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Every Christmas is a period of giving and sharing. It has been my wish to do volunteering work for the longest time. There are plenty of volunteering work out there to choose to do. But taking time on weekends on my own will deprive my family time with the kids. Till the day my kids are older when I will have more free time to do my own stuff, I will need to find one charity work that includes the family and suitable for the kids for now.

Some volunteer work need long term commitment which I cannot commit. Some needs older kids to do. Some, like orphanage, are sensitive to visit as a family (we learnt that through inquiries). It was not easy to find one that 2 adults, 2 kids and 1 toddler can volunteer together. And that is when I learnt about the Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift project.

Share-A-Gift is an easy thing to do and it can involve the whole family including my 4yo toddler. In short, it is on food hamper delivery to needy families.

First we had to sign up at  http://www.bbshare.sg/ for a time slot that works for us. On that day, we appeared at BB’s Headquarters, and had the BB Boys load 10 big food hampers into our car. We also received 5 acknowledgement slips with 5 addresses to deliver the food hampers to. The 5 addresses are within blocks away from each other or within the same block. Then we were on our way as delivery boys and girls!

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Initially we thought it was as simple as going up to the beneficiary units, and passed the hampers to them with a friendly smile of Hello, Merry Christmas and Bye. And if we were lucky, chat with the families as well. But it turned out to be a little tougher than just that.

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With happy smiles and enthusiasm, each of us carried a heavy hamper and went up to the first unit. But there was no one at home after knocking on the door. So, we moved on to the second unit, hoping we had better luck, then, it was again no answer. We moved on to the third unit, refusing to believe that we would hit an empty unit for the third time. Again no answer! Even the toddler started to call out “Hello! Hello!” and knocking on the door loudly. By this time, the kids were getting disappointed and were tired of lugging the heavy hampers around. Can you believe our bad luck? None of the 5 beneficiaries was at home!

While we thought this was it, I decided to call the recipients and finally one uncle, who was at the coffeeshop downstairs, came home after picking up my call. This was our first successful delivery after an hour or so!

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As we were doing this project with 4 family friends, one of them did not have any luck too. And they went back to the BB Headquarters to report and were given new beneficiary addresses. This saved us a trip back and we drove to the next address to deliver the remaining 4 sets of food hampers. This time, we were smarter. We called up the recipients before we delivered the hampers to them. In this round, we managed to deliver another 3 sets of food hampers! The kids were delighted and one of our family friends helped to send back all our remaining hampers back to BB Headquarters together with the acknowledgement slips.

All in all, we spent 2 hours of a Sunday afternoon, breaking our Sunday family routine, to do a simple but meaningful work for those in need! Seeing their smiles upon receiving the hampers gave us a feeling of contentment and happiness. I hope this small start of volunteering will enable the kids to appreciate simple things in life and learn to share and give 🙂

After that, the 4 families went for a playdate together at Marine Cove playground and had great fun at the East Coast Beach.

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Perhaps, if you wish to do volunteering work with your kids or friends, you should really check this out. It is certainly a good start to teach the kids to share and give. It need not be all monetary gifts, it can be a gift of time and I find this even more meaningful!

Do check out  http://www.bbshare.sg/ and register a slot from now till 31 December (Except for 24, 25 and 26 Dec).

More information:

For 29 years, since 1988, The Boys’ Brigade has been seeking to bring cheer to the  less fortunate by collecting food items and fulfilling Christmas wishes of the  beneficiaries through The Boys’ Brigade Share-a-Gift (BBSG) project.

Beneficiaries include elderly, kids and needy families.Each food hamper consists of 25 items, put together by the BBSG, from donations gathered from the public.

Each hamper is estimated to last the beneficiaries for four months or more. Common items are Rice, Biscuits, Cooking Oil, Instant Noodles, Canned food, seasonings, etc.

There are 3 things you can choose to do for this Share-A-Gift Project:

1) Donations of food items:From 25 November till 19 December 2016, gifts donated will be collected through the Gift Boxes (for General Wishes) and Wish Trees (for Specific Wishes) at various FairPrice outlets island-wide from 11am to 9pm daily. The public would be able to  deposit their general food and household items in the Gift Boxes, and fulfill specific wishes of the beneficiaries that are placed on tags on the Wish Trees.

Donors can also contribute by purchasing general food and household hampers valued  at $20, $30, and $50 via NTUC FairPrice’s online portal (www.fairprice.com.sg) or  donate cash at any AXS station.

2) Adopt a Wish (Specific Wishes Project)Adopt a wish or wishes from any of the Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift Wish Trees in Singapore.Pick up a wish tag and get the item on the wish tag. Place the gift at the location where you pick up the wish tag. The Wish Trees are located at various NTUC outlets. More information can be found on the “donation location” here.

3) Deliver Food Hampers like what we do!

Let this season be the start of a regular volunteering work with your kids and families 🙂

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. We got to be part of this meaningful project when I learnt through media and PR who are promoting volunteering and sharing during this holiday period. It could not have come at a better time when I was coincidentally looking up for doing volunteering work with my kids 🙂