volunteer singapore christmas

10 Ways You Can Volunteer In Singapore This Christmas (2021)

With the festive season coming up, what are some ways you can spread the Christmas joy and spirit to others?

by Grace Koh

Besides feasting with friends and hosting group gatherings to catch up with loved ones, Christmas is a time where the spirit of giving reigns. This Christmas, why not give something else a little more special, such as your time and efforts to volunteer for a worthy cause? Volunteering is one of the ways which we can give back to society by contributing resources to a worthy cause. Spread some Christmas cheer and warmth by contributing and supporting some of these local causes below, and feel good while doing good. Here are ten ways you can help out during this Christmas in Singapore.

Food to warm the belly and warm the heart 

YWCA’s Meals on Wheels 

Young Women’s Christian Association’s (YWCA) Meals-on-Wheels programme is targeted at children aged five to 12 from low-income families. This initiative was started in response to aid children from low-income families who struggled falling asleep daily due to hunger pangs, thus motivating the YWCA to start this initiative to ensure these children would go ‘Hungry no more’. 

Free dinners, all of which are Halal certified, are delivered to these families directly or to YWCA’s partner agencies for distribution. Volunteers can help deliver the meals in the areas including Outram, Tiong Bahru, Redhill, Queenstown and Jurong East. The free meals are delivered between 1.30pm to 4.30pm from Mondays to Fridays. 

To volunteer, find out more here.

Touch Community Services Meals-On-Wheels 

As we gather for meals this Christmas, some elderly in Singapore who live alone may not be able to get out of the house for food due to mobility issues or other medical conditions. This could limit their daily interactions with the community, which is beneficial for the elderly’s overall well-being. Touch Community Services Meals-On-Wheels programme aims to help such home-bound elderly by delivering their meals to them, ensuring that these elderly can also live independently as much as possible and have a better quality of life. Volunteers are needed to help out preferably once a week on weekdays, and time slots include 09:30am to 12:30pm, or 3:30pm to 6:30pm. Distribution locations include Bukit Batok, Toa Payoh, Whampoa, Bendemeer, Geylang Bahru, Potong Pasir, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio and Jurong. The role requires both car owners/drivers and delivery personnel, and the job scope mainly involves reporting to the Touch Community Services office to collect the food, and driving along a designated route to deliver the food. 

Find out more about volunteering with Touch Community Services Meals-On-Wheels programme here.

Majulah Belanjah by COVID-19 Migrant Support Coalition

Belanjah is a local slang with its origins in Malay, meaning ‘to treat’. This Christmas, why not belanjah our migrant workers by donating foodstuffs and necessities to help address their urgent needs?  Majulah Belanjah is an initiative started by The COVID-19 Migrant Support Coalition (CMSC), which is made up of volunteers from all walks of life aiming to support the dormitory operators and migrant workers through their ground efforts and combined resources. Besides food donations, you can also respond to the specific requests of migrant workers, and donate something of comfort or need to them, such as snacks which are ready-to-eat, or grooming products. You could pen a note of encouragement and thanks for these migrant workers living in the dormitories, who may not have seen their families for a long while besides in a video call. 

Here, you can find a list of requests from these migrant workers – some of the items encouraged for donation would be powdered/cereal drinks, coffee, tea, canned food, bread/buns, personal hygiene products, household disinfectants and more. You can find out how to volunteer here.

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Give back to Mother Nature and her creatures (i.e. animals) 

Cat Welfare Society

Have a Meowy Christmas with some furry friends at the Cat Welfare Society. The Society aims to reach out to the community to educate the public on sustainable and humane management of cats in Singapore through various programmes – which rely heavily on volunteer support, such as in areas of advocacy, sterilisation, mediation and educational outreach programmes. If you enjoy hanging out with the local kitties in your neighbourhood, why not consider being a Community Cat Caregiver or Mediator to care for the cats in your community by ensuring they are fed and sterilised? If you prefer a more behind-the-scenes role, there are various administrative and managerial roles which require help as well. 

Otherwise, if you have a bit of cash to spare, consider heading over to their online shop for a mini shopping spree of all things cat-related – proceeds from the shop go to the Cat Welfare Society’s causes. 

Find out how to help out here

Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)

Join the Paw Patrol at Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) to volunteer in various areas, all related to man’s best friend. If you have always wanted a dog but aren’t able to have one, you can help with walking the shelter dogs at ASD to ensure they get their daily sunshine and fun, and for you to enjoy the experience of pretending to be a dog owner for an hour as well. Volunteer at ASD’s Adoption and Rescue Centre to help maintain the centre by ensuring the place is clean, and training the dogs, amidst other duties. Otherwise, you can provide logistical or administrative support by helping with designing educational pamphlets on dog ownership, or to help ferry dogs and dog grub to vet clinics and foster homes for dogs.

