Have you been thinking about donating some of your clothes, household goods and toys to somebody more in need? The old adage, ‘it’s better to give than to receive, could not be more relevant here in Singapore where many of us have more than we need. Truthfully, all the shoes (even Louboutins!) or Pinterest-worthy house interiors couldn’t put as big a smile on our face as helping a child or family by giving to charity or volunteering with your kids. If you don’t have extra time to dedicate to helping the charity of your choice, donating your pre-loved (and gently used) items is a great way to give back while minimising wastage. Check out our guide to donating in Singapore, round up the kids and start scouring for things to pass on to somebody who needs it more…
Give household goods to help migrant workers living in shelters
Where: The Humanitarian Organisation of Migrant Economics (HOME) is an anti-trafficking body that aims to celebrate and protect a migrant worker’s dignity and rights. With about 1.2 million migrant workers in Singapore, HOME has helped countless migrants, some of whom have been victims of human trafficking or forced labour. HOME also provides shelter, health screenings and a variety of vocational courses through HOME Academy.
What: Household items, such as detergent, cleaning chemicals and toiletries will help those living in HOME shelters. HOME Academy welcomes items to further training, such as desktop computers, laptops, household appliances, and healthcare equipment. Monetary donations can also be made online here.
Better the life of the needy by passing on unwanted yet useful items like home appliances, medical aids and learning aids
Where: Pass-It-On is a non-profit project started by Central Singapore CDC and managed by the Helping Hand. It seeks to act as a web platform for the distribution of unwanted, yet useful items like medical aids and furniture. It connects the public who can donate the items to Voluntary Welfare Organizations (VWOs), which in turn, can request items on the “Wish List”.
What: Home appliances, home furniture, medical aids, mobility aids, learning aids
Pass-It-On, p. 8511 9160; https://www.passiton.org.sg/
Help lessen the financial and emotional burdens of teenage mums by donating baby-related supplies
Where: In a society where teen mums are estranged or marginalized, Babes Crisis Pregnancy Support lends a helping hand to pregnant teenagers (21 and below) who need support in making an informed decision with regards to their pregnancy
What: Donate formula milk for babies (zero to six months), diapers (newborn to six months), baby clothes (zero to two years), breast pumps, baby cots, milk bottles, baby bath tubs and prams. The collection period is year round.
Feed the needy by providing canned food or dried goods
Where: Foodbank, a place for companies and people to deposit or donate unwanted food for the needy. Founded by two passionate people with a determination to fight hunger and reduce food wastage, Foodbank supplies its beneficiaries with food items via a network of partners, including voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), charities and soup kitchens.
What: Make a deposit, such as canned food or dried goods, at the Foodbank premises. Or adopt a Bank Box, which you can place at home or in your office, so people can contribute unopened and unexpired goods. Email email@example.com to receive one today.
Foodbank, 39 Keppel Road, #01-02/04, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore 089065; www.foodbank.sg. Open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat, 9:30am-1pm.
Promote literacy and better education by donating books
Where: Room to Read started in Nepal and now has chapters in more than 10 countries around the world. Its programs have benefited more than 8.8 million children so far, and the organisation hopes to promote literacy and gender equality in education.
What: The Singapore chapter of Room to Read regularly holds book swaps, so be sure to keep your pre-loved books stacked and ready to donate when the time comes. Check out its Facebook page for event updates.
Room to Read Singapore, #02-32 30 Woollerton Park, Singapore 049145, e. firstname.lastname@example.org;
Turn your small change from shopping into charity
Where: What if feeding your online shopping addiction pays off by helping to feed a child in another country? The One Cent Movement aims to do just that, and hopes to effortlessly make poverty history one day. How ingenious!
What: Just download the One Cent plugin and continue shopping at your favourite sites, including Amazon, eBay and Zalora. During checkout, round up your purchase to the nearest dollar and your change will go toward a charity of your choice.
Visit www.onecentmovement.org to download the plug-in and start contributing.
