Sands Cares, the corporate giving program of Las Vegas Sands, is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen, committed to its people, communities in which it operates and the planet. In each region, Sands Cares has Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) leads that manage the program and execute initiatives unique to each region.
After moving back to Allentown where Sands Bethlehem is located from New Jersey, Susan Stachowski reached out to former colleagues connected to Las Vegas Sands and received an opportunity to work with the President and development team opening Sands Bethlehem. A Team Member since 2007, Stachowski moved positions, landing in her current position leading the properties social responsibility program, Sands Cares.
“Sands Bethlehem might be small, but we are mighty,” she said. “I have a committee which includes Team Members from all shifts and all departments who help spread the word on volunteer opportunities in the community and everyone takes individual tasks and brainstorms to come up with creative ideas for many of our wonderful events. Various departments are happy to help out and I haven’t found anyone who has said ‘no.’ From Facilities to Food and Beverage to Marketing and Human Resources, we design the layout, we order the food, we hang the posters and banners and send out emails to get the information out to everyone. The committee works hard to pull all the pieces together to ensure each event is a huge success.”
Accommodating Team Members in various departments takes effort, so Stachowski looks for volunteering opportunities that are in the evenings and weekends to allow the majority of Team Members to sign up and volunteer. There are many causes and organizations to choose from in the area and it can be challenging to pick the right ones to make the most impact on the community.
“All charity requests come to me whether it’s a sponsorship, monetary or auction package request,” she said. “Our committee selects the best match with our Sands Cares’ pillars to support the needs of our people, community and the planet. Working closely with the organization to fulfill their needs, we are eager to help ensure their event is a success and we make a huge impact on the community’s needs.”
Since the property began tracking volunteer hours, Sands Bethlehem has averaged 750 volunteers and 1,500 hours per year. Most volunteer hours are spent at Donegan Elementary School, a Title I school located in the Southside of Bethlehem, where Team Members volunteer for homework club, Read Across America, Award Breakfast for Improved Attendance as well as Shining Stars, which highlights student performances. In addition, support is given to their Leadership Programs and the 2nd Grade “Green Team” who learn about the company’s sustainability goals by taking field trips to the property. Other organizations special to Sands Bethlehem are Victory House, where volunteers make home cooked meals for the homeless veterans and men who live there, Cops-N-Kids, which is a community day for kids and their families to learn about all the programs available to enhabce and enrich their literacy and enlighten their futures by learning about arts and science, and at the end of the year, they participate in Adopt-a-Family, which has grown to 25 families and Team Members help fulfill their Christmas wish lists of clothing, toys and a holiday meal.
“Our Team Members are great and eager to help,” Stachowski said. “Their unwavering support allows us to fulfill the needs of so many organizations throughout the year with big and small events. Following Puerto Rico’s devastating Hurricane Maria, we partnered with our local Hispanic Center and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to help families in need who stayed in Puerto Rico or relocated to the Lehigh Valley. The best part of my job is simple: we get to make a difference in the lives of others. Seeing the joy and happiness we can bring through simple acts of kindness and sharing this joy with all the other volunteers is wonderful. It’s a great joy to represent Sands Bethlehem within our community.”