Christmas is just a day away, and for volunteer-driven social initiative Blessings in a Bag (BIAB), this festive season is a truly joyous one.

That’s because BIAB has managed to secure enough gifts for its beneficiaries this festive period. In fact, they have even managed to garner a surplus of gifts that will help tide them through the first few months of 2020. And it’s all thanks to a collaboration with Amazon Singapore’s new campaign, Delivering Smiles, BIAB founder Emily Teng told The Pride.

“It’s a good start to the new year! We are so excited, because for the first time, we aren’t worried about resources for the next year, and that takes a lot off our shoulders,” Teng, 32, shared.

It’s a stark contrast from last year, when Teng had lamented in an interview with The Pride about how corporate companies tend to volunteer for the sake of “disbursing their CSR (corporate social responsibility) funding allocation”.

She also said that most of the items donated ended up being thrown away or rejected, as they were either too worn-out or unusable. Other times, it was because they received items that their beneficiaries had no use for.

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Partnering with Amazon, however, helped BIAB eliminate those problems. With the e-commerce company’s new wishlist feature, all Teng and her non-profit organisation needed to do was to indicate the items they required from donors on Amazon’s website. Donors would then be able to select from the list of items – all of which are brand new – that they would like to purchase for BIAB’s beneficiaries.

“I think there’s balance now. It’s helpful with the wishlist because it’s brand new and it limits the quantity to what we require,” Teng said. “It was frustrating for us (back then) as we wanted to give certain items to our beneficiaries that we know they will benefit from, but it was hard for us to get them.

“With the wishlist now, however, it gives us the ability to control exactly what we need and the quantity required.”

The items on BIAB’s current wishlist, which will be up until Dec 31, includes books, pens, tote bags, biscuits. The items cost as low as $8.

Teng added that this feature from Amazon makes it easier for donors in Singapore to give to charities on a more regular basis. That’s because the hassle of arranging a collection date from the different donors is negated, as Amazon consolidates the purchases and deliver the donated items directly to the charities.

“It flips the script for us. Instead of being dependent on irregular donations, we can now specify what we need, and when we need it. More than just a wishlist, it is also a conversation starter – it allows us to tell others how best they can help us, and what we need,” said Teng.

So if you haven’t made a donation and are intending to do so, check out Amazon’s wishlist feature here.

But if you weren’t intending to do so, we hope this piece will spark your interest to ‘deliver some smiles’, since it wouldn’t take a lot to do so (in terms of time and money). After all, Christmas is all about sharing the joy and love with everyone, especially with those who are in need of our help.