Find out more on how you can help out here

Trash Hero World

Part of an initiative by a Swiss non-profit organisation, Trash Hero World has various networks across the globe, with Singapore being one of them. Its aim is to bring communities together to clean and reduce waste. The Singapore arm focuses on cleaning up parks and beaches, and you can find their event list here on Facebook. Best thing is, simply turn up at the next event if you wish to help – there are no sign up costs or registrations required to indicate your interest to participate.

Find out more here

Riding for the Disabled Association

Giddy up and help out at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Singapore. The ponies and horses in these barns are specially trained for horse-riding therapy sessions for the differently abled. As a volunteer, you will be glad to know that no experience with horse riding is needed, as training for sidewalkers is provided. Other than walking alongside horses, other roles up for volunteering include helping with stable maintenance like cleaning out the stables, and other administrative duties like marketing, fundraising, and organising events – the list goes on and on! It is mandatory for volunteers to be at least 16 years old, and preference is given for volunteers who can commit for at least 1 riding therapy term, which is once weekly for ten consecutive weeks. 

Find out how to volunteer here.

Caring for health and wellbeing 

Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore

Make a child smile in the wards with a Happy Meal with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which is a registered society in Singapore aiming to directly improve the health and well-being of children in Singapore. RMHC has a focus area in the hospitals, and believe that family support and love for a hospitalised child makes the biggest difference in their care journey. Their core programmes include the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room, which allows for caregivers to stay over at the hospital and to take a break from the hospital wards respectively. These programmes are currently situated at National University Hospital, and Institute of Mental Health. 

Other programmes include the RMHC Happy Wheels Cart, which offers snacks to caregivers and their children at the hospital for a visit. The RMHC Paediatric Happy Snack Packs are given to children receiving chemotherapy for cancer treatment, for them to have something to look forward to after going through  and fasting for their chemotherapy sessions. Areas where you can mainly volunteer would be at National University Hospital or Institute of Mental Health. 

To volunteer, find out more here

Make-A-Wish Foundation 

Get fit and do good trying – Santa Run for Wishes is back, and this year, the event is going virtual! An initiative by the Make-A-Wish foundation, Make-A-Wish Singapore hopes to fulfill wishes of children who are ill, to provide their families and them with hope, strength, joy and improved chances of recovery. The target is to accumulate a total of 21,517km together, which is the distance from Singapore to the North Pole, and to do that, you can contribute by choosing between 3km to 50km running routes. No need to be a fitspo to participate in this one! All registration and donation proceeds will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can sign up here until 19 December, which is the final day to participate. 

Not into running but wish to help? You can check out Make-A-Wish’s Foundation’s other volunteering opportunities – be a wish granter to help fulfill a child’s dream and put smiles on their faces and their loved ones’ faces as well. Find out more here

Silver Ribbon (Singapore)

With COVID-19 looming over our heads for two years now, the topic of mental health and wellbeing has come up often as something to recognise and acknowledge as important for an individual’s well-being. However, it is not always easy to seek help for mental health issues due to stigma or misgivings about mental illnesses locally, especially where there may be a prevalent view of being seen as ‘weak’ or ‘not a real illness’ in Asian societies. Silver Ribbon (Singapore) aims to change that perception through organising mental health events regularly and commemorating World Mental Health Day annually, and collaborating and getting involved in community outreach to promote local mental health literacy in communities. It also hopes to facilitate the integration of individuals with mental illness into society, and aid in encouraging them to seek help bravely. 

They have various programmes which focus on schools, communities, and the workplace to advocate for mental health. Volunteer with Silver Ribbon to help out with their various areas of need, such as graphic design, or hosting events. You can find out more on how to volunteer here.

Key Takeaways 

As we spread the Christmas joy and spirit to others this season, do remember to keep your well-being in mind too. If you need a helping hand with your personal caregiving, Homage has got you covered. Our Care Pros are all qualified nurses and doctors who can help you conduct simple health screenings, go through physiotherapy exercises, and perform respite care to relieve you of your burdens. 

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References
  1. Meier, A. (2018, September 28). Trash Hero Singapore | Trash Hero World. Trash Hero Singapore. https://trashhero.org/network/trash-hero-singapore/
  2. Honeycombers. (2021, December 6). Lend a hand and earn good karma points: Donate or volunteer at charities this Christmas. Honeycombers Singapore. https://thehoneycombers.com/singapore/volunteer-singapore-christmas-help-community/
  3. Tan, E. J. (2020, December 5). 9 Ways To Volunteer At Christmas Time With Your Family. Little Day Out. https://www.littledayout.com/ways-to-volunteer-at-christmas-time-family-giving-gifting/
  4. Time Out Singapore editors. (2021, February 28). 20 Charities and Organisations To Volunteer At In Singapore. Time Out Singapore. https://www.timeout.com/singapore/things-to-do/places-to-volunteer-at-in-singapore
Category
Lifestyle
About the Writer
Grace Koh
Apart from reading, singing, and plodding up muddy trails, Grace enjoys scribbling notes and thinking up a storm. She is particularly interested in community support for the special needs population, and learning and education.
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