Want to give back, mama? Here’s where you can volunteer in Singapore during the COVID-19 period
Ideally we all give to charities throughout the year, but with busy schedules and family life there’s always a reason to forget. Now that we’re spending more time at home and learning to be grateful for the simple yet essential things in life, 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!
Note: We have confirmed that all of the below charities are still accepting volunteers with new social distancing requirements in place.
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. 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 food, 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!
Free Food for All Singapore
Free Food for All is a registered charity in Singapore that aims to provide halal meals to those in need while minimising food waste. They first started distributing food twice weekly at Darul Aman Mosque in 2014, and soon word of their charity work spread to communities all over Singapore. They now run several programmes across a spectrum of communities in Singapore addressing food insecurity and food waste.
How You Can Help: FFFA is expanding services rendered and seeking volunteers who are able to commit time and resources in their various programmes. Whether you’d like to help in the kitchen, food packing or food deliveries, just sign up using their volunteer form to show your interest.
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 deliver food to disadvantaged families (however, during the current COVID-19 situation, children under 15 years old will not be permitted to participate). 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].
Read More: 5 Things to Consider BEFORE You Volunteer
Jamiyah Singapore, also known as Muslim Missionary Society Singapore, was established in 1932 to provide welfare services to the less privileged and disadvantaged, regardless of their race or faith. They currently manage four Welfare Homes, eight Education Centres and a nursing home while providing basic needs such as food ration distributions through their FoodBank programme and Free Medical, Legal and Counselling services for those in need.
How You Can Help: Jamiyah encourages people of all backgrounds to sign up and be a volunteer! There are several areas in which you can contribute your time and expertise to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged in society such as at their FoodBank, Children’s Home, Halfway House, Nursing Home and Home For The Aged.
It’s thanks to migrant workers that we have our world-class infrastructure and clean streets, so the least we can do is gift them some cheerful treats and essentials while they go through this difficult period.
How You Can Help: ItsRainingRaincoats is looking for drivers to assist with deliveries, and are accepting dry goods such as nail cutters, soaps and shampoo, razors and other essential items for migrant workers who are in isolation due to COVID-19. You can also donate to them to provide care packs, data card top ups and other essentials to thousands of migrant workers who are still in quarantine.
Read More: How to Foster Gratitude in Kids
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 usually encourages families with kids to volunteer as a unit with open arms, but as per MOH guidelines, they advise against vulnerable groups such as seniors, children, persons with chronic or underlying conditions, and pregnant women to volunteer at the moment due to the pandemic.
Willing Hearts has recently launched a Sewing Club for volunteers to sew new clothes, masks, aprons, pants, shirts, pillow cases and more for Willing Hearts beneficiaries! If you have a sewing machine at home and experience in sewing, you can drop them a private message with your name and contact on Facebook Messenger. Materials and equipment will be provided on-site.
The Food Bank Singapore
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.
The Food Bank Singapore is also taking food donations via food bank boxes islandwide.
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, plus for adults there are opportunities to pack food, grant wishes, tutor children, or even take them on grocery shopping trips through their FRESH programme. 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.
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.
*COVID-19 Advisory: Due to the pandemic, TDS is unable to carry out any visits and will not be able to process new memberships for the time being.
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 organisations 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: In order to provide a safe, meaningful and fun experience for everyone, Blessings in a Bag is holding online ‘volunteer information and orientation’ sessions to share about specific volunteer roles and responsibilities. Interested volunteers will be equipped with teaching techniques and have any questions answered about the programme. This session will give you a good idea about what you will encounter and experience through participating in the programme.
In the meantime, you can support them via their online jumble sale where proceeds will go towards facility maintenance and operation costs. Their physical store has recently reopened and you can visit by appointment only.
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 BB Share-a-Gift Project is held at the end of the year, and aims to reach out to over 40,000 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 during the Christmas season. 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.