Story

8 Lesser-Known Causes to Give to This Christmas

The most popular causes we give to are children and youth, the elderly and healthcare. But what other causes you can support this Christmas?

By Miranda Zhang, a volunteer writer with NVPC. 

Animal Welfare

Animal-Welfare.jpg?mtime=20171205145848#asset:215936

Why it matters: 

A philosopher once said, “He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men.” While the number of animal welfare groups here in Singapore has grown, so has the number of high-profile cases of animal abuse. Abandoned critters remain a concern as our pet population grows. Mass euthanasia is not a solution!  

Did you know? 

In 2016, there were around 60,000 stray cats and 7,000 stray dogs in Singapore, but only less than 5% had a chance of being re-homed.

How you can help: 

Help stray dogs and cats find a forever home. For just $60 a month, you can help ensure a furry baby is well-fed in the hands of Animal Lovers League. Visit Giving.sg for more avenues on how you can contribute to animal welfare causes

Arts & Heritage

Arts_Heritage.jpg?mtime=20171205145849#asset:215937

Why it matters: 

Singapore’s arts and heritage are markers of our history as a nation and shared identity as a people. They bridge communities and remind us of the importance of harmony and sensitivity among different cultures. Less visible groups, such as migrant workers and the elderly, are now using art to express themselves and giving everyone else a channel to understand them.

Did you know? 

The annual Migrant Workers Poetry Competition is a hit among migrant workers and locals alike. Many of these poets have since gone on to showcase their literary works at the Singapore Writers Festival and events at the Esplanade.

How you can help: 

How about being more than a spectator of the arts? Volunteer to be a docent at one of our museums. Two local docents share what volunteering is like here. Find out how you can contribute to other arts and heritage causes here.

Sports

Sports.jpg?mtime=20171205151427#asset:215951

Why it matters: 

We learn important life lessons on the field such as hope, perseverance and team work. Sports creates opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together. But some still get left out, especially people with disabilities (PWDs) because spaces for sport are often inaccessible or unaffordable to them.

Did you know? 

Right now, there are only a handful of inclusive playgrounds around the island that allow children with special needs to play with other children.

How you can help: 

If you have a bit of ball sense, sign up as a Unified Partner for the Special Olympics Singapore Unified Floorball team. Train together with the athletes and provide encouragement for them to reach their full potential. Also, here’s how you can give your time or resources to sports here in Singapore.   

Women & Girls

WG.jpg?mtime=20171205145852#asset:215941

Why it matters: 

Women and girls remain vulnerable to gender violence. Abuse is often perpetuated due to a flawed belief by victims that they are powerless to stop it. As a result, many suffer in silence.  

Did you know? 

Almost one in 10 women in Singapore reported experiencing at least one incident of violence by a man in 2010.

How you can help: 

To be a direct source of support for women suffering from abuse, get trained to be a helpliner at AWARE. Or you can also donate $20 and up to HAGAR, an NGO to help trafficked women recover, to provide food and necessities to exploited women and children. Here’s a fuller list of causes for women and girls you can support. 

Environment

Environment.jpg?mtime=20171205145850#asset:215939

Why it matters: 

“We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment,” said anthropologist Margaret Mead. Fun fact: Our little red dot is actually a thriving green dot of biodiversity, with 28,000 species of animals and 2,100 indigenous plant species! Let’s not take this precious resource for granted and conserve it for our children.

Did you know? 

Parts of Singapore, including Changi Airport and Jurong Island could be submerged under water by 2110 if global temperatures were to rise by just two degrees celcius.

How you can help: 

Exercise and contribute to the environment at the same time by joining the Singapore Glove Project. They are a nifty group that goes for morning or evening walks or runs on the weekends around the island and picks up litter along the way. You can also volunteer to maintain a clean environment for a pre-school in Bukit Merah. Click here for more environmental causes you can get involved in. 

Humanitarian

Humanitarian.jpg?mtime=20171205145851#asset:215940

Why it matters: 

Every single day, millions of people are displaced from their homes and experience extreme poverty, hunger and violence. We see it in the news all the time. Go beyond just hearing and reading about it, and help in the way that you can.

Did you know? 

In 2016, more than 31 million people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and natural disasters. That’s one person every second!

How you can help: 

Mercy Relief is a home-grown disaster relief agency for the Asia Pacific region. Give just $25 to deliver hygiene kits to one family via Super Nature in support of Mercy Relief. Learn about more humanitarian causes you can support here.

Disability

Disabilities.jpg?mtime=20171205151240#asset:215947

Why it matters. 

Stephen Hawking. Nick Vujicic. These individuals show us that a disability is no limit to excellence. Yet, people with disabilities (PWDs) in Singapore still face discrimination and social exclusion.

Did you know? 

PWDs formed only 0.1 per cent of Singapore’s private sector workforce in 2016. Many feel they lack opportunities for professional development.

How you can help.

You can give to Bizlink, which offers vocational training, job trials and employment services to PWDs. Find out which other PWD causes you can support here

Education

Education.jpg?mtime=20171205145850#asset:215938

Why it matters: 

Singapore tops the world in math, science and literacy, so it is easy to take education for granted. But those from lower-income families risk falling through the cracks. They have fewer resources, and are less likely to attend pre-school putting giving them on unequal footing compared to better-educated classmates.

Did you know? 

Poor educational qualifications widens inequalities in our knowledge-based economy. The average monthly salary for a secondary school graduate is $2,925 while a degree holder receives $6,361.

How you can help: 

Got a gift for teaching young ‘uns? Be a volunteer coach to academically weak students with Bethesda Community Assistance and Relationship Enrichment Centre. Click here to support other educational causes in Singapore

The season of giving is here! Do your part to support these causes this Christmas. Maybe it’s the spirit of merry-making, but we tend to be extra willing to lend a hand during the holiday month!

THE SEASON OF GIVING