the Heart programme by the non profit organization Food from the Heart. Toys will be distributed at monthly birthday or holiday parties, events and at the annual Toys Buffet, a carnival filled with fun, games, food and plenty of toys for selection for the less privileged.
How You Can Help: Clean up your toy cupboard and anything you no longer use, bring for the pre-loved toys drop off. Make sure toys are in good condition (soft toys washed in machine etc), then put them in the Gift & Share toy donation box along the driveway of the hotel from now till 1 January 2018.

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, which you could 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!

Willing Hearts
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.

Foodbank
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 Foodbank collection box for families to drop off goods at and Foodbank 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 the rising living expenses. They also aim to grant wishes for items that they need, be it a school bag, or 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
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?

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 Ed 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.

Blessing in a Bag
Blessing 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. Sign up now for their 2018 programme to be first in the know.

                  Read More: Guide to Charities to Volunteer at in Singapore

Lead image and Willing Hearts image property of Sassy Mama Singapore
Boys Brigade image via The Boys Brigade
Food Bank image via Wikimedia
Trash Hero image via Facebook
Make a Wish image via The Straits Times

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