Fireworks, flypasts, the fantastic feats of the Red Lions – those are the images that come to mind whenever we think of National Day. But beyond the pomp and pageantry, it’s the people who take the occasion as a chance to give back that make us proud to call this place home.
Part of the NDP 2018 festivities, #NDP18Days gives Singaporeans and Singapore residents the opportunity to volunteer for a wide array of worthy causes. “18 Days of Giving, A Lifetime of Caring” is the programme mantra.
To capture this side of National Day, we tagged along for four events: YMCA Spring Clean with YMCA of Singapore; Boys Can Cook with Muhammadiyah Welfare Home; Uplift Project Bra Sorting with D’Elegance International; and Befriending/Cleaning with The New Charis Mission.
Spring Cleaning, YMCA of Singapore
Every other Saturday, you can expect to see volunteers from the YMCA out and about in the heartlands as they spruce up the homes of elderly Singaporeans. Ensuring that living spaces are clean and safe, the volunteers also provide the elderly with some welcome company.
The #NDP18Days edition we attended took their team – primarily made up of university students and young families – to Lorong 5 Toa Payoh. To join the thousands of volunteers that YMCA mobilises each year, visit their website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boys Can Cook, Muhammadiyah Welfare Home
A rehabilitation institution that nurtures and empowers at-risk youth, Muhammadiyah Welfare Home in Bedok welcomed volunteers to guide their residents through a cooking class.
During the two-hour session, the boys and the volunteers whipped up tasty cupcakes and kebabs. Other volunteering opportunities with the home include giving tuition, participating in a variety of classes and clinics (from arts and crafts to music and sports) and gardening. Visit their website to find out more.
Uplift Project Bra Sorting, D’Elegance International
A company which specialises in shapewear, D’Elegance brought the Uplift Project to Singapore from Australia back in 2016.
The project is simple but brilliant: Women from across the country donate brassieres (second-hand or new) which get distributed to women in disadvantaged communities who can’t afford or obtain bras of their own.
In this case, the bras go to Northern Mindanao in the Philippines. Volunteers sort and pack the thousands of donated bras, with laughter and smiles ever-present throughout the efficient process.
To find out about the next opportunity to volunteer for (or donate to) the Uplift Project, visit the D’Elegance website.
Befriending/Cleaning, The New Charis Mission
Each Wednesday, volunteers from the New Charis Mission head down to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 and Chai Chee Road where they catch up with beneficiaries – many of whom are greeted like old friends – and check if there’s anything they can help them with.
For the befriending session on the eve of National Day, volunteers also distributed goodie bags though they didn’t forget to celebrate the 79th birthday of one resident – cake and all – living up to their mission of “Bringing Joy to the Aged”.
To find out how you can contribute, visit The New Charis Mission website.
#NDP18Days activities continue past National Day, so if you’d like to get involved, head to the NDP website and sign up. Or if you’re looking for a chance to volunteer any day of the year, drop by Giving.sg. Happy National Day!
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