#LIFEHACKS
7 Ways To Start Giving

Every bit counts when it comes to charity. Here’s how you can contribute.

By Steve Thio      7 October 2021

Based on research, there are tangible benefits to be gained from being charitable – lower stress and blood pressure levels, feeling happier and better health overall. Being empathetic and helping others through giving also improves social relationships. With so much to gain, here are some ways you can start being more charitable on a a more frequent, or even daily, basis.

Start Small…And Monthly

Every bit counts when it comes to giving and charity – so you dont need to start big; small beginnings can add up to a huge and significant impact!

With so many convenient ways to donate online, you can start setting aside an amount to donate to your chosen charity on a monthly basis. With your approval, the funds can be deducted from your bank account automatically every month. For a worthy list of local charities to donate to (and they make it so easy!), check out www.giving.sg.

Time Matters

Some of the more meaningful donations are those that involve volunteering your time and talents. Its a great way for those without the financial means to also contribute to those in need, and for you to gain a greater understanding of the people and organisations you are helping. You can choose to donate your time and efforts to local soup kitchens, elderly centres, nature groups or the SPCA if youre passionate about animal causes.

Talent Counts

If youre particularly skilled at an activity, you can offer your services as well. You can be a pro bono tutor for underprivileged children, or help housewives with your dressmaking or baking talents. There are many organisations and charities that require volunteers for specific causes – just check out www.volunteer.gov.sg.

Get Everyone Involved

You can start group volunteering projects and donate with your family, and even on a larger scale with your friends and colleagues.

With your family, you can encourage and instil in your kids the act of giving and volunteering from a young age. It would be even better to expose them to the charities they are helping – who, why, where and how the contribution helps. Transparency and more knowledge of who you are helping increases a persons level of happiness as well!

Good local examples are those families which started food corners at their own HDB blocks. Parents along with their young kids stock up these corners for needy and financially vulnerable households.

With Facebook, organising group efforts is much simpler and more effective. Put out a call for donations or volunteers with details of the charities on your FB and start from there. You can select a different charity or family to help every month!

Share Your Success…

…by giving and donating each time you achieve something significant or memorable. It can a be a personal goal that youve reached (losing 10 pounds!) or a milestone you and your family are celebrating (wedding anniversaries, childrens graduations etc). It’s always a great feeling to share your success with others, especially with those in need.

Eat, Shop And Help!

There are quite a few local cafes with a social and charitable mission: some choose to share part of their revenue to support a cause or organisation, or contribute free meals to the needy with every meal purchased. Others make an effort to hire staff with disabilities, giving them a chance to carve out a more independent and financially stable life for themselves. Now you dont have to feel so bad about tucking into a lavish and hearty meal!

Marie Kondo For Good

With e-commerce sales booming during this pandemic period, youll soon find your home cramped with new buys! Make an effort to go through all your belongings and home items twice a year – youll be surprised at the amount of stuff you dont need or never use regularly. If these objects (clothing, books, home appliances, furnishings, etc.) are still in reasonably good condition, donate them to local charities that can sell them for cash, or contribute them to families who need them. Or organise an online flea sale and donate the proceeds!

References: www.charitableimpact.com/blog/psychology-giving-5-ways-giving-makes-life-better

How do you contribute to charity? Share your ideas with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!

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