7 Ways to make this Christmas about impactful giving

Salt&Light supports the 2021 Giving Week from Dec 1 to 7.

Tricia Tan // December 10, 2021, 6:14 pm

Screenshot 2021-12-09 at 20.10.49

Beneficiaries of World Vision's Christmas Outreach. “Sponsorship has really brought so much light to us that we’re able to see where we’re going,” Esnart, grandmother of Chansa (in blue). You can choose to bring light into the lives of children around the world this Christmas by sponsoring a child with World Vision, among many other causes. Photo taken from World Vision's Facebook page.

For many of us, the Christmas season might mean a happy time of festivities with loved ones.

Yet Christmas is not a joyful season for all. It can be a lonely time for the migrant community, isolated from their families back home. The homeless do not have safe spaces to rest. Christians facing persecution in their country are in fear and hiding. Worldwide, Covid-19 rages on, with some families sick, separated or isolated.

As we quieten our hearts and hark back to the very first Christmas, we remember that Mary and Joseph were isolated from their families as they travelled to Bethlehem for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:4-5), homeless at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:7) and forced to flee from Herod’s persecution (Matthew 2:13).

This Giving Week (December 1 to 7), here are some ways we can show care and spread goodwill to those who are spending  Christmas in loneliness, poverty and fear in Singapore and around the world.

1. Help families who are especially vulnerable during Covid: World Vision

World Vision Singapore’s Window to My World Gift Catalogue features practical gifts for children and families around the world. Photo from

Nine ducks for a young family in India. Clean water for 253 families in a village in Indonesia. Food for 800 malnourished kids in Philippine slums.

Far from your typical Christmas wish list, World Vision’s Window to My World Gift Catalogue offers practical, meaningful ways to bless families this Christmas.

Covid-19 has not spared any of us, but it has hit developing regions the hardest. Hand-washing is a mainstay of Covid-19 prevention, but 4.2 billion people around the globe  lack access to basic hand-washing facilities. We might gripe about the tedium of Zoom school, but estimates suggest 1 billion children in developing regions might be out of school due to the pandemic.

In addition World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Programme allows for a vulnerable child to have a first day at school, a first school bag and a first visit to the doctor.

2. Provide for child survivors of abuse and neglect: RADION International

As part of the StreetKIDS rescue and recovery programme, RADION International has conducted regular relief efforts since the pandemic worsened this year. Photo from RADION International’s Facebook page.

Since 2007, Radion International has provided safety and shelter for child survivors of abuse, violence and neglect by providing them with a home, counselling and rehabilitation care. Covid-19 has seen an increase in intake of children at their shelters.

Serving vulnerable and underserved communities globally, with long-term projects across three cities in Southeast Asia, Radion is looking to expand their shelter in Chiang Mai, and are looking to raise $85,000 in December.

Join them in offering the gift of hope, or support their StreetKIDS rescue and recovery programme here.

“If these children with HIV can praise God, why can’t I?” cried out Radion’s Eugene Wee when his family lost everything

“If I asked you to stay in Thailand for 10 years and not see a single fruit, would you obey?” God asked Radion’s Eugene Wee

3. Let persecuted Christians know they are not alone: Open Doors

Rafif is an Iraqi 11-year-old whose father sacrificed himself to save a bus filled with Christian student from a planned bombing. Screenshot from Open Doors UK and Ireland’s video, “There’s an empty seat at Rafif’s table at Christmas – but hope is shining”.

Christian Advocacy group Open Doors is a non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians in the world. More than 340 million Christians, up from 260 million last year, face persecution and discrimination for their Christian faith, according to the Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List.

This Christmas, Open Hearts is looking to support persecuted Christian children through food parcels, Christmas gifts and discipleship resources.

Their site shares the story of Rafif, whose father was killed by Islamic extremists in Iraq who planted a bomb on a bus packed with Christian students.

“I miss my dad, because he is not there at Christmas. He can’t celebrate it with me.” 

She’s found hope at Christian education classes run by Open Doors partners.

To help children like Rafif, or show support to thousands of persecuted Christians fearing for their lives, click here.

Will you pray for Christians in these 10 most dangerous countries in 2021?

4. Provide livelihoods to slum dwellers: Care Channels International

Care Channels International engages communities in the slums of Asia. Screenshot from

Founded in 2000, Care Channels International serves nine different regions around Asia to improve the education, health and livelihood of the vulnerable.

