Declutter and do good.
Whether you’re moving or doing a big cleaning purge, why not donate your old belongings to these volunteer organisations and causes in Singapore?
Have items in your pantry you’re not going to use? The Food Bank Singapore will take it. Founded in 2012, the organisation aims to be a centralised coordinating body in SG that collects surplus food; offer access and knowledge to cheaper sources of food; find alternative and creative ways of maximising excess food; and of course, donate food to almost 100,000 people each month through a network of approximately 200 charities, soup kitchens, and the like.
If you wish to donate, you can drop off your cans and boxes of uneaten goodies at its Bank Boxes located all over the island or directly to its warehouse. For locations, check here.
Most useful donations: “Any foods in good condition and not expired or opened,” says Nichol Ng, co-founder. But don’t feel like you need to run out and buy anything new. “We prefer that the food comes from homes where people are moving or relocating so it’s being put to good use.”
39 Keppel Rd, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, #01-02/04, 089065
Pregnancy can be challenging even for those with support. Imagine being a teenager who also has to deal with society’s often negative reaction. Babes Crisis Pregnancy Support works with pregnant youths aged 21 and below as well as the parents of these youths, to advocate for a more inclusive society, “where pregnant teenagers do not feel marginalised or estranged,” says Siti Fatimah, Community Partnership Executive.
It reaches out and offers help to pregnant teenagers in two primary ways: Through case management, where it works with the teenager to facilitate with family, friends and the wider community for support, and community integration, where it invites the community to help the organisation and take an active interest in advocating for support for affected teenagers.
You can choose to help either through cash or in-kind donations, or even as a volunteer. And if you are in need of some advice yourself or know someone who does, try its 24-hour toll-free helpline (8111 3535).
Most useful donations: Milk powder (for 0-2 years of age), diapers and grocery vouchers. Free collection is possible.
26 Jln Klinik, #01-42/52, 160026
The Salvation Army will take away all your unwanted things in usable condition and sell them at super-low prices at multiple Family Stores across the island. Since 1935, the organisation has been raising money for the poor and less privileged families, especially in areas of nursing and rehabilitation, and for children’s homes such as Gracehaven and The Haven.
Most useful donations: You name it! Clothes, furniture, household goods, electronic devices, toys and books — all of these can be dropped off at its Donation In Kind Booths found at 8 locations in SG. They also pick up bulky items like furniture and big appliances for an optional $60. Ask for a collection note upon pick up and receive an official non-tax deductible receipt in the mail.
Or, if you wish to buy donated items instead (every cent counts!), visit any of its 5 Family Stores. Also, you might spot some volunteers ringing bells at its Kettle stands at various SG malls during Christmas — that’s when you can donate in cash.
Set up in 2004, the Humanitarian Organization of Migration Economics (HOME) protects the rights of migrant workers against crimes such as human trafficking and forced labour. “We help domestic workers and those from the shipbuilding and construction industries with issues ranging from overwork and inadequate food, to physical or psychological abuse and forced repatriation,” says Jo-Anne Aeria, Director, Partnerships and Communications.
Guided by the three pillars of welfare, empowerment and advocacy, HOME works with government bodies, corporations and community agencies to promote values of justice, equality and inclusion. It also provides shelter, legal aid, food and vocational courses for migrant workers, and has help desks and hotlines for Burmese workers, Filipino domestic workers, Indonesian domestic workers and other migrant workers (find the locations and numbers here).
Most useful donations: Household items such as detergents, food items and toiletries. Staffers may also benefit from desktops, laptops, household appliances and healthcare equipment. Find out how to do so here.
304 Orchard Rd, Lucky Plaza, #06-22, 238863
Need an even better reason to clean out your closet? Your castoffs can clothe women and children who are victims of family violence. The Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO) Star Shelter is Singapore’s only secular crisis centre that provides a safe and temporary refuge. “We also empower victims to rebuild their lives free from violence,” says Amanda Ho, Programmes Manager.
Established in 1980 as the National Coordinating body of women’s organisations in SG, SCWO’s Star Shelter service requires regular donations of food items and household items (specifically toiletries and feminine hygiene products) as well.
Most useful donations: Clothes, accessories, household items, ornaments, books and toys. Do note that it doesn’t take in used towels and undergarments, and household furnishings and appliances. All items go to SCWO’s New2U thrift shop – a favourite amongst vintage-loving bargain hunters, and proceeds go to Star Shelter. For groceries, contact the organisation here for deets on how to.
96 Waterloo St, Singapore 187967
By Priyanka Elhence/ Updated by Christopher Ong, 16 August 2018
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