10 ways to give back this Christmas

If you have a bit of spare time (or cash) this year end, here’s a handy round-up of what you can do to spread a little love this festive holiday season.

10 ways to give back this Christmas
10 ways to give back this Christmas
16 Dec 2015

10 ways to give back this Christmas

Regardless of our religious beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds, Christmas works wonders in bringing people together with the season’s spirit of giving. If you have a bit of spare time (or cash) this year end, here’s a handy round-up of what you can do to spread a little love this festive holiday season. 

Deliver warm, comforting meals to needy elderly
Deliver warm, comforting meals to needy elderly
16 Dec 2015

Deliver warm, comforting meals to needy elderly

There are many elderly folks living alone discreetly amongst us in public housing estates. Diagnosed with severe illness or physical disability, and hailing from low-income backgrounds, they’ve been identified by hospitals as needy individuals who require assistance with daily living activities like preparing their own meals.

Here’s where you can come in - a warm meal delivered with cheerful greetings goes a long way in brightening up the days of these seniors!

Organisations leading meal delivery services include Dorcas Home Care, Touch Community Services, Willing Hearts, and YMCA, with each taking charge of their own designated districts in Singapore. Hop on their delivery vans to assist with distribution or if you own a method of transportation, you can pick up the food packs and deliver to your preferred locations.

If you think you have the culinary chops, Willing Hearts also welcome volunteers to help in meal prep at their soup kitchen in Jalan Ubi.

Offer medical escort services
Offer medical escort services
16 Dec 2015

Offer medical escort services

Besides daily meal deliveries, medical escort services are needed for these sick and disadvantaged elderly too. Without relatives to take on the responsibility, they rely on volunteers to accompany them for their hospital appointments and regular physiotherapy sessions. Ability to operate wheelchairs with ease is preferred but not compulsory, and each session usually ranges from 2-4 hours.

You may also choose to volunteer directly with hospitals, hospices, and elder care centres, such as Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Dover Park Hospice, St. Lukes, Lion Befrienders. The befriender programme allows you to drop by on dedicated days each week to interact with patients and keep them engaged through activities such as arts and crafts, karaoke, or even a round of bingo.

Ring in the festive cheer, literally
Ring in the festive cheer, literally
16 Dec 2015

Ring in the festive cheer, literally

The Salvation Army is big on Christmas with its annual fundraiser, the Christmas Kettle campaign. From skill workshops, academic coaching, to regular excursions for the underprivileged, they have a slew of programmes in the pipeline and appreciate any contribution they can get to bring their plans to fruition.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Christmas Kettles stationed outside shopping malls like Tangs Orchard, Toa Payoh Hub, Tampines Mall, or sign up to be a Bell Ringer and take on the role of encouraging passer-by's to chip in.

Care for our furry friends
Care for our furry friends
16 Dec 2015

Care for our furry friends

Plenty of volunteering opportunities are available for animal lovers who are willing to get their hands dirty. Adoption and rescue shelters appreciate any support they can get with tasks like scrubbing dormitories, maintenance chores, and feeding schedules.

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Animal Lovers Leagues are great places to get started if you’re looking to work with a variety of animals, while canine lovers should definitely sign up with Action for Singapore Dogs or Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter (OSCAS). 

Feline fanatics may be familiar with Cat Welfare Society and Love Kuching Project, who are highly committed to spearheading initiatives like cat rescue, sterilisation, and educating the public on benefits of adoption.  If you’re looking to dive into the world of wildlife research and rescue, make a beeline for Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES). 

Celebrate with foreign friends
Celebrate with foreign friends
16 Dec 2015

Celebrate with foreign friends

Let’s not forget our foreign friends, who are working hard to make a living in Singapore and aren’t fortunate enough to head home during the holidays and spend time with their family. Most of them are also victims of language and cultural displacement, social prejudice, and iffy legal and social security status.

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) have been integral in nurturing a home-away-from-home for these migrant workers, and relentlessly advocate for education, legal, and health assistance programmes. Write in to find out how best you can join in and help.

Make a child’s wish come true
Make a child’s wish come true
16 Dec 2015

Make a child’s wish come true

Nothing beats a child’s bright smile to make us feel the joy of Christmas. Make a Wish Foundation Singapore has been granting wishes of children with critical medical conditions for over 20 years and welcome all the help they can get to make each of them extra special.

The folks at Club Rainbow provide holistic help to children who are suffering from terminal and life-threatening illnesses and their families. Not forgetting Singapore Children’s Society and Melrose Home Children’s Aid Society, who consistently offer counselling support, educational programmes, befriender services, and financial assistance for vulnerable children and families in need.

Help with horse riding therapy for the disabled
Help with horse riding therapy for the disabled
16 Dec 2015

Help with horse riding therapy for the disabled

Though Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore has been in operation for over 30 years, horse-riding therapy is still a relatively unfamiliar concept. Horse-riding experience helps with physical and cognitive improvement, making it a fun form of therapy individuals suffering from muscular dystrophy, visual and hearing impairment, and autism. RDA caters to over 100 disabled riders every week, and warmly welcomes volunteers who are interested in engaging with both riders and horses. 

Take on MIND’s Christmas Stocking Challenge
Take on MIND’s Christmas Stocking Challenge
16 Dec 2015

Take on MIND’s Christmas Stocking Challenge

Think big and rope in your employer to help for this one. Movement for the Intellectually Disabled (MINDS) is calling for individuals who are willing to encourage their companies to contribute to their annual Christmas Stocking Challenge. The project works to bring Christmas cheer to children and youths, who will be presented with a present-filled stocking purchased from the funds raised.

If you’re keen with working closer with the disabled, volunteering directly at MINDS is also possible, along with Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), Singapore Association for the Deaf, Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped, and various special needs schools such as Grace Orchard School and Rainbow Centre Singapore.

Chow down on burgers and cocktails at Potato Head Folk
Chow down on burgers and cocktails at Potato Head Folk
16 Dec 2015

Chow down on burgers and cocktails at Potato Head Folk

It’s that simple. Potato Head Folk has partnered with Singapore Children Society to kick off its very own fundraising campaign, where proceeds from the sale of every Christmas menu item will be donated. Available till 31 Dec, order up the Rudolph Killah burger, which features a patty of fallow venison and Japanese pork sandwiched between toasted chocolate brioche buns, and chase it with one of their delish Christmas inspired cocktails.

Support fund raising campaigns
Support fund raising campaigns
16 Dec 2015

Support fund raising campaigns

Money also goes a long way. Launched by the National Volunteer & Philantrophy Centre, Giving.sg offers a comprehensive overview of ongoing fund-raising campaigns led by local personalities and other individuals. The campaigns support a wide variety of beneficiaries, spanning across animal welfare, education, and environment, to humanitarian. It’s giving made simple with just a few clicks.

The initiatives we’ve rounded up are by no means exhaustive, so we recommend registering with platforms like SG Cares (merging with Giving.sg in Jan 2016), which allows you to set up your personal profile and conveniently sign up for volunteering opportunities via it’s calendar of events.

This story first appeared on City Nomads.

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