Make a difference by giving back to society. Passing on your gently used goods to charity is a great way to improve the lives of others while minimising waste.
Since Marie Kondo-ing your home, have you been thinking about where to donate clothes, furniture, household goods, toys and books 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. Donating your pre-loved (and gently used) items is a great way to give back while minimising waste. Read on to find out charities to donate to in Singapore, then round up the kids and start sorting!
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 1.4 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.
Donate furniture, home appliances, medical aids and learning aids to those in need
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 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
Donate food (canned or dried goods)
Where: The Food Bank is a place for companies and people to deposit or donate food for those in need. Founded by two passionate people with a determination to fight hunger and reduce food wastage, Food Bank supplies its beneficiaries with food items via its 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 Food Bank premises. Or you can donate some funds to help the organisation. Plus, you can even pledge a meal for families and individuals who need food urgently.
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.
Download One Cent plug-in and start contributing.
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 range of carefully selected furniture, clothes and collectables, and houseware. It also acts as a great avenue for the intellectually disabled to learn how to interact with customers.
What: Donate furniture, homewares and collectables.
Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) Shop, various locations.
Promote literacy and better education by swapping 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 hosts book swaps from time to time. Be sure to keep your pre-loved reads stacked so you’re ready to donate books when the time comes. Check out the Facebook page for event updates.
Donate baby supplies to help teen mums
Where: In a society where teen mums are estranged or marginalised, 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), donate baby clothes (zero to two years), breast pumps, baby cots, milk bottles, baby bathtubs and prams. The collection period is year-round.
Fund various charities by donating your gently-used assorted goods
Where: One of the more well-known charities to donate to, the Salvation Army is great for hunting vintage knick-knacks and furniture. Committed to lending a helping hand to the underprivileged, there are programs to reach out to different aspects of the community like the elderly, families and children in need of care and protection.
What: Salvation Army donations are varied and they take many items. To donate furniture or other bulky items, you can arrange to have it collected for a fee. More information is available here.
Salvation Army Singapore, various locations.
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. All proceeds from sales go to Star Shelter, a refuge for victims of domestic violence, or through SCWO initiatives like The Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame (SWHF). Due to Covid-19, the New2U Thrift Shop is temporarily not accepting donations. Contact [email protected] for more information.
What: Non-perishable food items such as rice, instant noodles, formula milk, milo and cooking oil. Plus, donating goods like cleaning products, shampoo, toothpaste and sanitary pads is always welcome.
Encourage textile recycling and donate 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: If you’re wondering where to donate clothes, this is a fab and easy initiative. Whether they’re worn, torn or completely out of style, all old clothes are worthy of being donated to this initiative. Simply drop them off at the nearest outlet (when stores open again). You’ll receive a voucher off your next purchase – win!
H&M, various locations.
Recycle 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 electrical 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 Metta’s good work.
Want to donate to charity? Read these tips.
- Donate meaningfully. When looking into charities to donate to, understand the organisation’s mission and the items most needed by recipients of donations. For example, victims of a natural disaster may require blankets, torches, sweaters or canned food, while charities working towards building schools will require you to donate 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. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the cost of disposing masses of unusable donated goods is a serious financial burden.
- Donate efficiently. Help make the volunteers’ jobs easier by taking a few extra minutes to organise and pack things in groups that go together.