Do we really need special days (like Singapore Kindness Day on May 30) to do our part for the less fortunate? Here are nine ways you can make a difference with your efforts, not your money (not really anyway):
1. Crash a karaoke party
Socialize, sing and dance with wheelchair-bound patients at Bright Vision Hospital‘s (5 Lorong Napiri, 6248-5755, www.bvh.org.sg) Karaoke and Entertainment sessions, which will help improve their cognitive and physical functions. The sessions are held every first and third Wednesday of the month from 2.45-4.45pm.
2. Be a Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) docent
To spread awareness, volunteers will be stationed in WRS parks, like the River Safari, to engage the crowd and play games, equipped with tools such as animal artifacts. Participants go through an initial eight-week training program. For more information, visit education.wrs.com.sg or email [email protected].
3. Clean up nice
Lend a hand at Home Maintenance, a monthly outreach activity by Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities that provides cleaning services and basic D-I-Y tasks such as basic repairs and plumbing. No training is needed—just dress comfortably for cleaning duties and bring a change of clothes and water. For more information on the dates or to sign up, visit www.thkmc.org.sg/volunteer or call 6276-4769.
4. Trawl North Bridge Road and Little India
Who says charity work only happens in the waking hours? While the rest of the world is counting sheep, you can do good with the Willing Hearts Street Charity program. Once a week, in the wee hours between 10:30pm and 3am, volunteers distribute bread and bottled water to the homeless and foreign laborers in the areas. To find out more, call Tony at 6476 -5822 or email [email protected].
5. Run on a treadmill
Fitness buffs, participate in Run For Cover, a team treadmill challenge. The finale on June 21 will see 10 teams slogging it out on the treadmill for 24 hours, and every 30km clocked by each team will translate into free treatment for one elderly person suffering from cataracts.
6. Collect money from strangers
The Singapore Heart Foundation is seeking volunteers for its Hearty Flag Day on July 5. Each shift lasts for three and a half hours, and reporting stations include Heart Wellness Centre @ Bishan Central and Tampines Regional Library. To register, contact [email protected] or call 6354-9336.
7. Impart your knowledge
Looking for a long-term cause to contribute to? Sign up with Children’s Society, where you can volunteer to facilitate camps and workshops and even tutor kids at various service centers across the island. You’ll only need to help out once a week or once a month; however, the vacancies usually require a minimum of six or twelve months’ commitment, so they’re perfect for those looking to do good on a regular basis and form meaningful relationships with the children.
8. Walk bare-footed
Leave your shoes at home for charity in Habitat for Humanity‘s 2.5km and 5km walking event Bare Your Sole. Stroll in an unadulterated state alongside others at the calm and scenic landscape of Gardens By The Bay East. There’s also a 100km challenge that can be undertaken solo or as a team. Registration closes June 15.
9. Donate your books
Pack your old dictionaries, encyclopedias, picture and story books—good condition, please—and drop them off at Plain Vanilla Bakery for Project Bookmatters, a non-profit initiative that’s collecting reads for the less-fortunate children in Southeast Asia to help further their literacy. The charity book drive is on from June 8 to September 9.