It might not mean a lot to you, but it might mean the World to them.
“Leaders need to be facilitators, and help others get what they need.” — Janeen Latini
I was introduced to the Abundance Mindset by a friend, a mentor, and a leader, in 2009. I am not yet sure what is it at that moment, and it takes time for me to put this into practice. This mindset refers to the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everyone. I agree that it is a zero-sum game in many situations, and someone needs to lose for another one to win. For example, take a pie, and we can have it ourselves or divide it into eight equal parts.
Let’s cut it smaller into twelve equal parts so that four more people can share? Can we also give our pie to another person and probably have something intangible in return? I guess there are ways that we can win while ensuring that the others don’t lose.
I am not a great person who does a lot to help others, and I try to do what I can. When we reach out to help another person, the effort and the money might not mean a lot to us. But this gesture and the support we are giving might mean a lot to the receiving party.
Microfinancing to build Toilet
In Singapore, we are used to easy access to a toilet at home or when we are in malls. However, such convenience must not be taken for granted, as this is not the situation for those in India. In India, most of the rural population does not have access to proper sanitation, which leads to other social issues.
When I came across the Milaap platform a few years back, I focused on providing loans to people to build toilets. This is the most urgent need compared to others, such as getting money to start a business. I can’t provide many loans, but they accumulated over the years and made a small impact on the community I helped. You can see that over the years, I managed to lend out more than USD 20,000.
However, they do not have many people asking for loans for sanitation purposes, and thus I have not been that active on this platform in recent years.
Related Article: Let’s talk about Toilet.
Buying diapers and milk powders
Some people fall through the cracks and get themselves into a vicious cycle. While there might be social help, the help itself is not sufficient, and the family usually live from paycheque to paycheque. This is especially hard for those families with young kids.
I came across this platform Passiton.org.sg that enables social workers and those with needs to list down what they want. Donors can go onto the platform to pledge and fulfil their needs. I have passed a laptop and a netbook to 2 different beneficiaries through this platform.
Starting a few months back, I donate diapers and milk powders to a family with young kids. I contribute to two families consistently as I have slightly more spare cash to help now. I am going beyond the platform and contacting the family service centre directly, buying from an online platform and sending the products to them.
I hope to continue to do this and probably expand to helping another 1-2 more families this year. I hope that this can help them ease off their burden and start to have more accessible income for other purposes. If you are keen to support, visit the platform and see how you can help.
Blood and Bone Marrow Donor
I am now a consistent blood donor to the HSA Blood Bank, donating four times a year. My first donation was in 1996, when I was enlisted for my national service. Since then, it has been inconsistent, and I have only started making a regular donation 2 to 3 years back. My favourite venue for donating blood is Westgate, where they have a great view and a lesser crowd.
I am supposed to go for my donation at the end of March. However, as I recently recovered from COVID-19, I need to wait for 28-days after tested Ag+.
I have been on the Bone Marrow Donor Programme since a few years back. The purpose for enrolling myself is that it is hard to get a match, and I hope that I can contribute to the pool to increase the survivability of a patient if I am a match. You must be between 18 and 49 and in good health to enrol as a donor. Unfortunately, the probability is low, and I never know if I will be a match for a person within the next few years before I retire from the programme.
Giving to Organisations
Last year, I donated to Cheng Hong Welfare Service Society on behalf of my company after a friend shared with me what they are doing. One of the recent news is that they are helping the elderly to take care of their funeral when the day comes. I find that this is a meaningful act, and it will get more common in future Singapore.
I will continue to donate as an individual donor, and I am happy that I can be part of an organisation that renders help to the needy. You can read more about the news coverage here, but I am sorry that this is in Mandarin.
I am not trying to boast about how great I am or how many people I am helping. However, I want to highlight the point that we can all do our part to help, no matter how small. There are various means by which we can provide help to others.
Also, it need not be something that makes a massive dent in your pocket. Start small, and while it is small, it might mean a lot to those who benefitted from you.