It’s goodwill-to-all time, folks, so spread the love with these Singapore charities (in no particular order).

Wanna throw yourself into the true spirit of giving? Here’s a list of organizations across the spectrum of local charities that could use your help this season—so get involved and spread the goodwill with these good causes.

Food from the Heart (FFTH)

Who they help: Welfare homes and families burdened by financial problems.

How they help: FFTH is best known for collecting unsold bread from bakeries and hotels to be distributed to welfare organizations, families and individuals since 2003. But they also distribute less perishable items such as canned food, rice and Milo as well as used toys to needy families. FFTH also lines up corporate sponsors for Birthday From The Heart, which are its monthly birthday parties held at welfare homes.

How you can get involved: Cash donations are welcome (call 6259-7176 for more info), but they also need toiletries, clean (and working) toys, clear wrappers for their annual toy drive, non-perishable food items, sweets and drinks for their parties, and milk powder. The Bread Distribution Programme involves only 30-45 minutes a week while work at the Self Collection Centre will only take up 1.5 hours a week.

The Salvation Army

Who they help: The sick, the homeless, the disadvantaged, the elderly, troubled youth, children from disadvantaged families, as well as families affected by crime.

How they help: They manage about 20 social service programs and centers, including the Peacehaven Nursing Home, Youth Development Centre, as well as Family Support Service, including the Prison Support Services that counsels and raises funds for affected families, and childcare centers. The Salvation Army also collects donations in kind to be given to their various centers and sells pre-loved items at their four family thrift stores to raise funds.

How you can get involved: Since Christmas is just around the corner, remember to contribute to the red kettle pots you see around town. You can even volunteer as a bell-ringer stationed at these kettle pots on http://sav-opp.blogspot.com . Check out The Salvation Army website for other ways you can donate and contribute time regularly or on an ad-hoc basis.

Action for Aids Singapore (AFA)

Who they help: Those suffering from HIV and AIDS, as well as their loved ones.

How they help: AFA funds various support groups, works with partners like Rockeby Biomed and the National Council of Social Service to provide monetary support for affected families, hold fundraising and awareness outreach programs, and provide free clinics for legal counseling and anonymous HIV testing.

How you can get involved: There are various departments you can contribute in, depending on your interest and expertise. PR professionals, creatives and writers can help put together monthly e-newsletters and large-scale events. If you’re not afraid of blood, they’ll need your help at the HIV Counseling and Testing Clinic. Email info@afa.org.sg for more information. Donations are also welcome via their website.

Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)

Who they help: Low-wage migrant workers suffering from problems like poor living conditions, and language and cultural displacement.

How they help: The TWC2 is best known for their Cuff Road Food Programme in Little India, where restaurants serve free meals to migrant workers while volunteers standby to offer free consultations. But the group’s main aim is to advocate fair treatment for workers and they do so by engaging with policy makers as well as business and community leaders as much as possible.

How you can get involved: You can donate to the cause via www.sggives.org or volunteer your service as an interpreter, Cuff Road Food Programme advisor, website staff or just be a buddy to go for a hospital appointment with.

Yellow Ribbon Project

Who they help: Ex-offenders and their families.

How they help: The Yellow Ribbon Project belongs to the CARE Network, which includes other initiatives such as rehab and aftercare programs so ex-prisoners may integrate better into the society.

How you can get involved: Donate to the Yellow Ribbon Fund to help maintain their activities, sponsor things like goodie bags and transport services for Yellow Ribbon events and volunteer as a road marshal or an usher for large-scale projects like the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. Another way you can show your support is by adopting an artwork created by an inmate via their website or employing an ex-offender.

MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund

Who they help: Children who belong to troubled or impoverished families.

How they help: MILK focuses on raising awareness and funds for children and youth born into disadvantaged families. They also partner with Beyond Social Services to manage groups that counsel children abandoned by parents and teenage mothers.

How you can get involved: Besides donating (at www.sggives.org/milkfund) you can also volunteer in various areas of expertise such as editorial, photography and administrative support. MILK also organizes events such as the Share-A-Meal campaign held on the seventh day of the Lunar New Year where you can help fill up donation tins with “lunch money” for the kids.

Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES)

Who they help: All animals in need of welfare and protection.

How they help: ACRES’s current causes include the fight against the use of endangered animals in TCM, the cessation of puppy mills, the release of the “World’s Saddest Dolphins” at the upcoming Marine Life Park, an end to shark fin soup and the maintenance of Singapore’s wildlife.

How you can get involved: Be a Wildlife Guardian at the ACRES Wildlife Rescue Centre and assist in caring for the animals there. You’ll be required to attend a training program, which takes place over four weekends. The ACRES Wildlife Rescue Team also serves a key purpose, helping to save local wildlife, pets kept in inappropriate conditions and to help remove animals that wander into homes (snakes, usually). You can also provide support at roadshows, fundraising events and educational presentations, find out more about “Cruelty-Free” products available in Singapore and report any suspected sale of banned animal products.

Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Who they help: Abandoned and abused animals.

How they help: An iconic name in animal welfare, the SPCA advocates responsible pet ownership. They also provide shelters for animals, investigate reports about cruelty and offer 24-hour emergency medical service for animals.

How you can get involved: You can make monetary donations or volunteer to house young animals as part of the SPCA’s FosterCare program. The SPCA gets an overwhelming number of volunteer applications so new opportunities to apply as a volunteer only come up from time to time. Keep tabs on SPCA at www.facebook.com/spcasingapore.

World Vision Singapore

Who they help: Underprivileged children from around the world.

How they help: Helping improve the lives of children affected by natural disasters, war and injustice by providing them with education, healthcare and proper nutrition.

How you can get involved: For as little as $45 a day, you can help change the life of your sponsored child (there are over 5,000 from 14 countries awaiting sponsorship). In return, you’ll get pictures of him/her, an annual report about their progress and opportunities to correspond with them. Check out their website for more details.

Singapore Red Cross

Who they help: People around the region and beyond in need of relief from conflict or catastrophe.

How they help: As part of the international federation of Red Cross societies, SRC provides assistance in health care, humanitarian logistics, migration and disaster management.

How you can get involved: SRC needs writers, photographers/videographers, event planners, drivers, artists, phone operators, performers and first aiders. You can also simply provide blood. Download an application form at SRC’s website.


Donating made easy

Online charity portal SG Gives was launched in 2010 so you can donate to your favorite charities anytime, anywhere. There are no extra charges—every cent you give goes to the charity. This non-profit initiative has been successful in garnering monetary donations for many local charities (it raised $5 million in its first year), and accepts credit card and Internet banking payments.