Chinese New Year is most commonly associated with the word ‘Huat’, which means gaining wealth and abundance in Mandarin. This season, amidst all the red packet business, let us take a step back from the ordinary to see what we can do for the less fortunate. It won’t cost you a penny!
This article was inspired by a discussion thread over at the Seedly Personal Finance Facebook Group, where one of our members posted this question:
“Would you give $2 to an elderly lady when she begs for it?”
Unknowingly, this is a financial decision we make every day when we chance upon people seeking donations at the train station or food court. My answer to this would be yes if I were financially comfortable. If not, there are always other kind ways you can help the less fortunate in Singapore.
Here are 3 ways you can give back to society this CNY that do not involve cash donations:
1. Donate items you don’t need
Spring cleaning for Chinese New Year can leave you with tons of books, household appliances and clothing you no longer need. Instead of throwing them out, drop off these items to the following places for people who need them more.
The Salvation Army – Red Shield Industries
The Red Shield Industries is The Salvation Army’s social enterprise arm which retails in-kind donations at their Family thrift stores around Singapore.
In-kind donations include clothing, furniture, household goods, electronic devices, toys and books. Anything in good condition will be processed and retailed to those in need.
Similarly, Pass-It-On is a non-profit project that distributes unwanted, useful items to the needy. It is a platform which connects the public to Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs), showing what the needy from various organisations such as senior citizen centres family service centres need. These items can range from Baby Formula Milk to working refrigerators, all important items that can make an impact on many people’s everyday lives.
2. Distribute and donate food
As you clear out your cabinets this festive season to make way for all the new year goodies, donate your unopened and unused non-perishable food items to charity.
Food from the heart
Food from the heart aims to alleviate hunger in Singapore through their food distribution programmes. Collated food packs get distributed to welfare homes of the needy or placed at self-collection centres around Singapore which provide essential food items to other needy families and individuals on a regular basis. Take note, food items you donate must be at least four weeks before expiry!
Drop off these food items at:
130 Joo Seng Road #03-01
Office hours: Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5 pm.
The Food Bank Singapore
The Food Bank Singapore similarly collects food products from not only F&B Companies and restaurants but also families and individuals. These food items will be sorted and sent to beneficiaries such as family service centres and elderly nursing homes.
Willing Hearts is Singapore’s Soup Kitchen that opens daily prepares, cooks and distributes about 5,000 daily meals to over 40 locations islandwide, 365 days a year. Their beneficiaries include the poverty-stricken families and individuals, low-income families, children from single-parent families, migrant workers and so on.
Many volunteers have been volunteering weekly at their soup kitchens from as early as 5am in the morning to cut vegetables and wash poultry in order to provide for the less fortunate in Singapore.
Have a spirit like this? Willing hearts accept ad hoc or regular volunteers.
3. Spring clean for the elderly
Central Singapore (CDC) holds Silver Homes, which aims to provide a healthy, safe and clean living environment for seniors staying in rental units. The programme seeks to promote both the mental and physical well-being of seniors through the clearing of homes, installation of energy-efficient light bulbs, painting, cleaning, bed bug fumigation and more.
Want to help? You can sign up as a group of at least ten people or as an individual.
If you any personal finance questions, even ones as unassuming as the one we posted above, head over to our Seedly Community where our helpful members will discuss it together with you!