12 Easy, Creative Ways to Give Back This Festive Season

Singapore
By:: 
Lesley Teoh

Don’t just give this Christmas, why not give back instead? Whether you're on a tight budget or strapped for time, you'll love our list of inventively simple ways to make a difference this festive season.

1. Eat, drink and be merry at Timbre

Timbre

[Image Courtesy: Timbre]

Celebrate the holiday season with great food, drink, music and friends at Timbre - all for a good cause (as if we needed another excuse to go out). Just round up your bill to the nearest $10 and the difference will go towards helping patients in need afford medical treatment as part of the Timbre Group and NUHS Fund's "Round Up Lah!" charity initiative. Better yet, Timbre Group will match your contributions dollar for dollar. 

2. Learn to see in darkness

See in Darkness with Society Staples

Step into the world of darkness and get a taste of how it's like navigating around without your sight. As part of Giving Week (29 Nov-5 Dec), Society Staples is holding a series of experiential workshops that aim to build empathy and understanding of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and create a more inclusive Singapore. You can also try your hand at sign language and learn more about the challenges facing persons with intellectual disabilities

3. Embark on a great escape

Beachside house at Pulau Ubin

[Source: Wikimedia Commons]

Explore twelve different interactive walking trails along historic areas of Singapore like Kampong Glam and Pulau Ubin. Each trail benefits a local charity and users will earn ‘donations’ for each completed trail. The corporate donors for each trail will pledge a donation to an associated charity. 

4. Give someone the confidence to nail their dream job 

Is your closet brimming with clothes you’ve only worn once? Guilty of hoarding clothes you’ve bought online cause of that super troublesome returns process?  Donate your gently used work wear to women in need through Dress For Success, which provides a support network, development tools and professional attire. They help women regain their independence and confidence to make a new start and succeed in life. Nailed it.

5. Help break down social barriers

Image Courtesy: LePark Singapore

[Image Credit: Lepark]

At the Human Library, real people are on loan to readers, giving readers the opportunity to listen to their stories first-hand. It’s a safe space to meet new people and engage in conversations that challenge stereotypes and prejudices. Check it out on 29 Nov & 3 Dec at Lepark.

6. Engage in a random act of kindness

Make the world a better place this festive season by spreading kindness and good vibes. It’s the little things that make the biggest impact. It’s as easy as holding the door open for someone, buying coffee for a stranger or writing a thank you note to the auntie who cleans your building.  All it takes is one person or a simple gesture to kick start a ripple effect.

7. Celebrate your everyday heroes

Hush@Community - Hush TeaBar Social Enterprise

When was the last time you took a minute to appreciate an everyday hero like a migrant worker, a cleaner, or a single parent?  Experience mindfulness at Hush as you sit in silence as you reflect in tea, express yourself in tea art and share experiences with these invisible heroes. Check out Hush TeaBar’s  Hush@Community event on 4 Dec. 

8. Become someone’s BFF

Become a volunteer befriender with Lion’s Befrienders and provide social and emotional support to seniors living alone, who are at risk of social isolation. Not only will you be helping someone in need, you’ll also be helping yourself. Studies have shown that people who donate their time have better mental health.

9. Have a meal that helps solve hunger in Singapore.

Kerbside Gourmet Singapore Social Enterprise Food Truck

What if your next meal could satiate another’s hunger? Eat at Kerbside Gourmet and combine our favourite national pastime with a good cause. For every meal you buy, Kerbside Gourmet gives one to needy families in Singapore. What’s more, their food emphasises fresh local produce and contains minimal additives and preservatives. Track the truck’s next location here. Feeling hangry already? Check out our list of restaurants in Singapore that give back

10. Cook a meal for families in need

Volunteer at a local soup kitchen like Willing Hearts, which distributes over 5000 meals to those in need, 365 days a year. Being fully volunteer run, regular volunteers are always needed to help with prepping food, packing meals and cleaning the kitchen. Don't worry, it's noob-friendly and no prior cooking experience is required! 

11. Build a brick for Kampung Kampus.

Ground Up Initiative (GUI) hopes to build a Kampung Kampus

Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) seeks to create a better future by imbuing a strong kampung (community) spirit and sustainability in Singaporeans. Join fellow volunteers during the weekly Balik Kampung programme, which includes activities such as organic farming and art curation to upkeep the Kampung Kampus at Bottle Tree Park. You can also build a brick and help lay the foundations of the community campus

12. Donate pre-loved items or gifts to your local thrift shop.

MINDS thrift shops [Image credit: https://unlikelyladyofleisure.wordpress.com/] 

Not sure what to do with the deluge of Christmas gifts you’ve received? Re-gift them to the thrift stores run by MINDS (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled Singapore), or donate pre-loved items to one of the five MINDS Shops across the island. They accept items such as clothing, books, bags, furniture and toys. MINDS Shops provide employment and an avenue for their intellectually disabled clients to interact with customers, and for us to better understand the challenges they face.

So start celebrating the spirit of giving by lending a hand to those in need!

If you're looking for other ways to make a difference, here's our list of crazy-easy, fool proof socially conscious life hacks

Want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia? Check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.

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