News | April 6, 2018

Sands Cares Hero of the Year: Rachel Conner

Sands Cares Hero of the Year: Rachel Conner

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 Rachel Conner of The Venetian and The Palazzo on what Sands Cares and volunteering means to her:

Most of my volunteering has been through the Boy Scouts of America.  For the Boy Scouts, I’ve held the positions of committee chair, organization representative, chief trainer, day camp director, and program director.  Giving back to the community is a big part of scouting as well.  Through the Pack last year, we went out to the Las Vegas Wash for their Green Up event where we helped plant native plants.  We built hygiene kits to send to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, and again after the wildfires in California.  We also send care packages to overseas military every Christmas for those that don’t have family members that send to them. Through Sands Cares, I participated in the Team Member Night at the Ballpark, Dining for Charity, Fill the Bus, and the Toy Drive.

The first Sands Cares volunteer experience I was a part of was back in 2012.  I organized the gathering of donations and creating a basket for the Mother’s Day Basket Silent Auction.  Sands Cares gives back to the community around us.  They get involved in education through Reading Week, taking part in the School Beautification program, donating to non-profits like Communities In Schools, and participating in events like Fill the Bus.  They help those who don’t have enough through charities like Three Square, HELP of Southern Nevada, Project Homeless Connect, and the 98.5 KLUC Toy Drive.  Sands Cares is important to me.  It gives me the opportunity to expand the organizations that I can help.  It makes me feel good to know that something I did has made a difference in someone’s life.

To have the Adelson’s’ spirit of giving as the inspiration of Sands Cares means many organizations will receive the help they are looking for to be able to touch the lives of many people that don’t have enough.   Three years ago when I was able to volunteer for Reading Week, I received letters from the class I visited.  I believe it was a third grade class I went to, and a few weeks after I went, I received letters and hand drawn pictures from the kids thanking me for coming to read to them.  It means a lot to those we reach out to, but it means a lot to us as volunteers.  I think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the community to help build a sense of belonging.  When you give back, it gives you a feeling of pride in what you do for others and it gives them a feeling of security, knowing that there are people out there who care for them.

I would encourage anyone who is deciding whether or not to volunteer in the community to do it.  It feels amazing to be able to give back.  It doesn’t matter if it’s monetarily or just giving your time.  To see those who benefit from something you did or just the feeling it gives you to know you helped someone who was in need is the best feeling in the world.  Volunteering makes me feel like I have made a difference for someone who needs me.