Four thousand years ago, in honour of the new year, the ancient Babylonians made promises to the gods during a raucous 12-day festival to pay their debts and to return borrowed items. In return, the gods would bestow favour on them for the coming year.
The Romans, 1,500 years later, offered the sacrifice of a ram and made promises to Janus, the god of beginnings, time, doorways and transitions. Janus had two faces: one to look to the past and one to the future.
Early Christians were slightly less wild and meditated on the year past and the year to come by singing hymns and reading scriptures to help avoid temptation and to treat others with Christian charity.
These days, particularly in the Western world, our resolve to do better for the year to come is less set in a biblical context and is far more to do with self improvement. Our New Year resolutions often involve exercise, eating healthily, losing weight, giving up smoking, drinking less alcohol, and other undesirable behaviours and habits. Sadly, our lack of fear of the wrath of the gods and our eventual and lazy acceptance that we’ll never squeeze into that dress, has probably got rather a lot to do with why many of us have abandoned our New Years resolutions by round about now.
However, Expatgiving is here to support you. We can help you to expand your interests, practise your life skills, meet new friends, improve your mental well-being, advance your career, and be happier. We can put you in contact with local non-profit organisations that need your skills, your energy and your desire to help.
Care about dogs, cats and other small animals?
SPCA Singapore is looking for helpers to clean cages and feed the animals, sell merchandise at events, talk to potential owners about the SPCA and adoption, and help with adoption procedures. Whereas, Action for Singapore Dogs is looking for people to raise awareness about their work, about adoption and responsible pet ownership, as well as help clean the dormitories.
Like horses and and want to help people with disabilities?
Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore (RDA Singapore) needs ‘big brothers and sisters’ to support riders during therapeutic and rehabilitative horse-riding sessions. Help children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities to gain self confidence, independence, improved circulation, balance motor coordination and mobility, and a sense of freedom.
Care about the local community?
Bizlink needs your help to reach out to people with disabilities in Singapore and to assist them in achieving independence, dignity and integration into mainstream society through open and sheltered employment.
Want to help elsewhere?
Delivering food to low-income families. Empowering disadvantaged children. Fighting for the rights of migrant workers. Non profit organisations across Singapore are currently looking for skilled people like you to help in these areas too. If you are not interested in current volunteer opportunities or don’t have the time to help now, that’s okay. We update volunteer posts on Expatgiving regularly and so you can volunteer your time and skills at your pace and convenience.
Whatever you decide to do to volunteer, you are giving your time and skills to help others, so give yourself a pat on the back. And, if you still manage to get up at 6am for those weekend workouts, then give yourself two.