spread the cheer
It’s the season of giving, and LYNN WEE finds out how you can make a difference in someone’s life while also stocking up on presents from Singapore companies and social enterprises.
COOKIES FOR CAUSE
Unsure of what desserts to serve at your Christmas party this year? The Association for Persons with Special Needs sells Mystical cookies that are baked and packed by its clients – people with mild intellectual disabilities.
The cookies come in four flavours – chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, eggless and shortbread.
This Christmas, it’s offering star-, heart-, snowflake- and Christmas tree-shaped cookies, in the eggless flavour ($5 for a pack of four). All profits are ploughed back into the running of the social enterprise, as well as its beneficiaries’ salaries. Order by Dec 16. FIND OUT MORE www.apsn.org.sg
Arts@metta provides visualarts training to special-needs youth in Singapore, where they learn how to create products with batik painting such as bookmarks, recycled carrier bags and pottery. The handmade items bear each artist’s creative imprint and boosts their self-expression and personal development. Prices start from $1 for a bookmark.
Sales also help fund supported employment, which the social enterprise believes will empower these youth with hope and dignity, as well as promote integration and independence. There are special items for sale this festive season, which includes
Christmas batik painting, cards, coasters and tumblers. FIND OUT MORE www.metta.org.sg
ONE OF A KIND
Looking for unique gifts? Bizlink’s website is always worth a visit.
It sells an array of items made and designed by people with disabilities to help them earn a living through the Sheltered Workshop programme.
These include stationery, apparel, mugs and bottles – perfect for corporate gifts – or handcrafted ones such as batik crafts, hampers and festive cards. Prices start from $1.10 for a card. Details of its Christmas promotion were not available at press time; check the website for updates. FIND OUT MORE www.bizlink.org.sg
Healthy snacking is just a click away with Boxgreen, which delivers natural treats straight to your doorstep. There are over 50 varieties to choose from, and it prides itself on using wholesome ingredients with no added articial sweeteners, avours or colours.
Its kid’s box includes stickers for the little ones to decorate their boxes with, or you can personalise one yourself.
For every box delivered, a meal is donated through Willing Hearts soup kitchen (www.willinghearts.org.sg) to help the underprivileged and the needy in Singapore.
The online store’s Christmas Box, which features four exclusive snack choices – the Xmas fruit cake, Gingerfruit muesli munch, Herb garden mix and Choco twilight biscotti – is priced at $15, inclusive of delivery. FIND OUT MORE www.boxgreen.co
MADE WITH LOVE
Give the kids something meaningful from Teddythotz – it has quirky teddy bears, stuffed cushions and crochet animals made by talented individuals among the elderly and disadvantaged, who derive an income from the sales.
There are also other unusual gifts like traditional patchwork blankets, beansprout husk pillows, table mats and even hand-painted earrings – which make great gifts for adults, too. Prices start from $6 for a traditional cup coaster. Teddythotz does not have an online shop, but it sets up shop at pop-up markets. FIND OUT MORE www.fb.com/Teddythotz.SG
If you have a long list of presents to get, Actsmarket is your one-stop destination. This online bazaar sells products from different social enterprises; for every dollar spent, 88 cents are given back to help the needy.
You’ll nd artisanal crafts such as accessories, baby blankets and tissuebox holders, to personalised soft toys, all of which are handmade by the underprivileged or disabled.
Prices start from $5 for a fabric tissue holder. Enjoy 10 to 20 per cent off selected products this season. FIND OUT MORE www.actsmarket.com
Like Actsmarket, Cartse is an online marketplace for local social enterprises.
It was created by the Enactus group from the National University of Singapore, which aims to use the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives. The students contribute expertise in product marketing, order processing and customer feedback, to help voluntary welfare organisations with fundraising.
Products range from accessories and apparel to stationery and toys, with prices starting from $9.90 for a bean-sprout husk pillow.
All sales proceeds go to the social enterprises. It has a 10 per cent discount on selected items, such as the bean-sprout husk pillows, tissue-box covers, antique pottery and necklaces, this Christmas. FIND OUT MORE www.cartse.com
SWEET TREATS AND MORE
The wide range of gifts from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) don’t just look pretty. Made by adults with intellectual disabilities, the notebooks, fridge magnets and photo frames serve as therapy to develop self-condence and ne motor skills.
Minds also sells cookies that are baked, packed and labelled by its beneciaries. Signature avours include dark chocolate oatmeal, custard butter, and rainbow.
Prices start from $3 for a fridge magnet, and $2.50 for a pack of three cookies. All sales proceeds are given back to the beneciaries as an allowance. Its festive items could not be conrmed by press time, but check the website for updates. FIND OUT MORE www.minds.org.sg