Creative Ways of Giving Back

There are many ways to give your time, talent and treasures to support a more inclusive community. Chai Pei Shan, a Challenge contributor from SkillsFuture Singapore, shares how you can use your skills and resources to enjoy learning and giving back.
Give your time, talent and treasures to support a more inclusive community.

Giving gives life to both the giver and receiver. For the giver, besides spending time bonding with friendly colleagues or loved ones, research shows that giving provides many physical and mental health benefits – lower blood pressure and a greater sense of happiness, among them.

Having a sense of purpose outside of business-as-usual could be just what you need for a year-end recharge, while you contribute to a more inclusive society.

Treasure

The Gift of Empowerment Through Food

Dine and do good at Dignity Kitchen and The Social Kitchen. Dignity Kitchen is Singapore’s first social enterprise food court that trains the differently-abled to prepare and retail food. At its space in Boon Keng or with takeaways, you can savour local delights (from nasi lemak to western bento boxes and high-tea snacks) while supporting differently-abled people.

Want to learn to cook, bake or use basic sign language? Organise a team bonding or CSR activity with colleagues at Dignity Kitchen. Rediscover heritage culture and engage with the differently-abled community.

The Social Kitchen is a social enterprise that helps vulnerable communities by creating sustainable jobs through food. By dining here, you are empowering a person from a vulnerable community to provide for himself by learning new skills. Find the outlets at the YMCA, Gardens by the Bay and other locations.

Make a difference in their lives by empowering them to reintegrate in society!
Source: Yellow Ribbon Singapore Facebook

At The Social Kitchen, you can also support the inmates at Yellow Ribbon Industries Bakery, who showcase their baking skills with delightful cookies. Buying these “cookies for second chances” provides hope for acceptance in their reintegration journey. Part of the sales proceeds will go to the Yellow Ribbon Fund. Yellow Ribbon Singapore provides skills training and empowers inmates/ex-offenders to provide for themselves.

Or donate a $10 meal to a charity of your choice (e.g., CARE Singapore, Touch Community Services, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home). As part of its Feed 100 bellies for $1000 initiative, the Social Kitchen will cook, pack and deliver to your chosen charity.

The Gift of Play and Creativity

Playeum is a local charity that supports children from marginalised backgrounds and children with varying disabilities to develop their confidence, creativity, school motivation through play and the arts.

For Playeum’s year-end fundraiser, donations will go to artful play programmes in 2022 for children and their supporting adults from five different low income / marginalised communities.

Give the Gift of Experience

Donate your SingapoRediscovers vouchers to a charity before December 31, 2021. Consider giving:

The Gift of the Uniquely Handmade

Shop for handmade woven gifts at Connezt Dots (online shop), a social enterprise that supports employment for the less privileged such as single mothers and low-income families. Pick from bliss blankets with embroidered names, masks, bags, hampers, and nifty home/office accessories.

  • Want to pick up a new/sewing skill? You can organise customised Bliss Blankets workshops for bonding with your colleagues or loved ones.
  • Additionally, pledge for Five Stones to be sewn by the ladies and Connezt Dots will deliver the game to you or a special education school of your choice.
Shop for handmade woven gifts made by the less privileged such as single mothers and low-income families.
Source: Connezt Dots

Shop for Christmas gifts at Her Rise Above, a volunteer-led initiative that provides skills mentorship to women facing financial instability. Shop for homemade crafts or bakes, or gift a meal and empower ladies from vulnerable backgrounds running home-based businesses.

Shop for homemade crafts or bakes, or gift a meal and empower ladies from vulnerable backgrounds.

The Art Faculty is a social enterprise by Autism Resource Centre (Singapore) that promotes creativity, craft culture and visual art. Check out the flagship store at Enabling Village to explore conscious gifting and support these differently-abled artists through gifts/artwork.

Shop for designs by artists with autism, who receive royalties for each purchase.
Shop for designs by artists with autism, who receive royalties for each purchase.
Source: The Art Faculty

Need more gift ideas? Shop for good at Fairmarch’s Giving Bazaar (till Dec 31) to support various charities.

Time

Give Your Time by Walking

Walk or run outdoors with your colleagues and loved ones – join the global #WalkForInclusion (organised by Special Olympics Asia Pacific) and show your support for children with intellectual disabilities.

Simply record your walk, upload your videos, use the hashtag #WalkForInclusion and tag @humanraceasia. Every action you take can help make a difference to many more children, like seven-year-old Singaporean, Hadbaa!

Show your support for children with intellectual disabilities.
Source: Special Olympics Asia Pacific

Ride on New Adventures

Love horses and helping out? Combine the best of both at Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Singapore. The RDA provides Horse Riding therapy (Equine Assisted Therapy & Hippotherapy) to people with physical and learning disabilities.

Volunteer together for team bonding or to learn a new skill, perhaps? On-the-job training will be provided.

Talent

Share the Gift of Literacy and Life Skills

How about bonding with your colleagues or family by beating social inequality, one word at a time? Volunteer with the ReadAble community, which champions literacy for children through weekly reading, storytelling and language arts classes. Hear from a ReadAble volunteer who teach English to underprivileged children living in Jalan Kukoh, a rental housing neighbourhood.

Volunteer Where You Work or Live

At SG Cares Volunteer Centres all across Singapore, you can find a range of causes you can contribute to within your neighbourhood.

Causes at Giving.sg include options for donations or volunteering time and skills. Choose to donate towards migrant workers’ needs, for example. Grow the next generation of givers by starting a fundraiser with your children, or pledge your birthday gift donations to a charity of your choice.

Volunteer as a driver with Sathya Sai Social Service to ferry the elderly to medical appointments or deliver meals, for example. Want to flex your graphic design or video skills? Design communication collaterals for the Ostomy Association of Singapore, a group of colorectal cancer survivors providing support to patients and caregivers, or produce videos to provide support to the ADHD community.

With various filters to match different causes and suit various experience levels of giving, there’s sure to be something for you.

For more stories like this, subscribe to the Challenge newsletter or follow the Challenge Telegram channel.

  • POSTED ON
    Dec 10, 2021
  • TEXT BY
    Chai Pei Shan
  • ILLUSTRATION BY
    Mushroomhead
  • link facebook
  • link twitter
  • link whatsapp
  • link email