World Kindness Day is celebrated globally on 13 November and was created in hopes of making the world a better place. It inspires individuals and organisations to perform anything from charity work to little acts of kindness. For most of us, it is a reminder that we belong to a bigger community and that kindness is what binds us together.
Good news, kindness doesn’t always need to be a grand gesture. From giving someone a compliment to donating t-shirts, every small act of kindness makes a much bigger impact than you think. So, here are some ways to give back and spread the love!
Do you have a UNIQLO T-shirt or two that you haven’t worn in a while? It’s time to “Marie Kondo” your closet and take part in UNIQLO’s recycling program. They distribute donated, second-hand clothing to refugees, disaster victims and those in need worldwide, in partnership with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs. Simply wash your pre-loved UNIQLO items and drop them in recycling boxes at UNIQLO stores.
Buying kopi for someone is simple and affordable, yet could really turn someone’s day around. Toast Box’s “Gift A Cup” program allows you to purchase a Kopi Token which is only the price of a small coffee, and gift it to a stranger by placing the token on the in-store board. Anyone can grab one of these tokens to redeem a free cuppa!
Don’t let food go to waste. You can donate snacks and canned foods that have been lying around in the pantry to goodwill! The malls of Frasers Property in partnership with The Food Bank Singapore are collecting and redistributing food items to beneficiaries in our community such as old folk’s homes, family service centers, soup kitchens and more.
So do a good deed by dropping off non-perishable food items* in Food Bank Singapore boxes located at Customer Service Counters across these malls: Anchorpoint, Bedok Point, Causeway Point, Changi City Point, China Square Central (near the side entrance of the Office Tower), Eastpoint Mall (Level 5, outside NTUC), Northpoint City, Robertson Walk (Management Office), The Centrepoint, Valley Point, Waterway Point and YewTee Point.
*Non-perishable food items that are unopened and unused with at least a 4-week shelf life, such as: staples, beverages, condiments, snacks, canned food and dried/preserved food.
Find out more at Frasers Property’s Food Bank Program.
Until 30 November 2019, you can donate old textbooks to any NTUC FairPrice store island-wide. These textbooks will benefit students from low-income families shortlisted by FairPrice, together with social service organisations and Community Development Councils (CDCs).
Not only will you be part of the National effort to collect a total of 500,000 used textbooks by the end of the year, you could treat it as personal motivation to clear out those shelves! Alternatively, volunteer to be one of 1,200 people needed for logistics, collection, sorting and distribution during the final phase of the SHARE-A-TEXTBOOK project. The slots have yet to be filled, so email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest!
Find out more at FairPrice SHARE-A-TEXTBOOK. NTUC FairPrice is located at Eastpoint Mall, Northpoint City and YewTee Point. Fairprice Finest is located at Changi City Point, Valley Point and Waterway Point.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) aims to improve the lives and well-being of children in Singapore. In 2016, they opened the Ronald McDonald Family Room in National University Hospital (NUH) to provide a place for families to rest while their children are hospitalised.
The next time you are paying for a meal at McDonald's, simply round up your transaction to the nearest dollar when you order from the Self-Ordering Kiosk, and the difference will be donated to the foundation. You can also drop your change in the Donation Box next to the cashier.
Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen is a great way for families to lend a helping hand to those in need. It’s a charity organisation that prepares, cooks and distributes around 5,000 meals across Singapore every day of the year! These meals go to the elderly, the disabled, low-income families and other beneficiaries. Mostly run by volunteers, the kitchen has plenty of slots to be filled.
Tasks for volunteers include preparation of ingredients, packing meal boxes, and cleaning the kitchen. Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen even encourages families to volunteer as a unit as there are tasks suitable for children such as labelling of meal boxes. The slots available are early morning, late morning or afternoon on a daily basis. This also makes for a great team-building activity for small or medium-sized teams!
Find out more at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen
Besides donations and volunteering, there’s always room for a little more kindness towards your loved ones and even strangers!
Here are a few “Random Acts of Kindness” that take less than a minute to do.
1. Smile. So simple but often forgotten! Whether you’re in a meeting or simply crossing the road, smiling can positively uplift the atmosphere and mood of the people around you.
2. Hold the door or elevator open for someone. It takes just one second to hold the door for someone, but it sure means a whole lot to them.
3. Give out compliments. Although it’s important to be honest when you give out compliments, you could really boost someone’s confidence by letting them know how great they are.
4. Give up your seat on a crowded public transport. We’ve all been reminded of this in a number of public transport campaigns, but the more people do it, the more it becomes part of our culture!
5. Write a thank you note to another. We often forget to practice gratitude in our lives, much less to those who have been there for us. Did you remember to thank them for all the support they have given you so far? Let’s take a little time to tell our friends and family how much we appreciate them.
An act of kindness, no matter how big or small, can create a ripple effect in the community. When you show someone love and respect, they will most likely pass it on in some form or another. So, let’s celebrate World Kindness Day every day, because a little kindness goes a long way.