5 little ways you can give back before the giving season ends

The Christmas cheer is already upon us—but it’s not too late to do a little good this season of giving. Here are five ways you can give back and end 2017 on a gracious close; it’s as simple as buying a cup.

Wrap up your Christmas shopping at a meaningful market

For the handful still scrambling for last-minute gifts, take your anxiety and your wallet to the Christmas with Impact market, organized by Singapore-based events company Tabula Rasa. Wares include pre-loved goods, but also first-hand trinkets and festive gifts from participating social enterprises. Most importantly, part of the sales will go towards the Bangladesh Refugee Crisis Relief. You can even contribute to the market’s low-waste and upcycling initiatives—the event is BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag), so forget about carting your buys home in plastic bags. Dec 22

Buy a cup of kindness and help the Singapore Children’s Society

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s global initiative takes the form of a “Caring Cup”—a sweet and simple care package consisting of a glass mug and rainbow-sprinkled gingerbread men for $15. Locally, all nett proceeds will be donated to the Singapore Children’s Society, an organization the brand has supported since 2000, and which protects and nurtures children and youth in need. Alternatively, look out for a roving two-meter tall red Christmas cup outside Coffee Bean stores across Singapore, where you can contribute your donations (without buying a cup) from now through Dec 25. Through Dec 25

Cut down on gifts you don’t actually want with Gift-It-Forward

Social enterprise Gift-It-Forward goes straight to the point with its message: Don’t like the useless gifts you often end up receiving at Christmas? Put that money to better use and gift it to a charity instead. But it isn’t as rudimentary as just making a donation. The service essentially combines party planning with gift-giving; when you send out party invitations through the platform, a gift fund is created, of which 50-100% will go towards a charity of your choice. Simply invite your guests to contribute to the gift fund, and whatever remains from the charity donation is yours to pick out a gift you actually like with. It’s like if re-gifting and Kickstarter had a baby, but politer.

Support 7 charities while you have fun in the Marina Bay area

As part of the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown, a specially charted Charity Trail takes participants through a meaningful walking trail through the precinct. Powered by curated trail app LocoMole, the MBSC Charity Trail lets you navigate through 11 hotspots supported by event partners and stakeholders whose adopted charities you can donate to or volunteer your service at. The app has even put together quick reads on the true stories of beneficiaries from the charities. Along the trail, the various stops include arcade-style games and activities that give you the chance to win vouchers to the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival, or return tickets to Tokyo; but obviously that shouldn’t be your motivation to go. Through Dec 31

Volunteer at one of these organizations—or any, really

Any of these groups, along with charities, homes and NGOS, would gladly welcome a helping hand, all-year round. Make some time to do your part, and you might just like the cause enough to stay till after Christmas.