Hari Raya Haji is all about giving – here are 10 organisations and causes you can consider making a donation to

Eid al-Adha, or Hari Raya Haji, is the festival of sacrifice. At its spirit is a festival to help the needy and do good.

In a nutshell, the day celebrates the prophet Ibrahim’s strong faith in God, demonstrated by his willingness to sacrifice his son. In mosques all over the world, the korban (sacrifice) ritual is carried out, usually involving livestock like sheep and goats. After the sacrifice, the meat is then cleaned and shared amongst family, friends, and the needy.

The faithful also usually commemorate the day by making a pilgrimage known as hajj, to Mecca in the weeks before the festival. While COVID-19 may have halted these usual practices now, there’s still something you can definitely do from home: donate money – or even your time, if you can – to help the poor and needy.

If you want to help but aren’t sure where you can or how legitimate the organisations and causes are, don’t worry. AVENUE ONE has done the legwork and put together some local charities that could use your help during this period.

Whether your heart lies with the poor or the sick in society, vulnerable children or the elderly, animals or the environment, there’s surely a cause you can help with. Here are 10 to start with.

1. Safe Circle

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Photo source: Boy’s Town

A new platform that brings together seven local agencies that focus on community-based mental health services for children and the youth, Safe Circle aims to help families with children who have experienced trauma.

The collective aims to help these children by equipping their families, teachers and social service professionals with the knowledge and skills required to support the children properly.

Safe Circle is made up of these seven local agencies: Accesnet, Boys’ Town, Campus PSY, Caregivers Alliance Limited, Limitless, Singapore Association for Mental Health, and Singapore Children’s Society – all of which share a common goal of helping at-risk children and youth live better lives.

Extend your help here.

2. SHINE Children and Youth

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Photo source: Giving.sg

A charity that exclusively serves vulnerable children and youth, SHINE Children and Youth Services has been doing its good work in Singapore for almost 45 years now.

Its latest initiative, the Learning Social Support Programme, is specially targeted at children with particular learning needs to help them become more independent and confident learners.

You can help here.

3. Club Rainbow

If you feel a terrible sense of injustice for innocent lives cut short by illness, you’d most probably want to lend your hand to Club Rainbow, to make a difference in the lives of these little warriors. Club Rainbow provides comprehensive support that ranges from counselling, supplementary education support, and financial assistance.

Since its inception, Club Rainbow has helped more than 1000 children and their families, working closely with KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), the National University Hospital (NUH), and the neonatal ward of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

You can help here.

4. Food from the Heart

There’re sadly many among us who go hungry every day. It shouldn’t even be happening since food is a basic necessity.

Thankfully, Food From the Heart is a charity that’s committed to ensuring that as many people as possible have food to fill their bellies at the end of each day. Volunteers work hard to obtain safe-to-eat food that would’ve been wastefully discarded otherwise, and sort through food donations from the public.

The charity runs a number of programmes and initiatives for its beneficiaries, all of which are meant to ensure that the needy get their meals. And where possible, Food From the Heart provides beneficiaries with better meals, availing them of the dignity of choice at pop-up fresh food markets with curated fresh produce.

Extend your help here.

5. Habitat for Humanity

It may be unthinkable to many of us to imagine that some people could be living in squalor here in modern Singapore, but it’s a reality for some. Habitat for Humanity Singapore strives to bring decent living conditions to the needy in Singapore, with the help of volunteers and donations.

Since it started in 2004, Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 3000 families restore basic dignity by providing safe and clean homes to them. Donations are used to help these folk purchase basic furniture, cleaning supplies, paint and pest control.

You can help here.

6. Animal Lovers League

If you want to help some furry friends this festive season, you could lend your support to one of many animal shelters in Singapore. Animal shelters and charities do lots of good work without the financial backing that their human counterparts receive, so your donation will be extremely well-received.

How about the Animal Lovers League (ALL), one of the longest-running shelters in Singapore with a 100% no-kill policy? This is a sanctuary for abandoned, traumatised, abused and rescued animals, with dedicated volunteers working hard to care responsibly for these creatures. Additionally, ALL also sends sick animals for treatment and neutering at the vet, so you can be sure your donations will be used responsibly.

You can help here.

7. PPIS

It’s never easy to be a woman, with all the different roles in society that they have to perform in their families, workplaces and in their personal lives. In the spirit of the festival of sacrifice, you could help out vulnerable and at-risk women and their families from the community by making a donation to the non-profit organisation, PPIS.

PPIS has been working with Muslim women since 1952, to empower them and support them holistically through their various life stages. The organisation currently runs 16 family centres islandwide, to provide care and support so that women can work with peace of mind to better the lives of their families.

Extend your help here.

8. LIFT Community Impact Fund

Photo source: Giving.sg

Life is tough for most of us, but imagine how much tougher life is for those who suffer from disadvantages and social inequalities.

It can be especially hard for them to get meaningfully employed, to earn an honest living. Enter the Learning Initiatives for Employment (LIFT) Community Impact Fund.

This fund helps people with disabilities and those recovering from mental illnesses as well as disadvantaged women, and youth-at-risk, find sustained employment. Specifically, LIFT helps these marginalised persons get vocationally trained and receive social support from Project Dignity and Better Barista.

LIFT is an initiative by The Community Foundation of Singapore, the organisers of the recently concluded Sayang Sayang Fund for communities that have been greatly impacted by Covid.

You can make your donation here.

9. Singapore Cancer Society

Chances are, you know someone who’s lost the fight against cancer. After all, cancer afflicts one in four people here in Singapore.

If cancer strikes you deep, you’ll want to help put in some punches against this silent killer by donating to the Singapore Cancer Society, which helps cancer patients with subsidised treatments, rehabilitation, hospice fees, and welfare.

You can help here.

10. Make-A-Wish Singapore

There’s something magical about seeing your greatest wishes fulfilled. Even more so for these children who’ve had to brave through days of pain and treatment from their illnesses. However, for these children who are critically ill, every wish they have is on a ticking clock.

Make-A-Wish Singapore is a non-profit organisation that helps to make these wishes come true so that the children have renewed strength and hope to carry on. With the help of donations and dedicated volunteers, Make-A-Wish Singapore has granted over 1,632 wishes and counting since 2002.

Extend your help here. Alternatively, you could also consider buying a limited-edition face mask at S$18 a pop to raise funds for more wish-granting efforts. The masks are specially designed by children who’ve had their wishes previously granted by Make-A-Wish, who now want to share their message of hope with the public.

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