Fund various charities by donating your gently-used assorted goods
Where: The Salvation Army is our favourite spot for hunting down vintage knick knacks and furniture. Committed to lending a helping hand to the underprivileged, its programmes reach out to different aspects of the community like the elderly, families in material need and children who need care and protection.
What: This charitable organisation accepts donations for a variety of things: clothes, books, toys, household goods and even stationery. You can also make monetary donations online or look into options like child sponsorship and fundraising. For donations of bulky items like furniture, arrange for a collection service by making an online booking at www.redshieldindustries.com or emailing donor@SMM.salvationarmy.org. More information is available here.
Donate clothes and accessories to help victims of domestic violence
Where: The Singapore Council of Women’s Organizations (SCWO) is the national coordinating body of women’s organisations in Singapore. Its New2U thrift shop is a favourite amongst hipsters and vintage-loving bargain hunters – the store is a treasure trove of hidden gems like past season designer goods or preloved statement pieces. All proceeds from sales go to Star Shelter, a refuge for victims of domestic violence, or the various SCWO initiatives like The Women’s Register, a platform for mentoring young women.
What: Donate clothes (men, women and young children), shoes, bags and accessories, books and toys. Clearly indicate “Donation for New2U” on your package.
SCWO New2U Thrift Shop, Donations can be dropped at SCWO Centre, 96 Waterloo Street Singapore 187967; www.scwo.org.sg, Mon-Sun, 9am-10pm.
Empower the intellectually disabled by supporting their vocational training and donating items for fund-raising
Where: The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) aims to empower persons with intellectual disability and help them participate as fully as possible in society. MINDS shop stocks a constantly updated range of carefully selected furniture, clothes and collectibles, and house ware and acts as a great avenue for the intellectually disabled to learn how to interact with customers.
What: Donate apparels, houseware, furniture and collectibles. For bulky items requiring pickup services, contact Linda Yusop at email@example.com or at her mobile at 8180 2095.
Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) Shop, various locations; www.minds.org.sg/Shop.html.
Encourage textile recycling by letting go of your old clothes
Where: The H&M global garment collecting initiative promotes textile recycling (tons of clothes end up in landfills every year!) and reduces waste. Your old clothes will be given a new lease of life by either being marketed as second-hand goods or reprocessed as textile fibres or insulation materials if they’re no longer suitable for wear.
What: Donate your pre-loved clothes. Whether they’re worn, torn or completely out of style, they’re worthy of being donated to this initiative. Simply drop them off at the nearest outlet – and you’ll receive a $5 voucher off your next purchase!
H&M, various locations; www.hm.com/sg/garment-collecting.
Recycle your unwanted clothes, soft toys and IT products to raise funds for social initiative activities
Where: Metta Welfare Association has nine welfare centres providing residential and daily support including activities, rehabilitation, respite care and education for special needs and elderly folk around Singapore.
What: Gather up your unwanted clothes, footwear, shoes, belts, towels, bedsheets and the one million stuffed toys you have lying around the house and head over to the recycling bins over at Metta Welfare Association. The Association also accepts the used and unloved electrical gadgets and IT bits ‘n’ bobs cluttering up your home – laptops, mobile phones, hard disks etc – as part of its Green Charity Drive. All goods will be collected by various recycling organisations and funds raised will go towards the continued support of the Metta’s good work.
Tips for donating to charity
- Donate meaningfully. Understand the charity’s mission and items most needed by recipients of donations. For example, victims of a natural disaster may require blankets, torch lights, sweaters or canned food, while charities working towards building schools will require furniture or stationery.
- Donate appropriately. Before you give your things away, consider whether you’d purchase them at a second-hand store. Check items for wear and tear and make sure they’re still in usable or good condition. Otherwise, the donation centre may have to throw them away, and the cost of disposing of masses of donated goods that cannot be used is a serious financial burden faced by many charities.
- Donate efficiently. Help make the volunteers’ jobs a lot easier by taking a few extra minutes to organise and pack things in groups that go together.