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 Jaybeth Aldeza Gonzales of Marina Bay Sands on what Sands Cares and volunteering means to her:
I have volunteered with several charity organizations over the past year, including the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA), Metta School, Willing Hearts, Special Education (SPED) school in the Philippines and more. Sometimes it can be simply taking care of the children at events organized by the company, or doing a small performance on stage for the beneficiaries. I recently signed up as a volunteer at the Handicaps Welfare Association in my neighborhood, helping out by cooking meals for the elderly, and that is something I can do with my children.
My first time volunteering with Sands Cares was at a Metta School event back in 2011. I had signed up as a volunteer during the annual Sands for Singapore Charity Festival and there was a sports event where the children were involved in an Amazing Race style competition. I was chaperoning the children – these were children who had either Down syndrome or a form of autism – so I was running around to help them complete tasks to finish the race. And at the end of the event, some of the volunteers including myself also choreographed and performed a dance for the children on stage. It made me really happy to see the children happy, and since taking part in that event, it really encouraged me to be involved more in community work.
For me, the events and work Sands Cares does is important because it helps to raise awareness about the challenges faced by those with special needs and allows people to be more understanding and inspire others to help them. Before joining Marina Bay Sands in 2010, I was working for another company and they didn’t really have a Corporate Social Responsibility program like Sands Cares. It was more of the company giving a cash donation to a charity and for me, volunteering really comes from the heart. I sometimes feel I am blessed in life with my job at Marina Bay Sands and my family – I am a mother of six - and I should pay it forward by giving back to the community.
Singapore is a rich and cosmopolitan country, but there are a lot of families who need help, as well as the elderly and children. We need to continue what Sands Cares does because it helps the community and makes a difference. It is a wonderful program that instills a culture of giving back to the community among Team Members. Volunteering makes me feel like I am sharing my blessings with others.