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The school holidays are here again!
There are plenty of activities to do during the holidays and most of us are planning a well-deserved break from school and work.
Aside from the usual shopping, eating and chilling out activities, why not consider doing something different?
Volunteer work isn’t just a great way to help others, it also gives us a mood boost when we know that we are spending our time doing something meaningful for someone else.
So here are some ways to give back and pay it forward during the June holidays:
Pack care packages: Hao Ren Hao Shi (Good people Good Deeds)
Time is all you need.
Once a month, volunteers from local non-profit Hao Ren Hao Shi gather to pack and deliver foodstuff and daily necessities for low-income families, vulnerable seniors and migrant workers.
Even though the delivery happens only once a month, preparations take longer as the care packages include more than 20 items, thanks to generous sponsors.
Volunteers are needed to help pack and distribute these packages. For more information on how you can help out or donate, check out its Facebook page.
Help someone who lives nearby: Kampung Kakis
It’s a simple idea: Help those or seek help from those who live near us.
KampungKakis is a neighbourhood buddy system that supports the elderly and needy by connecting resident volunteers with their neighbours-in-need based on proximity, assistance type and spoken language.
When one of its co-founders Li Mei got Covid at the start of the pandemic, she was inspired by the tireless efforts of the healthcare frontliners to start Kampung Kakis.
Through a Telegram group, you can ask for help or find volunteering opportunities. For example, tutor a child who lives nearby, accompany someone for their doctor’s appointment or even help out someone who needs essential household items.
The group updates daily with new volunteer activities.
Sign up at bit.ly/kampungkakisvolunteer.
Clean the environment: Little Green Men & Clean and Green Singapore
There’s so much we can do to create a more eco-friendly lifestyle. There are many green initiatives in Singapore, including Little Green Men Singapore, which organises coastal cleanups and other environmental events.
It also partners other volunteer groups to come up with opportunities for Singaporeans to help our environment. To start volunteering, check out its Facebook page.
If you want a bigger picture of how your efforts can make Singapore a green city, visit Clean and Green Singapore, which aims to inspire us to care for and protect our environment by adopting a clean and sustainable lifestyle.
Check out how you can volunteer, including in dengue prevention efforts, food waste reduction and cleanliness campaigns.
Read things forward: National Library Board
Instead of just going to your local library to borrow books this school holiday, why not volunteer?
There is always work to do, curating books and events, helping sort and stack books, reading and interacting with children and even transcribing handwritten documents for archival!
Head to the National Library Board’s volunteer page for a list of programmes.
Work with youths: Hey, You Got Mail!
Hey, You Got Mail! is a non-profit ground up initiative that aims to combat social isolation among seniors in Singapore. Founded during the pandemic, their aim is to bring smiles to the faces of our elderly in Singapore.
As volunteers, you can hand write and decorate cards that will be given to seniors, and even distribute the cards personally for a chance to interact with the seniors and get to know them. Today, they have delivered more than 10,000 cards.
Scrapbook edition is another side project done by the team where volunteers head down to nursing homes and senior activity centres to interact and make meaningful connections with the seniors by co-sharing a scrapbook.
Those interested can check out their website for more information on how to get started.
Visit needy seniors: The New Charis Mission (TNCM)
Beyond a halfway house for ex-drug addicts and ex-offenders, TNCM operates a Residential Rehabilitation Programme which helps individuals move from past failures and destructive lives to develop a new mindset and value system.
One of their 5 mission goals is to help bring joy, comfort and meaning to the elderly in Singapore through weekly visits, home refurbishments, festive celebrations, and regular home cleanings.
Those interested can view their website for ways to volunteer and attend their events.
Love cats? Love Kuching Project
Do you love cats? If you do, this is the perfect opportunity for you to help these adorable furry animals. Love Kuching Project is a cat rescue group in Singapore that cares for critically ill and injured community cats.
Due to the pandemic, the number of visitors is restricted at its shelter but there are other volunteer opportunities like donating food and advocating for the wellbeing of cats in our community. Those interested can reach out via Facebook and Instagram.
Something for dog lovers too: Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
For the dog lovers, here is the perfect opportunity to help these furballs! Action for Singapore Dogs Society is a non-profit animal welfare group with a no-kill philosophy, devoted to helping the stray and abandoned dogs in Singapore through rescue, rehoming, sterilisation, advocacy and awareness.
There are many ways you can help out from fundraising, rescuing, fostering and many more. Reach out to them via their website to find out more about what you can do to help.
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For the Art Lovers: National Arts Council
The National Arts Council (NAC)’s Arts Volunteers Programme offers a diversity of opportunities for people to volunteer in the arts, including various festival platforms and events organised by arts groups.
New volunteers will attend an industry orientation session for an overview of the upcoming volunteering opportunities available.
As an art volunteer, you will get the opportunity to support artists and arts organisations in many ways. For example, help promote art events and activities in Singapore, be the face of art events and many more.
Those interested in finding out more can check out their website.
Raise funds for kindness: Giving.SG
If you still don’t know where to start, visit Giving.sg. It’s a one-stop national giving platform to donate, volunteer and fundraise for any of the over 600 registered non-profits in Singapore.
There are different causes such as animal welfare, arts and heritage and many more.
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The website is easy to navigate — you can choose between virtual or physical events and there are even suggestions for those who are new to volunteering.
You are never too young, too old or too late to start helping others!