As we approach the end of the year, we start thinking about who and how we are going to be celebrating with, and a lot of the time, that involves giving presents. During this time, perhaps giving back to society, or helping the less fortunate falls to the back of our minds.
Why we should give back to society during Christmas
During a time when most of us celebrate with fancy food, themed desserts, presents and get-togethers (okay, maybe there’ll be less get-togethers during the pandemic 🙁 ), there are many out there who don’t celebrate like that. Some people may be struggling financially. Some may be struggling with the feelings of loneliness, anxiety and stress that Christmas brings. Some may be living alone.
This isn’t to guilt-trip any of you reading. In fact, have a wonderful celebration with your loved ones. I would say this is just a reminder! Especially during this time when we start getting busy with clearing work, brainstorming about how to celebrate the holidays amidst the pandemic and so on. The thing is, in the midst of our celebration, can we help those who can’t celebrate?
Yes, we can.
There are various ways to give back, and this list is just the start. You may be just one person, but what you have to offer can go a long way.
Besides the benefits to one’s mental and emotional health that volunteering brings to you, it definitely is something that many charities welcome during the Christmas season. You could volunteer to be part of a Christmas party for the elderly, help sort out donations, deliver hot meals, spend time with the disabled – the list is endless. It could a one-off thing where you help out just this Christmas, or you may decide to help out regularly.
This is a great way for you to share your talents and resources as well! Maybe you organise great parties, love to sing, or have the car on weekday afternoons. There’s something you can help with.
Some of us may not know what volunteering entails, but if we just hit the ‘search’ button, we will see many different roles with differing commitment requirements. The most interesting one I’ve seen is to read stories to kids! I never knew there was such a volunteer role. Give volunteering a shot this Christmas. You may just find a role that calls out to you, and if you are not sure about the commitment, you could just try it for the year-end and see where it leads you! You could make it a family/friend thing where you volunteer together as a small group.
Sometimes, the giving of your time, energy and skills is the most valuable gift of all.
It can be cash, rations, presents or new and unused items. Many charities have taken a hit during this pandemic, and they really could do with some help! Remember that they are using our donations to help other people/animals/plants that we ourselves don’t have the capacity to help. If you’re worried about donating things not needed, you can always check out the charity organisation’s website to see what’s on their wish list, or write to them to check.
Remember to give items that are in good condition. The items donated will be given to those in need to use, so be kind and give items that can still be used/worn – things that you can actually still use/wear but have no use for them now.
If you want to take things a step further, you can always sign up to pledge a sum of money regularly. Why this is a good idea is because the charity organisation gets a sensing of the amount of money they get each month, and can do more long-term plans.
3. Support businesses that donate a part of their earnings to charity
This is a great way to let your money work. You purchase something you like, and a part of it also goes to charity. These businesses would have helped with contacting the charity organisations they have selected, and will help with collating the funds.
Definitely a win-win situation.
How is Ong Lai Art doing our part this Christmas?
This is Ong Lai Art’s first Christmas! Yay! To celebrate, we are donating 10% of all our Christmas sales to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) in Singapore.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul aims to tackle the poverty problem in our society, and they do more than just providing financial aid to the underprivileged. They visit those in prison, organise workshops for youths from broken homes, and the list goes on. I first knew of their presence from church; I would always see their booths set up, ready to pass out rations to their beneficiaries. It is one of the more well-known Catholic Christian charities, and there are societies all over the world fighting the poverty issue.
You can find out more about the SSVP in Singapore here.
So whether you buy one card, or do a bulk order of a 100 sets of gift tags, 10% of all of the sales will be donated to SSVP. I’ll update on all the platforms I’m on when the funds go to the them!
Ong Lai Art will also try our very best to use sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging! I’ll be doing another post and add a link here when that’s done, so stay tuned.
What will you be doing this Christmas and New Year?
Feel free to share with me what you will doing for our society this holiday season! I’m excited to know what you want to try! If you have any giving back ideas for Ong Lai Art, do share them with me as well.
If you would like to find out more about what charity organisations there are in Singapore, head over to https://www.charities.gov.sg/Pages/Home.aspx. You can be sure that these organisations are verified, and can help them via the channels that are already in place!