Sharing is Caring: A Fun and Simple Way to Give Back
Theresa Evanoff, Gift-It-Forward
Some of us are new to Singapore, and some of us may have been here for years. Regardless of how you got here, Singapore is now our home and it’s always important to
find ways to give back to the community. I know many of us want to, but are unsure how or where!
It’s equally important to let kids know that they can make a difference at any age and that no impact is too small; it’s all about the mindset to help someone other than yourself. By teaching kids about the value of social responsibility, they too can make a larger positive impact in their own time and inspire others to do the same.
Personally, I have lived in Singapore for over 13 years and wanted to find a way to give back to local charities. At the same time, seeing the excess at birthday parties, I felt compelled to teach my own kids about charity and generosity. So I launched Gift-It- Forward, a website that is a fun and simple way to empower kids (and adults!) to give back.
Birthday parties can be all about ‘getting’, and I wanted to emphasise that ‘giving’ is just as important. By sending party invitations through the platform, users automatically set up a personal gift fund, to which friends and family can contribute instead of giving physical gifts. Not only can kids choose a charity that they want to ‘share’ their birthdays with, but they can also pool their money together to save up for a dream gift they hope to receive.
We have hand-picked and partnered with 15 local charities whose causes we feel would resonate with both kids and adults. They represent causes from animals (ACRES, SPCA, and SOSD), children (Make-A-Wish, Canossaville Community & Children Services), the elderly (Alzheimer’s Disease Association, Lions Befrienders, foreign workers (HOME), and many many more. These charities are all Singapore-based, and can not only use the donations we help channel, but also volunteers if you have extra time!
I applaud the generosity of the children and parents who have selflessly given 100% of their gifts to a cause. However, this needs to be communicated carefully as not to give kids the wrong impression that giving to charity means that they lose out.
With Gift-It-Forward, you can choose to give between 50% and 100% of your gift contributions to your charity, but I generally encourage kids to give 50% and keep 50%. This way, everyone wins – kids get a gift that they actually want and appreciate, and the chosen charity also gets funds that they certainly appreciate.
In the last year since we’ve launched, we have had many adults and children tell us how much they love our concept. We have raised nearly $20,000 for local charities, all with the generous support of our users and their guests. It doesn’t take grand gestures and large sums of money to make an impact. Every little bit counts. And as my kids always remind me, “Sharing is caring”.
Gift-It-Forward is an invitation and gift fund platform that connects people to charities through celebrations. www.gift-it-forward.com