In Singapore, there are so many great ways to give back to society and foster a generous spirit. If you and your family are planning on volunteering together, these organisations and foundations in Singapore are some of the best places to start.
1 / 21Load more
2 / 21 Singapore Children's SocietyLoad more
Make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families in need. Specific volunteering opportunities are found on their website and include duties such as giving tuition and helping out at fundraising events.
Find out more at https://www.childrensociety.org.sg/
3 / 21 Beyond Social ServicesLoad more
This non-profit organisation, which has served more than 10,000 households in Singapore, aims to help children and youths from less privileged backgrounds to break out of the poverty cycle. Whether it’s running an activity for the children, sharing a hobby or skill, or simply listening to the youth, there are many ways you can contribute your time and efforts here.
Find out more at http://www.beyond.org.sg/
4 / 21 Make A Wish FoundationLoad more
The only wish-granting foundation in Singapore, it helps children who are battling life-threatening medical conditions. Wish-granting volunteering opportunities are based on word-of-mouth recommendations but you can get involved in other ways – administrative support (during office hours) or help with transportation if you have a big car or van. If you’re good at graphic design, you can also help with their publications and marketing collaterals.
5 / 21 The Salvation ArmyLoad more
Having been in Singapore since 1935, this organisation reaches out to the needy in our society, such as children who need care, aged residents who need nursing care and families who need basic material things.
Even though it’s a Christian organisation, it helps people regardless or race or religion. As a volunteer, you can support one of their existing programmes or initiate a project that will benefit those under their care. Opportunities include academic volunteering for children and raising funds or organising collection drives.
6 / 21 National LibraryLoad more
A perfect volunteering opportunity for bookworms, you’ll get to spread your love for books with children. Become a Friend of the Library and you’ll get to organise enriching programmes for the community or deliver books to those who are unable to visit libraries. Or be a kidsREAD volunteer and get involved in reading sessions for underprivileged children.
For more information, go to https://www.nlb.gov.sg/
(Also read: Family volunteer vacations: What you must know)
7 / 21 SPCALoad more
If you want to do your bit for furry friends instead, become a volunteer here. Do note that volunteers have to commit for at least four consecutive months, on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Clean the animal shelters, man the animal shelter office or simply walk the dogs – there are loads of duties to choose from.
Find out more at http://www.spca.org.sg/ and more animal causes you can volunteer with your kids.
8 / 21 Movements For Intellectually Disabled Of Singapore (Minds)Load more
This voluntary welfare organisation provides services to people with intellectual disabilities and works very closely with volunteers. You can sign up as a regular or ad hoc volunteer and opportunities include teaching, training and administrative work. They also need professionals to donate their skills in areas such as photography, food and nutrition, medicine and wellness therapies.
9 / 21 Bright Vision HospitalLoad more
This community hospital serves needy patients who require immediate and long-term medical care and volunteers are considered an important part in their journey to recovery.
Regular volunteering activities include being a befriender, helping with patients’ physical activities, patient group activities, taking patients on sponsored outings and taking part in patients’ birthday celebrations.
Find out more at www.bvh.org.sg/for-volunteers
10 / 21 Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support LimitedLoad more
This organisation gives a helping hand to teenagers with unplanned pregnancies and you can be a part of this outreach too. Be a befriender to these teens, provide pre- or post-natal care and advice, conduct programmes and workshops or even help with publicity for the organisation.
Find out more at http://babes.org.sg/support-volunteers/
11 / 21 Association Of Women For Action And Research (Aware)Load more
Best known as Aware, this gender equality advocacy group has a range of volunteer opportunities available. And, best of all, there’s the flexibility of choosing tasks that are either on-site or can be done remotely.
Options include administrative tasks, manning helplines for women in distress and being a part of the Befrienders Service, which supports women who have been victims of domestic violence or have undergone psychological trauma. You have to register on their website to be a volunteer.
