Let’s be honest here. Mandatory volunteer work aside, not many of us will go out of our way to make a difference to someone else’s life. In our modern society, almost everyone has tight schedules to follow and dreams to pursue. We get so caught up in our worlds that we forget what it’s like to take a look at others’. We forget what it’s like having to do things without expecting any returns. We forget what it’s like to extend help to those who are truly in need. We forget.
Feeling guilty and ashamed? You should be.
Okay but seriously, instead of grumbling about the aloofness of our society, let’s turn our disgruntlement into much-needed positive energy. Let’s look up from our phone screens and instead, look at the society around us. From rehabilitating those with special needs to playing mahjong with the elderly, listed below are several volunteer organisations you can help out at. Remember what they always say, a little help always goes a long way. Be it a one-off event or a long-term commitment, know that we’ll be equally proud of you!
All Rounded Volunteer Projects
1. Youth Corps Singapore
If you’re searching for a wide spectrum of volunteering opportunities, look no further. By providing an array of ad-hoc and regular volunteer projects, Youth Corps Singapore is a national platform that encourages youth volunteerism. With its recent initiative, Common Space for Common Good, the organization has, with its one-day event cum carnival, advocated for volunteer causes for the elderly, special needs, youths, and low-income families. From raising environmental awareness to addressing the needs of Cambodian villagers, you’ll be sure to find a suitable cause to volunteer for at Youth Corps Singapore.
2. Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA)
While many are familiar with this one liner and its unique tune, not all are acquainted with YMCA’s community services. With sixteen community service programmes, the organisation’s beneficiaries include the under-privileged, the elderly, and the intellectually and physical challenged. From conducting enrichment activities such as dancing and singing to leading nature walks, be ready to have your heart warmed by the smiles of the beneficiaries.
3. Movement for the Intellectually Disabled Singapore (MINDS)
Founded since 1967, MINDS is now one of Singapore’s largest volunteer organisations. It focuses on the welfare of the intellectually disabled and aims to reintegrate them into our society. At MINDS, you can take up the role of volunteer assistant teachers that teach art, music and even swimming! Or, choose to organise outings for the beneficiaries of the organisation. Either way, your efforts will definitely be appreciated.
4. Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore (RDA)
That’s right, we have horse-riding therapy. Conducted by RDA, this form of therapy benefits both the physical and mentally disabled. In fact, horse riding is especially beneficial to children and adults with autism as it promotes interaction and bonding.
If you haven’t had any experience with horses (or animals for that matter), fret not! No experience is required as you will start off by accompanying the riders by their side, and be under the supervision of the instructors.
5. Brain Tumour Society (BTSS)
Seeing a loved one be diagnosed with a terminal illness can be beyond heart breaking. Not only does BTSS seek to raise the awareness of brain tumours, but it also provides the much needed support for patients and families alike. Reach out to them by simply befriending the patients, becoming caregivers or helping to campaign and organise events related to the cause.
6. Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME)
Having to assimilate within a society whose language you can barely speak can be pretty daunting. Besides advocating the rights of migrant workers, HOME provides an array of services that include legal aid, skills training and even shelter aids for abused workers. Help the migrant workers feel at home, with HOME.
7. Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2)
TWC2 strives to provide all migrant workers with the welfare they deserve. Their welfare services include the Cuff Road Food Programme, a food programme that provides these workers daily breakfast and dinners, and organising activities that further acquaint them with Singapore. Volunteer by simply befriending these workers or raising the awareness of TWC2 and the help it provides.
Children and Family
8. Beyond Social Services (BSS)
With a unique target group in mind, BSS aims to encourage youths with disadvantaged backgrounds to refuse the lifestyle of delinquency and welfare dependency. BSS’ services range from advocating for the avoidance of criminal proceedings of apprehended youths to providing early childhood programmes for children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Volunteer work ranges from helping out at child development centres to conducting surveys.
9. Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support
Possibly one of the more unknown organisations, Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support strives towards a more inclusive society that extends its support to pregnant teenagers. With a 24-hour SMS hotline, this organisation provides the support and guidance that a distraught pregnant teenager needs. Extend your help by lending these teenagers your listening ear and by providing them the much needed emotional support.
10. Touch Community Services
With its Befriender and Meals-on-Wheels programme, Touch Community brings home services to the elderly. Happen to own a car? Join Touch’s meal delivery programme to meet the daily needs of the usually homebound elderly. If not, you can also befriend the elderly and offer services such as accompanying them to various medical appointments.
11. Man Fut Tong Nursing Home
Also a day rehabilitation centre, Man Fut Tong Nursing Home is home to over two hundred elderly. It seeks mainly to improve the quality of life of the elderly through physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and recreational activities. Besides this, you can even offer your medical expertise (if you do have) or be involved with the home’s publications.
As the cliché goes, it’s always better late than never so it doesn’t matter if you’re a first time volunteer or if it’s been a while since you volunteered. Every single effort counts.