'Tis the season to be giving. From donating to animal shelters to chipping in to help those who have fallen through the cracks, here's a list of simple ways to give back that you can accomplish during your next lunch break.
1. Bosch x Save Our Streets Singapore (SOSD)
Bring your weekend cafe crawl to the Pup-Up Cafe at Bosch Experience Centre (11 Bishan Street 21, Level 4 Singapore 573943) from 10am to 3pm on 18 November (two Saturdays from now). All proceeds from food and drink sales will go directly to SOSD, giving stray dogs a second chance at life. Tuck into customised puppy-themed dishes by retail bistro SPRMRKT and home baker Snowcology. Fleeting Instagrammable moments aside, you can look forward to Patisserie Chef Yamashita hosting a live baking session and dishing out professional tips at the one day only event. Think you and your home are ready for a new addition to the family? The four-legged furry friends from SOSD will also be making a special appearance for an adoption drive. Make reservations here.
Wrap up the year by amping up on quality time with close friends and loved ones. For every reservation made with the code GIVING between Dec 1 to 31, restaurant reservation platform Eatigo will donate $2 to Willing Hearts. Find out more here.
3. Perk by Kate x The Uplift Project
Photo: Perk by Kate
Have pre-loved and new bras to give away? Home-grown lingerie brand, Perk by Kate, is collecting them in support of the Uplift Project, a registered charitable organisation that provides bras to women in disadvantaged communities in the region such as Fiji, Papua New Guidea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Bali. “Here at Perk by Kate, we want to drive awareness to this cause and make a difference to women in less privileged societies. A good bra empowers women to live life with confidence and we want to be a part of that. We are looking for bras (32-42 A-C cup, full cup bras D cup and above), nursing bras, mastectomy bras, swimwear (for fishing!), and new underpants,” says founder of Perk by Kate, Kate Low. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with the header: Bra Donation, and mail your bras to 28 Senang Crescent #05-09 Singapore (416601). Monetary donations are also welcomed to aid in shipping fees. Help out here.
4. Ray of Hope Initiative Limited (ROHI)
An Indonesian in her 30s who married a Singaporean, spoke very basic English and had few Singaporean friends was thrown a curveball when her husband passed away from cancer, leaving her two babies but no will. To complicate matters, she was on a long-term visit pass while her children were local citizens. Then Ray of Home Initiative Limited (ROHI) stepped in.
We worked with her to inherit the house and gave her support while grieving, then she called with plans to improve her English and get a job for enough income to lead a simple life. Thanks to the volunteers as well as her grit and resilience, she attended counselling, confidence-building, and language classes, and was hired, recalls 45-year-old chairman and founder Danny Yong, who is also chief investment officer and founder of investment management company Dymon Asia Capital. Widows face so many obstacles single-handedly, which is why ROHI hopes to help them as well as others in need to raise funds to improve living conditions and get back on their feet. You can help too by donating to ROHI.
If you’ve ever donated only to wonder how the family is doing or if your kindness reached the intended recipient at all, ROHI provides an update on cases with proper accountability and a feedback loop, striving to encourage a sustainable ecosystem where people in Singapore reach out to help one another. “My friends and I would come across news of people or families in Singapore going through difficult times, and often looked for ways to reach out to them to offer help or financial assistance. And when we did manage to donate to the case through an intermediary or platform, more often than not, our money leaving our bank account is the last time we heard about the case,” says Danny of what inspired him to change that. Ongoing cases seeking help can be found here.
5. The Great Giveaway
Wonder what it would be like to casually hang out with MTV VJ and Power 98 DJ Hanli Hoefer and entertainer Kumar? Giving Week, the national giving movement catalysed by the National Volunteers & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) returns for its third edition this year with The Great Giveaway from Nov 28 to Dec 5. Donate to campaigns started by local personalities and stand a chance to win unique experiences. Kumar will be raising funds for Beyond Social Services, a charity which helps children and youths break out of the poverty cycle. He will be giving 50 VIP passes to his 50th birthday show titled “Kumar 50”, taking place at Capitol Theatre. The top five donors will also be given backstage passes. Hanli - who herself has been a long-time owner of dogs - will be supporting the Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter. And one lucky donor will be going on a Gold Class movie date with her!
Explaining this year’s theme, Chief Executive Officer of NVPC Melissa Kwee says, “The Great Giveaway is much more than just about winning prizes - it's a movement meant to encourage Singaporeans to kickstart their giving journey through fun and simple giving activities and to inspire and multiply the spirit of giving in Singaporeans.” Make a contribution here.
6. The Mindful Company x Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
Photo: The Mindful Company
Gift shop and spread the holiday cheer! Conscious contemporary jewellery brand The Mindful Company has designed a 'What's Important Series' to raise awareness for youths battling mental health issues. The five bracelets launched in collaboration with SAMH are inspired by the stories of five youths that the SAMH is working closely with through their YouthReach programmes. The ice-cream ornament is a reminder to appreciate and delight in the small things in life, while the house ornament symbolises the people and things that make you feel most yourself.
The Mindful Company co-founder Ciara Yeo says, "it takes courage to put your hand up and ask for help, and even more so to share your story to encourage others to seek help. We hope the 'What's Important Series' helps to give individuals the courage to get the assistance they need without fear of prejudice and jugement, and prompts the community to start simple conversations around mental health and wellbeing." $10 from each of the $39 bracelets will go to SAMH to raise funds in support of their mental health youth programmes, specifically YouthReach and Creative Services. Love someone like a sister or fancy keeping a thoughtful reminder on your wrist? Check them out here.