In honor of the 2nd annual Sheldon G. and Dr. Miriam 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 25.
Here are a few words from Andrew Kong of Marina Bay Sands on what Sands Cares and volunteering means to him:
In 2017, I volunteered with several charity organizations through Sands Cares. Some of the activities I’ve been involved in include helping parents register their children for screenings at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS), helping out at the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) by joining beneficiaries in painting tote bags, and spring cleaning the homes of the elderly supported by AWWA in Ang Mo Kio. Here at Marina Bay Sands, I took part in a Chinese New Year celebration that was held at our Sands Expo and Convention Centre for the elderly from AWWA, where I sang popular Cantonese and Hokkien songs on stage to entertain the group. Whenever I have free time or a day off, I also volunteer with Willing Hearts, helping to pack and deliver food in the morning, or cleaning the kitchen after they’ve prepared food to be distributed to needy families. I am also very active in grassroots work where I am the vice-chairman with King George Avenue Residents Committee and I serve as secretary for Jalan Besar Community Club. In Jalan Besar, I’ve helped to raise funds and purchase groceries for the elderly living in nursing homes and sang for them too.
My first time volunteering with Sands Cares was in 2015, during Marina Bay Sands’ annual Sands for Singapore Charity Festival. As part of the activities, there was a charity walk, called the Community Chest Heartstrings Walk, where thousands of people signed up to walk around the Marina Bay area. Together with fellow Team Members, I helped to usher the participants on the walk and distributed water to them. It made me feel proud to be involved in such a large-scale event and give back to society.
I feel that Sands Cares can change people for the better. Many people in Singapore tend to focus on career and money, and sometimes it can be stressful and bring about negative energy. Being involved in community work and taking part in the activities Sands Cares organizes, is one way to create positive energy and help give back to the community. I think the work Sands Cares does really puts a smile on beneficiaries’ faces. I have worked at other companies before, but none have a program as robust as Marina Bay Sands. The spirit of giving is a fire that needs to keep burning, so I am glad that the Adelson family is big on philanthropy.
I feel like everyone works for survival, but we tend to forget that there are people out there who may not be as fortunate as us to have a job, money, or help. I always believe that there is strength in unity and when everyone comes together to give back to the community, we can make a bigger impact. It also makes us build closer ties together as a team. I know I’ve made so many friends at Marina Bay Sands through volunteering. Work can sometimes be stressful, and volunteer work can offer you a break from the stress. Of course, volunteering has to come from the heart – without heart, there is no point in it!