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.
Last week you met our Macao finalists, this week we’re highlighting our finalists from Singapore:
What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them? In 2018, I was actively involved in a number of Sands Cares volunteering opportunities – from the packing of hygiene kits with global charity Clean The World to befriending beneficiaries during a charity walk with Community Chest around Singapore’s Marina Bay district. My colleagues and I also represented Marina Bay Sands to participate as a marching contingent with The Purple Parade, a local movement in support of inclusion and persons with special needs. Outside of work, I have volunteered to engage with senior citizens at local hospitals and community events. I also lend my time to the National Kidney Foundation for data entry work, and helped paint houses for low income families under a project led by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) in Singapore.
What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares? In February 2014, a group of us from Marina Bay Sands visited the kitchens of local charity Willing Hearts to prepare, pack and deliver food for their beneficiaries. This was my first time participating in a Sands Cares initiative, and I was also the only one from my department who volunteered for that particular event. As I did not know anyone, I recall feeling nervous and apprehensive. However, my colleagues were all very warm and helpful. We started assigning tasks in the kitchen to different groups of people and helped each other through any difficulties faced. I made a lot of new friends that day, and am grateful for the shared experience with my fellow Team Members.
What impact does Sands Cares have on your community? Through the various volunteering activities under Sands Cares, we are not only able to create memorable experiences for those in need – we also cultivate a spirit of volunteering within our organization. This encourages fellow Team Members to participate and spread more positive energy in helping the community.
Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members? Sands Cares makes volunteering a simple and straightforward process, especially for first-time volunteers who have no clue how to start participating in charitable activities. The activities under Sands Cares are planned and organized by an internal team within Marina Bay Sands, and information about the volunteering tasks and the charities involved are always clearly communicated. The program is a good way to get Team Members to embark on their personal volunteering journeys. Furthermore, it is through these volunteering activities that we are given the opportunity to bond with colleagues across different departments within Marina Bay Sands. It builds teamwork, trust, and respect, and leaves us all with unforgettable memories of giving back to those in need.
What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018? My favorite volunteering opportunity last year was during the annual Play It Forward charity challenge organized by Sands Cares, during Marina Bay Sands’ annual charity festival. The event allows members of the public to sign up and represent local charities to participate in fun and creative challenges across the Integrated Resort. Children can also participate in Play It Forward Junior, a kid-friendly edition of the charity challenge. I signed up to be a Team Buddy assigned to one of the junior teams, and it was such a memorable and engaging experience. I had so much fun while accompanying a team of children to complete their various challenge stations, while cheering them on and guiding them.
Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate? In my opinion, these Sands Cares initiatives are a way for the company to integrate volunteering opportunities into each Team Member’s work life. This exposure is very valuable, and it also helps introduce an element of work-life balance for each individual in the company.
What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them? I was actively involved in a range of internal and external volunteering opportunities over the past year. Within Marina Bay Sands, I participated in Sands Cares activities such as the packing of hygiene kits with global charity Clean The World. Beyond that, I also led initiatives with our corporate clients to incorporate a community impact element into their event programs and drive their brand’s social legacy. Leveraging on the company’s expertise in corporate giving and sustainability, we helped clients such as Schneider Electric organize a full green meeting within our venue – featuring elements such as a fully-sustainable menu featuring Organic, Fair Trade- or Rainforest Alliance Certified, responsibly produced or locally sourced ingredients. Marina Bay Sands also helped donate the leftover furniture from the conference to its designated charity, the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN).
What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares? The first Sands Cares opportunity that I participated in was organized with The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf) back in 2013. Leveraging on my areas of expertise, I had the privilege of providing SADeaf with guidance and ideas to help them in their fundraising pitches to major corporations and garner their support.
What impact does Sands Cares have on your community? From a community impact perspective, the time invested and funds raised through Sands Cares and volunteerism has supported many local non-profit organizations and charities. Our company’s financial contribution to these community partners has empowered them with the means to better serve their clients and achieve their charitable objectives. Beyond that, Sands Cares has also enabled our company to position ourselves as an employer of choice. In addition to Marina Bay Sands’ iconic status, it helps that we are also able to establish ourselves as a company that cares about the community. People want to work for organizations that engage in corporate giving, and it helps us attract more talent to join our workforce.
Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members? I believe that every individual has a desire to give back, but it’s easy for work and personal commitments to get in the way. What Sands Cares does is that it makes volunteerism easily accessible for Team Members to get involved. Furthermore, we work in the business of hospitality – an industry that offers luxury and extravagance. With Sands Cares initiatives built into our corporate culture, it keeps us grounded and reminds us that we can tap on our company resources to do our part for the underprivileged community. Within our Sales department, I make it a point to incorporate a CSR element in both our client events as well as our internal team events. Through volunteerism activities, our team has been able to bond and cultivate a commitment to giving back.
What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018? My favorite volunteering opportunity last year was with global charity Clean The World – a mass hygiene kit packing activity organized with Sands Cares. Not only is the event fun and great for team bonding, it also demonstrates the small effort of donating recycled hotel room amenities can go a long way to help those in countries with little or no access to basic hygiene services. In fact, I enjoy this activity so much that I make it a point to volunteer at the Clean The World booth at IMEX USA every year. Outside of work, my family and I started an initiative called ‘Cards4Hope’ and this has become something very close to my heart. We started in 2015 by getting a group of volunteers to make cards containing well wishes and words of encouragement, using recycled materials such as leftover ribbons, buttons and more.
Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate? I think giving back to the community is something that should be integrated into any individual’s lifestyle, as much as possible. We are blessed to be working for a company that is focused on dedicating time and resources to allow Team Members to participate in volunteering activities with local charity partners. I am grateful to be able to do the job I love and engage in activities close to my heart – all within the same organization.
What types of organizations have you volunteered for over the past year and what did you do for them? I participated in many of the volunteering opportunities that were organized by the Sands Cares and Sands ECO360 at Marina Bay Sands. The activities supported a range of organizations – from senior citizens and family service centers to those focused on sustainable causes. In addition to coastal clean-ups and the packing of hygiene kits using recycled hotel amenities with global charity Clean The World, I also hosted and befriended beneficiaries for property visits to Marina Bay Sands during events such as National Day and the annual Sands for Singapore Charity Festival. Outside of work, I also participated in fundraising programs and volunteer activities with Red Cross Singapore and St. John’s Home for Elderly Persons, where I made house visits or celebrated festive occasions with their beneficiaries.
What was the first volunteer experience you were a part of through Sands Cares? My first volunteer experience with Sands Cares was back in 2015, when my department and I participated in the Las Vegas Sands Global Hygiene Kit Build with Clean The World. My colleagues and I enjoyed ourselves so much that we made it a point to volunteer together every year from then on. It’s a great way to bond as a team while doing our part for the community.
What impact does Sands Cares have on your community? Sands Cares brings together a bigger group of volunteers from Marina Bay Sands to give our time and skills to help the community. This combined effort makes a greater impact than that of an individual. Together, we can also reach wider and more varied range of underprivileged groups in Singapore.
Why is Sands Cares important to you and your fellow Team Members? The beauty of Sands Cares is that the program makes volunteering so readily available and accessible to us. It gives us no excuse to be “too busy” to volunteer. These opportunities are also open to anyone in the company and have become a big part of our culture at Marina Bay Sands. Every time I participate in a volunteer activity, I always leave feeling satisfied knowing that I have helped to make someone’s day better.
What has been your favorite volunteer opportunity in 2018? In the lead-up to Singapore’s National Day last year, Marina Bay Sands invited a group of beneficiaries from AWWA and Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) to watch the National Day Parade’s fireworks preview from atop our Sands SkyPark Observation Deck. As part of this Sands Cares activity, our Team Member volunteers were tasked to pair up with different groups of beneficiaries to host them for the visit. I ended up partnering with a single mother and her young son, who was incredibly hyperactive and playful. Throughout the entire event, I spent all my time looking after the child and running after him as he sped from one place to another. It was no easy feat keeping up with the young and energetic boy – in fact, I was thankful for the agility and stamina I’d built up through my netball trainings! I later found out from the boy’s mother that she found it challenging to cope with her son’s hyper-activeness, especially when she took him out. She was incredibly grateful to us for ‘relieving’ her of her caretaking duties that night.
Why do you think the company encourages Team Members to give back to the communities in which we operate? The role that businesses can play in uplifting the local underprivileged community through corporate giving is instrumental. For large companies like Marina Bay Sands, we are equipped with the human, financial and structural resources to give back in an impactful way. We are very fortunate to have this philosophy ingrained in our company culture through Sands Cares – not just within Marina Bay Sands but also across the entire network of Las Vegas Sands properties around the world.