We’ve heard the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”. Perhaps the month of December, with the long holiday stretch and the holiday mood in the air, is the best time to put this into practice. If you have always an interest to volunteer but never knew where or how to start, this post is for you!
Volunteering could be an ad hoc activity like packing goodie bags for a charity event, to crafting with children for an hour a week, to patrolling the streets as a volunteer police officer. I’m sure you can find something that fits your needs and schedule.
Where does one go to volunteer one’s time in Singapore? Read on! (This list is inconclusive!)
CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
If you believe that everyone has the right to enjoy the wind in their hair and are reasonably fit, consider being a pilot with Cycling Without Age, a social enterprise that wants to give elderly people the feeling of ‘riding’ a bicycle again, by cycling them around on a trishaw. The good news is that the trishaw has an electric option that the pilot (rider) can choose to use (I know, my calves panicked a little too)!
Once a week, Lion Befrienders volunteers conduct home visits to elderly persons with little or no family support. Worry not about your ability to converse in dialect; your sincerity is what counts! Find out more here.
Contact: List of centres and contact numbers can be found here (Contact respective centres directly)
You can make a huge difference to an elderly person who lives alone by befriending him or her. You could deliver food, or read their letters to them, or simply be a companion. Sign up here
Contact: 6854 5500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HELPING YOUTH AND CHILDREN
If you love to read, spread that love with children from low income families through storytelling and literacy activities via the Let’s Read Together programme by the National Book Council.
If you are good with youths and children, consider being a volunteer mentor for at-risk children and youth in a school environment. The Sports Tuition and Mentoring Programme (S.T.A.M.P) is looking for mentors to train and improve at-risk children physically, academically and equip them with values and life skills.
Contact: email@example.com or 6567 4166
If you’ve always dreamed of being a pre-school teacher, Beyond Social Services might be the perfect fit for you. It believes in the theory of ‘taking a whole village to raise a child’ and by volunteering your time for to help guide young children, you would be part of that village.
Contact: 6375 2940
If you have a talent in balloon sculpting, magic, enjoy crafting with or reading to little ones, KKH needs volunteers who will bring a smile to their patients’ faces.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 6394 2327
Food from the Heart helps about 25,000 individuals every year. It distributes surplus bread and other perishables to families whose per capita income fall below $450. If you have a car, you can help with deliveries. If you don’t, you can help with packing food items.
10. Willing Hearts
If you’re comfortable in the kitchen, consider helping out at Willing Hearts, a soup kitchen which prepares, cooks and distributes over 5,000 meals island-wide, daily. Many hands make light work and for that many meals, they need all the help they can get in terms of food preparation, cooking, cleaning and delivery. Volunteers required every day from 5.30am!
Contact: 6476 5822 email@example.com
11. Soup Kitchen
Soup Kitchen feeds lower-income persons in the Jalan Besar and Lavender Street. You’ll help by packing and distributing vegetarian dinners to lower-income persons in the Jalan Besar / Lavendar area. They need volunteers every Monday evening.
HELPING THOSE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The Association for Persons with Special Needs requires committed individuals with skills in art, drama or music to help out in their schools and centres, or ad hoc volunteers who can assist in events and school outings. More about volunteering opportunities here.
Contact: 6479 6252
The Autism Resource Centre is constantly looking for people to help their educators with preparation of their teaching materials, and to support their students with school events or outings. Find out more here.
Contact: 6323 3258
OFFERING A HAND TO MIGRANT WORKERS
HOME provides a refuge for migrants escaping from their abusive employers. Can you help conduct English Language classes or vocational skills training? What about health education seminars, or provide counseling and legal support for migrant workers through Help Desks?
Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) champions for fair employment practices for migrant workers in Singapore. You could accompany injured and salary unpaid migrant workers on outings to discover Singapore, or organise outreach programmes to reach out to more migrant workers to spread awareness of TWC2. Find out more on the various programmes available here.
Contact: 6247 7001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthserve provides healthcare for migrant workers without health assistance from their employers. They also provide social services like free meals, subsidized transport or temporary shelter for those who are not able to work while recuperating. If you speak Bengali, you will be able to help follow up with injured workers. If you are a medical professional, please volunteer your services here.
BEING PART OF NATURE
17. National Parks
Is bringing a group of people on a nature trail your cup of tea? If you are one with nature, then being a nature guide would be second nature (haha!) to you. Sign up as a nature guide for Sungei Buloh or Pulau Ubin.
Interested to check and monitor coral bleaching around Singapore? No need to swim or dive to be a reef guide at Singapore’s islands as a volunteer with Blue Water Volunteers.
Fancy a morning of canoeing or kayaking will picking litter on the waters? Then keep your eye out for Waterways Watch Society’s updates for such fun, meaningful and healthy opportunities.
Contact: email@example.com or 9684-0893
If you want to help Singapore remain clean and green, the National Environment Agency needs volunteers to help with spreading the message of dengue prevention, public cleanliness and educating the public on resource conservation. More information here.
Contact: 93 632 632
WORKING WITH ANIMALS
If you’re an animal lover, Animals Concerns Research and Education Society (or better known as ACRES), Singapore’s only dedicated wildlife rescue service, needs you. Join the team to help rescue wild animals or help keep rescued wild animals happy in rehabilitation.
Contact: 9783 7782
If you used to bring homeless animals home as a kid and as an adult now want to do more, ASD opportunities for volunteers to foster homeless and stray puppies to give them a second chance. To find out more about this opportunity and more, go here.
Never had the chance to serve National Service? Now you can. The SAF Volunteer Corps welcomes Singaporeans as well as first generation Permanent Residents (with no commitment to NS) to join and contribute to national defence. You will have to go through a similar form of BMT! Find out more here.
Fancy chasing bad guys, driving the police car and donning the police uniform? If you were part of the Volunteer Special Constabulary team as a Police Officer, you could. And yup, it’s the same uniform! Or you could join the Civil Defence team, the Prisons team or SCORE (Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises), each with a variety of meaningful volunteer options.
Contact (VSC Police): firstname.lastname@example.org 6557 5869
Caritas (the official social and community arm of the Catholic Church of Singapore) also has a range of institutes and roles that need volunteers, ranging from elderly befrienders to manning pregnancy crisis services, befriending the intellectually disabled and their families, to going on overseas mission trips.
Contact: 6338 3448
There is a large range of volunteer roles offered, including counselling for persons undergoing drug rehabilitation, hairdressing for the elderly, recreational facilitators, kitchen helpers and plumbers, electricians and carpenters for the centre. Find out more here.
Contact: 6489 8161
SINDA, the Singapore Development Indian Association, needs both episodic and long term volunteers to help young children to read, guide and mentor youth, and befriend needy families. Can you help? Find out here.
Were you an ex Girl Guide? If so, you might be interested in keeping in touch with your Guiding Spirit by helping out in activities like international projects, or training young Brownies or Guides, or to be badge testers. Find out more here.
If you just want to have a look around to find something that suits your needs, check out Giving.sg it showcases a whole list of roles available with various organisations so you’re bound to find something that fits your requirements.
30. One Singapore
One Singapore strives to make poverty history. It’s a big goal and they need all the help they can get from food packers to those who excel at communication to help spread the word. More info here.
I hope you’ve found one (or more!) that suits you! Happy giving, everyone.