This Christmas, I bought presents, but for friends I haven't even met

While doing your holiday shopping, you can also deliver smiles to those in need.

| Sulaiman Daud | Sponsored | December 02, 2021, 08:00 PM

I always love the end of the year holiday season. Even if my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, I’ve always liked the idea of gathering with friends and having a “secret Santa” gift exchange.

The whole process of finding out who your gift recipient is, figuring out what they like best, looking through catalogues to find it and seeing their smile during the unwrapping fills me with warmth. And believe me, after the last couple of years we’ve had, some joy would certainly be welcome.

But while we celebrate with our friends and loved ones, exchanging gifts to show how much we care, there are many others who may be less fortunate or are struggling to make ends meet. It’s important to look out for them too.

There are various non-profit organisations (NPOs) in Singapore that do amazing work with the underprivileged groups of society. With their hard work, hungry children are fed, stray animals are housed, counselling services are provided, among other worthy causes.

As we celebrate with our loved ones, the festive period, or the season of giving, as some call it, is an opportune time to give back and help those around us in need.

But what exactly should you get them?

This best gift to someone is to get exactly what they want

Imagine if you knew exactly what your secret Santa wanted, or what exactly a charitable organisation needs to help others. While we can’t read minds (yet), thankfully, we’ve got wishlists to our rescue, so the whole process of gift-giving is easier and a lot more convenient for everyone.

And that’s why Amazon Singapore has come up with its “Amazon X Shop for Good wishlist initiative” here:

The way it works is simple. Head to this link and you will find all the 16 NPOs that Amazon Singapore is collaborating with. They range from The Food Bank Singapore to the Singapore Red Cross to the Singapore Children’s Society.

Each NPO has a little description of what it does and who it supports. For example, here’s Glyph Community:

Glyph Community is an NPO that curates activities for children, such as field trips, arts and crafts classes, sports coaching, and gives them the opportunity to apply what they learn in class.

See that “View wishlist” button?

Click on it and you’ll be able to see the items on the NPO’s wishlist.

When I first saw this list, I was rather taken aback.

When I was younger, I was on top of the world when my uncle got me a classic Batman figure from the legendary “Batman: The Animated Series”. I spent hours walking through Toys R’ Us looking for the fourth Ninja Turtle to complete the set, until my parents thought I was lost.

One of the highlights of my childhood was getting a Gameboy Colour to play Pokemon Yellow and beat that smug jerk Gary Oak -- and I still have that Gameboy today.

But seeing the list reminded me of one truth that doesn’t change, no matter which generation you’re in. Sometimes kids just need a simple gift to spark their imagination and a simple packet of colour pencils could inspire the next Banksy (hey, it could happen).

As I scrolled further down Glyph’s wishlist, I saw that it had several items that I may have never realised that underpriviledged kids or even NPOs need to keep going.

Besides colouring kits for kids, they have projectors, paper, boards, a shredder, batteries, and even tissues on their wishlist – items that play a part in the development of classes that are interactive and engaging for the kids.

Check it out

Items start from as little as S$2 dollars so you can donate to Glyph or other NPOs, no matter your budget. What’s great is that you can also see the number of items needed and how many they already have, if they need more than one.

The wishlists are updated directly and regularly by the NPO staff so you know what they need in real-time.

To donate an item, proceed as you would with shopping online. Once you’ve filled your “cart”, select “proceed to checkout”. The NPO’s address will appear under “Other Addresses” so you can have the donations delivered directly to them.

You can then choose whether or not to leave a message to the charity. Here’s where you can get creative, and pen a nice note to thank the NPO for all their hard work and compassion.

Make the payment, and you’re done!

What I personally loved about this is that the NPOs or the donors don’t have to physically pick up or move the items. All donations, including the bulky packages, are delivered right to their doorstep by Amazon.

The items listed also suit a range of budgets and every little contribution helps. Consider chipping in to get them a gift they really need. And you can donate anytime and from anywhere while knowing exactly how your gift will be used.

While it’s nice to get gifts for yourselves and your loved ones, let’s not forget the spirit of giving to others who have less.

You’re guaranteed to bring a little cheer into the lives of others through the holiday season and beyond.

Top image from Amazon Singapore.

This is a sponsored article by Amazon Singapore.