SINGAPORE - The festive season is here. And while you enjoy the Christmas celebrations, there are those out there who are ho-ho-hoping for a better life.
Here are some causes you can participate in and contribute towards.
A Christmas initiative by ride-hailing app Uber, pet food brand Purina Pro Plan and local dog shelter SOSD. Uber users can use the app to request puppies to visit them. They can play with the puppies for 15 minutes, from 1pm to 5pm on Friday (Dec 9).
While the service is free, participants are encouraged to make a "pawsitive" impact. SOSD representatives will be present with donation boxes during the sessions, and all the proceeds will go to supporting the canines at the shelter.
Every puppy will be accompanied by an experienced volunteer. Participants can find out more about SOSD's work from the volunteers. Who knows, you just might end up deciding to give one of the pups a forever home.
2. World Toilet Organisation (WTO)
The global non-profit organisation, started in Singapore, aims to improve toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. This Christmas, it is offering an exclusive limited edition WTO manhole floor mat, for a minimum donation of $40, while a $100 donation will get you three.
Made fully from recycled rubber, each floor mat is 60cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Its heavy duty surface made of durable rubber, effectively removes dirt and sand from footwear. It is also stain resistant, and can be cleaned just by hosing it off.
The target is $50,000, and the donation can be made on the WTO's giving.sg page at https://www.giving.sg/world-toilet-organization-ltd/give_a_fun_and_meani....
Donors then simply print the donation receipts out, and head to its office in Race Course Road to collect the floor mat.
3. Om Is Where The HeART Is
Community Chest and Soulscape, in the spirit of Christmas, are teaming up for a charity yoga event on Saturday (Dec 10). Held at the National Gallery's Supreme Court Terrace, there will be three sessions at 8.30am, 9.45am and 11am.
Entrance donations for each session is a minimum of $50. A donation above $80 will entitle participants to a goodie bag worth $170, but there are limited pieces.
Local art group Band of Doodlers will also be setting up a community wall mural, for event participants and museum visitors to doodle on. At the end of the event, the art piece will be auctioned off.
All proceeds from the day will go to the beneficiaries that Community Chest supports. Donations can be made on the Om Is Where The HeART Is giving.sg page at https://www.giving.sg/community-chest/omiswheretheheartis.
4. SPCA Christmas Wish List
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has compiled its annual wish list for its shelter animals, and people can donate by sponsoring specific items off the list.
The list includes everything the animals need, such as litter trays and animal feed, vaccines and disinfectants, pet carriers, outdoor play pens and feeding bottles for the smaller animals.
You can probably find something to suit your budget, with item values ranging from $5.50 for garbage bags, all the way to $345 for a microchip reader.
Donations can be made online, by cheque, or by nets or cash. More information can be found on the event's page at http://www.spca.org.sg/news_details.asp?id=1471. Further enquiries can be emailed to email@example.com.
5. Boys' Brigade Share-a-Gift
The campaign, now in its 29th year, collects and distributes food items to the less privileged during the Christmas season. It involves over 3,500 Boys' Brigade officers and members, and hundreds of volunteers in the whole process.
This year, it began on Nov 25, with an aim of helping 38,317 beneficiaries. Collection will end on Dec 19, while delivery will be until Dec 31.
You can see which items - such as halal canned food, cooking oil and biscuits - are needed, before purchasing them and heading down to one of the 13 donation boxes all over the island between 10am and 9pm, to drop them off.
Those with cars can also volunteer for slots to deliver the packaged food hampers.
More information can be found at http://www.bbshare.sg/.
Also see ST Causes Week 2016