2024 is the Year of Celebrating Singapore Volunteers. So if you’re looking for something meaningful to do with the family, try volunteering! Here are some simple ways you and the family can make a positive impact.

1. Support a soup kitchen

Soup kitchens need volunteers for a variety of jobs, from preparing ingredients to packing lunches to washing dishes. So there is bound to be something that all family members can help with.

Willing Hearts, for example, is open 365 days a year and welcomes family members to volunteer as a unit—the youngest ones can help with sticking labels on boxes. You can also check out the Soup Kitchen Project, which needs volunteers on a weekly basis and for special projects.

2. Become a befriender

As its name suggests, befrienders provide social support and companionship to others in the community. Organisations like Lions Befrienders and the Salvation Army offer a variety of such opportunities that support the elderly, children and families in need, whether it's through learning digital skills, enrichment activities or even helping with medical appointments. Just be sure you’re ready for a long-term commitment!

3. Storytelling at the library

Help cultivate a love for reading by signing up for KidsREAD. You'll receive training to learn the basics of storytelling. By bringing your children along, you can spark their interest in reading while giving them the opportunity to make friends with people from all walks of life. And if you have an avid reader over the age of 15 in the family, they can sign up and take turns reading aloud too!

4. Help with home clean-ups

Habitat for Humanity is best known for initiatives like Project Homeworks, where volunteers gather to help clean up and declutter homes to make them liveable. But there are more family-friendly options as well, like BlockWalk! Once a month, volunteers come together to clean up their neighbourhood and other popular spots in Singapore—a simple but meaningful way for families with younger children to spend time together!

5. Join the Families for Life community

You don’t always have to join a big event to make a difference. As a volunteer leader at Families for Life (FFL), Cheng Shichang found, it’s possible to help from the comforts of home! He manages the Punggol Parents Telegram group chat, which allows neighbours to connect and find out about FFL's resources and events. In this way, he ensures that families in the neighbourhood have easy access to valuable support.

FFL offers a variety of volunteering opportunities like this, with many that include opportunities for the whole family to volunteer together! Find out more about what these are here.