Among its services, the organisation provides training for men, women and children living in slums in Asia to make cards and picture frames, providing them with opportunities to make a living or supplement their income. Education sponsorships are also offered to enable children to attend school.

To support and encourage these children and families, you can buy their handicraft here. Funds go directly to Care Channels’ beneficiaries.

Beyond putting food on the table: How Care Channels International is restoring dignity to Asia’s poor

5. Help secure a home for families of single mothers: HCSA Community Services

Thanks to HCSA Dayspring SPIN’s outreach, Yeni (right), a single mother with four children, is now able to spend time with her family. Through multiple workshops, she has secured a rental flat for her four children. Photo from HCSA’s gift25ive website.

Started in 1996 as a halfway house for recovering drug addicts and ex-offenders, HCSA Community Services has extended its services to include support for teenaged girls who have undergone the trauma of repeated abuse, as well as single parents with limited help.

Yeni, a single mother of four, works full time as a cleaner.

“I was struggling to make ends meet. It was difficult to spend time with my children while working hard to earn an income,” she told Salt&Light.

Following an introduction to HCSA SPIN, she was able to spend time with her children through multiple workshops and even secure a rental flat for her family.

To help Yeni and others like her, join HCSA’s #Gife25ive Campaign by making a donation at Tap & Give initiative or pinning a message on their virtual Christmas tree.

6. Befriend those without a roof over their heads: Homeless Hearts of Singapore

Homeless Hearts collates stories of its beneficiaries. “Auntie MF” is a rough sleeper who was often harassed by strangers. Thanks to the help of various agencies and Homeless Hearts, she managed to get an interim rental flat while awaiting her BTO flat. Photo from Homeless Hearts.

A 2019 study by National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy estimates that there are 921 to 1,050 homeless individuals in Singapore. How can we be salt and light to our homeless friends?

“We’re not so much focused on doing events or activities as we are on simple relationship building and growing,” said Abraham Yeo of Homeless Hearts of Singapore (HHOS).

Homeless Hearts of Singapore is team of volunteers who are part of the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers (PEERS) network. They hope to spur other fellow Singaporeans to start their own outreach groups to the homeless.

HHOS’ “modus operandi” of booking hotels or hostels as emergency places for homeless families can become expensive due to holiday surcharges.

This Christmas, Abraham urges families and churches to also prepare a place at our holiday tables for those with no tables or even a roof over their heads.

“Jesus’ own parents faced the same situation – they couldn’t stay in the inn because there was no space for them, even though Mary was pregnant,” he reminded.

By donating to Homeless Hearts, you can help them better serve the homeless. Your donations fund anything from EZ link top ups to laundromat coins and even emergency hostel stays. 

God is in the byways: A homeless tissue seller finds “church” in the streets of Holland Village

“Don’t just do Bible study, go out into the streets!”: Advocate for the homeless and Singaporean of the Year finalist Abraham Yeo

7. Support low cost medical care for migrant workers: Healthserve

“It is hard to construct our buildings. I am sure some of them also work hard to build our Christmas structures and decorations around the island!” Eight-year-old Joanna He Anqi from Gateway Arts Limited designed a Christmas card to help raise funds for our migrant community.

Founded in 2006, HealthServe seeks to bring low-cost medical services and social support to vulnerable low-wage migrant workers in Singapore.

This Christmas, the team is partnering with the young talents of Gateway Arts to craft Christmas cards for fundraising towards medical services for migrant workers.

Each donation goes towards keeping medical treatment fees (including consultation and medication) low or free for our migrant community.

Healthserve rolls out counselling for foreign workers amid concerns over morale and mental well-being

You can purchase the Christmas cards here or contribute to allied medical support programmes for migrant workers through the #ManyHelpingHands fundraiser here.

To be a HealthServe volunteer, find out more here.

In 2 Corinthians 9:11, Paul exhorts that we “will be enriched in every way you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”.

In doing so, we “lay up treasures for [ourselves] as a firm foundation in the coming age, so that [we] may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:19)

As we marvel at the miracle of Christ’s birth this December, we can love others as Christ loved us, truly seeing the less fortunate in our midst.


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About the author

Tricia Tan

Tricia is a medical student journeying through her undergraduate degree. She is a lover of poetry, stories and community work, and believes in being patient with the histories of others and her own. She is a part-time intern at Salt&Light.