Sands Confidential

Sands Cares Heroes of the Year: Bethlehem

In honor of the 3rd annual Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Citizenship Award, presented by Sands Cares, we are featuring our 12 Sands Cares Heroes, finalists for the Adelson Citizenship Award.  Las Vegas Sands established the award to recognize Team Members across all of our regions who have demonstrated a dedication to giving back to local communities and important causes.  The award was created to honor the Adelson family’s long-term commitment to philanthropy and the legacy of giving that they have instilled in the company.  The winner will be announced Wednesday, April 17. 

Meet our finalists from Bethlehem:

Andrew Graffis

What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them?  I was a note taker for students at ESU.  I have always been a part of our effort to collect and distribute blankets to kids in hospitals through Derek’s Hugs.  Angel 34 has done a bunch of wonderful events and started our Derek’s Camp Flip Flop for families.  

What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares?  I helped put together hygiene kits for the Clean the World event last fall. 

What impact does Sands Cares have on your community?  I know they do a great service to Donegan Elementary and Victory House for veterans and homeless men, but there is so much more!

Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members?  It’s a great thing to know that my company helps the local community and it means a lot to me. 

What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018?  Working the Jason Mraz concert was terrific, as he is one of my favorite artists.  It was through an affiliated organization, Arts Quest. 

Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate?  It helps give people a sense of pride, besides doing what’s required of them for their job.  I think that a lot of people want to and enjoy helping others.  It’s just that people on their own don’t know where to start or whom to ask.  Sands Cares is a great point for people who want to help others. 

 

Jeanne Hagen

What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them?  Most of my volunteer hours have been spent working on service projects with the Kiwanis Club of Phillipsburg, New Jersey.  I have prepared meals for a men’s homeless shelter; collected hats and gloves for the folks at that homeless shelter; prepared and served Thanksgiving dinner at a local Soup Kitchen (Wesley United Methodist Church) for about 50 walk-ins and delivered over 100 meals to shut-ins.  I have planned and participated in parties at the local nursing homes in Phillipsburg.  We have collected shoes to be repurposed in third world countries; prepared food baskets for needy families at the holidays and adopted a family at Christmas time and bought gifts for them.  We have made birthday bags for local children which include a gift for all the fixings for a birthday cake and delivered them on their special day, while most would not have anything if not for our gift.  We make blessing bags with essential items for those in need in shelters and for the homeless.  I also work with approximately 10,000 high school students throughout New Jersey on their service projects and annual conventions.  I have also participated in the Sands Cares event making hygiene kits.  I volunteer at the annual Thomas the Tank engine visit to Phillipsburg and I help out at the Olde Towne Festival in Phillipsburg and Movies in the Park during the summer months.  I fully support our local food bank, NORWESCAP, by working at food collections, food packing events and their annual Empty Bowls luncheon and Culinary event. 

What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares?  My first volunteer experience with Sands Cares was the hygiene kits.  It was a wonderful experience seeing so many Team Members and their families participate in the event. 

What impact does Sands Cares have on your community?  Sands Cares in Bethlehem is far reaching within our local community.  We support a local elementary school with their awards and recognition programs, we collect school supplies for them and we read to them during Dr. Seuss week.  We also clean up the local area with clean up days, we collect books and clothing to support local charities and we support the local Children’s Hospital by collecting toys for the children at Christmas. 

Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members?  Having multiple programs throughout the year allows everyone the chance to participate in supporting our local community.  Everyone is passionate about something and Sands Cares has so many different programs, every Team Member can find a cause they can get behind. 

What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018?  I would have to say that my involvement with my high school Key Club students is always my favorite opportunity because I get to see the impact of their progress throughout the year and I can see how much they learn and mature from the beginning of the school year to the end.  However, my first Sands Cares hygiene kit build was a lot of fun because it gave me an opportunity to work side by side with a lot of my Team Members that I don’t see every day. 

Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate?  I know the company realizes the importance of giving back to the communities that allow us to operate as a successful business.  Our livelihood relies on the support of our local leaders and citizens.  There is no better way to show your appreciation than to give back to those that contribute to your success. 

 

Preeya Patel

What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them?  In the past year, I have volunteered for non-profit organizations such as my church in which I volunteer as a teacher every Sunday.  I have also taken part in our community spring cleanup, volunteered at local food banks and various other community service events held by my former employer and Sands Bethlehem. 

What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares?  The first volunteering event was the toy drive in which I donated toys, followed by Purple Bag-Crown Royal where bags were filled with treats for troops.   

What impact does Sands Cares have on your community?  The impact on the community is quite large.  With the various events and activities that are being done, the communities are impacted in a positive manner through donations, toy drives, book drives, and community hours at other organizations.  We are helping so many that are in need.  Any small act towards the community makes a difference. 

Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members?  Sands Cares is important to me and other Team Members because it allows us to make a difference in the community on a larger scale.  As a larger group, we can make a larger impact in areas that matter the most. 

What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018?  I have enjoyed volunteering in all of the activities that I have been involved in.  Teaching is my favorite because the knowledge and values that I teach my students is something that will make them the individuals they grow into in the future. 

Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate?  Sands encourages Team Members to give back to the community because of the nature of our industry.  Guests come to the casino to have fun and enjoy the experience.  If we are with them at that time, why not in their time of need?  The casino is part of the community and being a community member means it is our duty to do our part and help our community.  The company encourages us to help our “family” through acts of giving and volunteering.