Find out more at http://www.aware.org.sg/register/volunteer-centre/ or email email@example.com
12 / 21 Singapore Red Cross SocietyLoad more
The Red Cross organises a lot of activities throughout the year and volunteers are always needed to provide support during these busy times. You can assist in administrative or logistical duties, or at events such as blood donation drives and flag days.
Find out more at https://www.redcross.sg/get-involved/be-a-member-or-volunteer.html
13 / 21 Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)Load more
This is a non-profit organisation and you can make a difference in the lives of migrant workers by volunteering here. Help with outreach by distributing flyers and surveys to foreign workers where they congregate on their days off, accompany injured and unpaid workers on fun days out or provide a friendly smile and a listening ear to injured workers and workers in salary disputes with their employers. Or help with research, case work or at public engagements, to bring more awareness to the organisation.
Find out more at http://twc2.org.sg/getinvolved/volunteer/
14 / 21 Institute of Mental HealthLoad more
Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, patients at this psychiatric hospital often feel lonely as they don’t have contact with people apart from medical professionals. Volunteers help to normalise their lives, by making them feel that they are not forgotten by society.
If you choose to volunteer here, you’ll be taken through an orientation programme to prepare you for your activities. You can plan outdoor activities, take them on outings, help in rehabilitative activities or simply keep them company and lend them a listening ear.
Find out more at www.imh.com.sg
15 / 21 Lions BefriendersLoad more
If you’ve always felt comfortable with elderly folk, this is where you should volunteer. A befriender conducts weekly home visits, to help relieve the loneliness and isolation felt by seniors.
Or volunteer to teach skills to seniors at the centres – baking, simple exercise or crafts are just a few examples. And if you really have time to spare, be a CAN (Caring Assistance from Neighbours) carer, where you’ll visit vulnerable seniors at their homes (up to three times a week) and work with staff to promote the overall well-being of elderly folk.
Find out more at http://www.lionsbefrienders.org.sg/
16 / 21 Singapore After-Care AssociationLoad more
A voluntary welfare organisation that helps offenders, ex-offenders and their families to get back on their feet.
Activities under their Volunteer After-Care Programme include befriending, as a support to help ex-offenders re-integrate into society successfully, and the Initiative for Incarcerated Mothers and Affected Children. Note that you’ll have to go through an interview and training before you can get involved in their volunteer programme.
Find out more at http://www.saca.org.sg/
17 / 21 Silver RibbonLoad more
The mission here is to instil a positive attitude towards mental health among the community. Sign up as a volunteer if you want to be involved as a photographer, event coordinator, speaker, graphic designer, administrative assistant or IT technician. An application form can be found online here.
Find out more at http://www.silverribbonsingapore.com/
18 / 21 Alzheimer's Disease AssociationLoad more
If you care for people with dementia, their caregivers and their families, sign up as a volunteer here. Opportunities include supporting staff at one of the day care centres, acting as a guardian to the elderly during outings or get involved in their in-house support services.
Find out more at http://www.alz.org.sg/
19 / 21 Willing HeartsLoad more
Operating a soup kitchen 365 days a year, Willing Hearts prepares, cooks and distributes about 5,000 meals to the needy every day. Help them with the preparation of meals or with food collection or delivery duties.
Drop them an email to tell them you’d like to get involved – at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more at http://www.willinghearts.org.sg/
20 / 21 Touch Community ServicesLoad more
Serving the needy and disadvantaged, Touch invites volunteers to see what a difference you can make to the community – and to yourself too. Sign up and you could soon be involved in their Meals-on-Wheels food delivery programme or accompanying the elderly to hospital check-ups.
Find out more at http://www.touch.org.sg/
21 / 21 Singapore Anti-Narcotics AssociationLoad more
SANA has been fighting for the cause of preventing drug abuse since 1972 and you can join its journey to a drug-free Singapore. Volunteering opportunities can be found on their website and range from photographers at events to para-counsellors at the drop-in centre.
Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/SANASpore/
(Kid’s photo: 123RF.com)
A version of this article first appeared in Her World and Singapore Women’s Weekly.