CapitaLand hopes to make 2017 a better year for underprivileged children in Singapore by getting its tenants, shoppers, residents, business associates and employees involved in a series of year-end festive Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns.
It took the lead with a donation of S$1.6 million in 2016 to benefit underprivileged children in Singapore through its philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF). This, according to Mr Tan Seng Chai, Group Chief Corporate Officer of CapitaLand Limited and Executive Director of CHF, means that in 2016, CHF committed around S$2.4 million to benefit underprivileged children in Singapore and other countries where CapitaLand operates. Perhaps what is more important is that it also continues to engage its key stakeholders to raise awareness about the underprivileged in our midst.
“We hope that by encouraging and engaging our stakeholders to participate in these initiatives, they can bring this spirit of charity and volunteerism back to their own communities and start making a difference in their own way,” shared Mr Tan.
With awareness and action being top of mind, CapitaLand’s year-end efforts were directed at helping four different groups of underprivileged children.
Caring for children with special needs
The students at Rainbow Centre – Margaret Drive School received a dose of happiness thanks to a collaboration between CapitaLand Mall Asia and Coca-Cola®. The partners brought Coca-Cola®’s popular Recycle Happiness machine to Raffles City and Lot One Shoppers’ Mall in December 2016, encouraging shoppers to recycle their used drink bottles in exchange for a small gift. In turn, CHF donated S$2 to Rainbow Centre – Margaret Drive School for every bottle recycled, up to a maximum of S$25,000. The funds will help the Community Chest-supported school run programmes for children with moderate to severe developmental needs, including autism, physical, visual and/or hearing disabilities.
Shoppers were also treated to life-size Christmas displays made from recycled Coca-Cola® bottles in both malls throughout December. By making upcycling fun and accessible, CapitaLand hopes to inspire more people to join the resource conservation movement.
Fighting alongside cancer warriors
In support of the Children’s Cancer Foundation, Bedok Mall rallied its business associates to organise an ‘Adopt a Care Bear Cousin for Charity’ campaign from 7 to 25 December. During this period, shoppers could adopt one of the limited edition ‘Lotsa Heart Elephant’ plush toys that formed the mall’s Christmas tree. The ‘adoption fee’ of S$25, together with a dollar-for-dollar donation from CHF, went towards the Children’s Cancer Foundation. The non-profit organisation runs programmes that support children with cancer in their emotional, social and physical well-being as they battle the debilitating illness.
Delighting children from low-income families
CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) spread ‘Gifts of Joy’ for 660 children from low-income families by involving tenants in six of its office properties – CapitaGreen, Capital Tower, One George Street, Six Battery Road, Raffles City Tower and Twenty Anson. Now in its fourth year, Gifts of Joy is a key tenant engagement initiative that brings together office tenants and CapitaLand employees to wrap and deliver gifts to underprivileged children.
For the 2016 edition, tenants were invited to adopt and fulfill the gift wishes of beneficiaries identified by CCT’s adopted charity for the year, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF). The programme provides pocket money to children from low-income families to help with their school-related expenses.
The gift collection drive was further supported by CHF, which donated S$10 for every gift wish fulfilled. A record 180 tenants and CapitaLand staff also volunteered to wrap and deliver the gifts. Through this initiative, CCT added to the S$27,000 that it had raised for STSPMF in August 2016 through its annual CCT Eco Race.
Supporting toddlers at risk
The Ascott, CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence arm, also ran a similar initiative for the first time in six Singapore properties – Ascott Raffles Place, Citadines Fusionopolis, Citadines Mount Sophia, Somerset Bencoolen, Somerset Liang Court and Somerset Orchard.
As part of the campaign, residents were encouraged to donate gifts, including educational materials, suitable for children aged three years and below. These went to 200 beneficiaries under the KIDS 0-3 programme, which is a multi-layered and integrated health and social care support system led by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The programme aims to provide early assistance to vulnerable children up to three years old and their mothers.
Kids day out
Staff volunteers from CapitaLand brought six CapitaKids for an exciting afternoon of laser tag and rock climbing on 9 December 2016, when they learnt the values of teamwork and perseverance in a fun an engaging way. Introduced in 2012, the CapitaLand Kids Programme is funded by CHF to support the educational needs of underprivileged children from primary to secondary school. In addition to taking the children for educational outings during school holidays, CapitaLand staff also serve as mentors to guide the children as they progress through school. In another initiative, Ascott staff volunteers brought children from @27 Family Service Centre to a River Safari outing on 16 December 2016, where they got up close with wildlife and picked up messages on nature and conservation.
The spirit of giving
For its strong commitment to helping underprivileged children and advocating volunteerism, CapitaLand was conferred the inaugural President’s Award for Volunteerism and Philanthropy (Corporate) in 2015 by President of the Republic of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam. Last year, it was also made a Founding Member of the Company of Good, a programme developed by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and the Singapore Business Federation Foundation that aims to drive corporate giving in Singapore. Founding Members are deemed to be trailblazers in championing and driving corporate giving in Singapore.
To learn more about how CapitaLand is contributing to the communities where it operates, please visit www.capitalandhopefoundation.com .