How You Can Give Back This National Day, To Truly Show Your Singapore Spirit Even In These Times

National Day activities in Singapore to give back

The past couple of years have not been the easiest. Social distancing, restrictions on gatherings, and the fluctuating cases have made us all sian. Nevertheless, we’ve seen how even in difficult times, there are many ways for Singaporeans to give back.

But giving back to the community doesn’t have to include shelling out a fortune in donations. Sometimes, all it takes is volunteering your time that fosters the Singapore Spirit. 

If you’re looking to show that Singapore Spirit but don’t know where to start, the People’s Association Youth Movement (PAYM) has a line-up of unconventional ways youths can engage in celebrating our nation’s birthday through PAYM Loves Red. The campaign encourages youths to connect with their local community to show their patriotism to Singapore in creative ways.

Here are four ways to give back this National Day to get you started.

Tune in to National Day performances with your family

Image credit: @glennelsonn_ttl

Singing along to your favourite National Day songs, and cheering wildly with clappers are just some of the things we love about watching the National Day Parade. It’s no surprise then that our pioneer generation would have fond memories of doing the same when they were younger.

Ignite your inner Singapore Spirit with Keep Your Red Alive!, an initiative by Sengkang Central Youth Network that will reach out to residents living in nursing homes and hostels who will be celebrating National Day alone due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Join in on the festivities and accompany the elderly by tuning in to a parade of National Day songs, dances and skits put up by students from Sengkang Central schools. While current circumstances prevent being able to join in physically, your online presence would mean a lot to a generation that helped build this country.

Date: 14th August 2021
Time: 5PM-6.30PM

Tune into the Keep Your Red Alive! Livestream here

Complete a 5-56KM route and learn about disabilities

Image credit: @kosala_89

‘One People, One Nation, One Singapore’ should mean an inclusive society for persons with disabilities (PWD) too. That’s what the Rainbow Disabilities Challenge aims to raise awareness about by having participants complete a 5KM, 10KM, 20KM or 56KM virtual walk, run or cycle and a quiz about disabilities.

Organised by West Coast Youth Network, the challenge has partnered with various organisations, such as the Singapore Association for the Deaf, Rainbow Centre, and the Autism Network Singapore to create bite-sized information on different disabilities. These are then posted on social media and also emailed to participants of the challenge to aid them in scoring in the quiz.

Feel a sense of achievement while learning more about disabilities and how to interact with PWDs by completing the full challenge. The virtual race requires you to clock in your own distance and time on a fitness app. Submit your answers to the quiz on disabilities too to get your hands on the finisher’s pack of a PAYM Loves Red t-shirt and finisher’s t-shirt (for 10KM, 20KM and 56KM races only).

To get into the National Day spirit, take photos of yourselves dressed up in red and white during your race, and upload your photos onto Instagram with your well-wishes for Singapore with the hashtag #WCRDC21.

Dates: Now – 31st August 2021

Register for the Rainbow Disabilities Challenge here

Write Thank You notes to frontliners

Image credit: @warmwishesbylauren

Our frontline workers have gone through quite the ordeal during this Covid-19 pandemic. It’s hard work and an almost thankless job putting their lives at risk to ensure our community is safe from further spread of the virus.

Last year, the nation showed its thanks by clapping loudly for our frontliners; this year, show gratitude to our frontliners with PAYM Loves Red: Fighting Virus Together.

This activity, which includes collecting messages for thank you cards and packing and delivering care packs, has been organised by  Nee Soon East Youth Network, who are given the opportunity to plan events to grow community spirit in youths.

The card-writing initiative will only take a couple of minutes of your time to pen down words of thanks and encouragement. These messages will be printed onto cards to be included in national day care packs that will be distributed to staff at Yishun Polyclinic, Nee Soon East CC Vaccination Centre, shopping mall guards, cleaners and more.

Find out how you can participate here

Spread a little kindness by doing good deeds

Image credit: People’s Association Youth Movement

Sometimes, the smallest acts are the biggest ways to show the Singapore Spirit. In celebrating Singapore’s 56th birthday, Nee Soon East Youth Network is challenging residents to complete just three good deeds out of a list of 56 they’ve created for PAYM Loves Red: Youth Spreading Kindness.

From simple deeds, such as giving someone a compliment or picking up trash that you see, it won’t take long to fill your weekend with kindness with this challenge. And, if you have more ideas for acts of kindness you can do, you can submit your own as well. 

Share your reflections on how you’ve completed your three deeds on social media with the hashtag #NSEYNkindnessmovement and tag @nseyouths. Get the ball rolling on spreading kindness around Singapore by nominating three friends to do the challenge. The five most creative submissions on social media will win $50 worth of vouchers.

Take part in the challenge here

Celebrate our nation and give back with People’s Association Youth Movement

Image credit: People’s Association Youth Movement

You might not think that you can contribute much as a youth, but volunteering with organisations like PAYM is a sincere way in making an effort to give back to your community. Besides giving back, you can also show your love for Singapore by appreciating the nation’s vibrant culture and heritage. One notable way is through Visions of Queenstown, organised by Leng Kee Youth Network. 

See what Singapore’s oldest satellite HDB town means to you and others with the event’s photojournalism and colouring contests (both held from 1st – 31st August 2021). Share your favourite memories of the Spaces, People and Food in Queenstown that hold a dear place in your heart through your photos of the estate. For younger residents, pick up a colouring template of Queenstown from Leng Kee Community Centre or download one here. Fill it in with any medium of your choice to show the vibrancy of your neighbourhood.

There are prizes to be won, such as Apple Airpods and vouchers worth up to $150. More details of the contest can be found here.

If these fun activities are right up your alley, be sure to follow PAYM and join one of their 92 Youth Networks based in Community Clubs and Centres. Beyond ad-hoc events like these, PAYM has many more youth-centric activities you can participate in or even help to plan and organise. 

The youth organisation has been reaching out to youths 12-35 years old in Singapore since 1971 to engage and empower young people to take ownership in creating a vibrant community for themselves.

Whether you’re looking to grow in your leadership skills, or need a few friends to try out photography and board games, the PAYM network has you covered. And if you’ve ever wanted to be heard as a youth, PAYM hosts forums and dialogues  on topics you are passionate about. Follow PAYM on their Facebook, Instagram and Telegram channel for their latest activities.

Find out more about PAYM and their lineup of activities here

This post was brought to you by PAYM.

Raewyn Koh

Old millennial.

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