9 Ways to Be More Giving This Christmas

by Ng Mei Yan & Carissa Wong
LIFESTYLE  |  December 19, 2018
  • 'Tis the season for giving
    1 / 10 'Tis the season for giving

    Gifts are exchanged all over the world as the festive season rolls around. But before getting all wrapped up in shopping sprees, we can all consider other ways to embrace the spirit of generosity. Some examples: making a point to smile to strangers, telling mum “I love you”, and of course, contributing to a good cause. Here, we’ve rounded up a few that are worth getting behind.

    (Also read: 3 Reasons Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Health)

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  • Share The Meal
    2 / 10 Share The Meal

    Created by the United Nations, this mobile app allows users to pledge money to provide food for those in need. There are different campaigns within the app where you can choose to donate to. You will be able to see faces of beneficiaries, pictures of communities at risk, and the percentage of goal met. Users can pledge any amount or select based on duration – $0.70 feeds a child for a day, $4.90 for a week, $21 for a month, $63 for three months or $255 for a year.

    For a more personal experience, you can also do monthly donations where the app will pair you up with a family and you will be able to see your impact. Instead of buying expensive chocolates and wine, why not pledge to help children in need? You can learn more on their website.

    (Also read: Where To Donate Your Pre-Loved Stuff)

    Photo: Share The Meal

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  • Red Cross Blood Donation
    3 / 10 Red Cross Blood Donation

    Every hour, 15 bags of blood are used. 120000 units of blood are needed every year for transfusion, which equates to 400 units a day. Just 60 minutes of your time can save three lives. You contribution becomes more important during the holiday season as blood donations tend to dip by 20 per cent. Keep your eyes peeled for blood donation drives around your community or even in school. Alternatively, you can make a blood donation at any of the four blood banks in Singapore, located at Health Sciences Authority, Dhoby Ghaut, Woodlands, and Westgate Tower.

    Opening hours are on the Red Cross website or call 6220 0183 for more information. Appointments can be made four days in advance to minimise waiting. Volunteering at the Red Cross and gifting home monitoring or eldercare are other ways you can help.

    (Also read: Your Quick Guide to Blood Donation)

    Photo: Red Cross

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  • Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP)
    4 / 10 Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP)

    For patients who are down with blood cancer or other blood-related diseases, getting a bone marrow transplant is their last-option treatment for survival. But the chances of finding a match is just 1 in 20,000.

    To help, you can simply enter yourself into the BDMP donor database. You will just need to provide a cheek swab and your contact details. If you happen to be a match for a patient, someone from the organisation will  be in touch – and you will get to literally save a life.

    Visit the BMDP website for more information.

    Photo: BMDP Facebook page

    (Also read: She Signs Up as a Bone Marrow Donor After Mum Survives Leukaemia)

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  • "Keeping Girls in School" Programme
    5 / 10 "Keeping Girls in School" Programme

    Condom maker Durex has partnered with (Red) to create a limited edition bundle ($19.90) for World Aids Day on Dec 1. Funds raised from sales will go towards the “Keeping Girls in School” programme in South Africa. The programme aims to reduce new HIV infections and pregnancies among young women by encouraging girls to continue their education and improving access to sexual health and reproductive services.

    The limited edition box set includes four boxes of condoms and a lubricant.

    Available on Lazada and Redmart

    Photo: Durex

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  • Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)
    6 / 10 Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)

    Every year, animals are being confiscated in illegal wildlife trade. While the perps are put away, the homeless animals are then fostered by ACRES. The organisation provides a safe place for these wildlife to recover and rehabilitate before they are returned to their native country, if possible.

    There are several ways to contribute, including donating, volunteering and buying merchandise from the ACRES online shop. Visit the website for more information.

    (Also read: She Runs Marathons to Raise Funds for Needy Dogs)

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  • Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore (RDA)
    7 / 10 Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore (RDA)

    The RDA provides horseback riding as a form of therapy and relaxation to people with mental and physical disabilities. Their beneficiaries include both children and adults, and receive the sessions without any charge. The activity is liberating and builds confidence – even the wheelchair-bound can experience the sensation of walking tall on a horse.

    The RDA welcomes both volunteers and donations. Visit the website for more information.

    Photo: RDA Singapore website

    (Also read: She Volunteers To Run With People With Disabilities)

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  • Casa Raudha
    8 / 10 Casa Raudha

    Casa Raudha is a shelter for women (and their children) who are victims of domestic abuse. The centre provides a safe space for recovery, and courses to equip residents with employable skills and knowledge. Programmes are planned for children too to help in their emotional and academic development.

    You may donate, volunteer or purchase corporate gifts (handmade crafts) from Casa Raudha. Visit the website for more information.

    Image: Casa Raudha website

    (Also read: Pregnant And Depressed? You’re Not Alone)

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  • A Packet of Rice
    9 / 10 A Packet of Rice

    While most of us have no problems affording three square meals a day, there are some who aren’t as fortunate. A Packet of Rice is an informal set-up bringing together volunteers to distribute meals to low-income residents in 1- to 2-room flats. You can follow the group on their schedule or gather a volunteer group in your own estate. Another way to help is to sponsor the meals.

    Visit the Facebook page for more information or email apacketofrice@gmail.com.

    Photo: A Packet of Rice Facebook page

    (Also read: Where to Volunteer in Singapore – 20 Ideas We Love)

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  • Nature Society (Singapore)
    10 / 10 Nature Society (Singapore)

    Nature Society (Singapore) is a non-government non-profit organisation that aims to appreciate, conserve, and study the environment. They host events and activities that you can join, volunteer, or donate to. Be observant with butterfly sightings to see if you can contribute to their feeding records of butterflies in Singapore and Malaysia. If you don’t like insects, you can help out with horseshoe crab rescue and research to understand more about these little known animals. They also host maintenance projects at Kranji Marshes to help clean up the environment.

    To help these wildlife, it’s important to slow down your rate of consumption too. Start by replacing one-use items with reusable ones from green stores like Unpackt and The Sustainability Project.

    (Also read: 5 Doable Tips to Live a More Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Life (Besides Recycling))

    Photo: Nature Society (Singapore)

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