Tis The Season Of #GivingAsOne

Giving is most definitely better than receiving—take it from our Workspace tenant community that rallied together to give back as one, as they share their thoughts on the joys of volunteering.

Volunteering is a great way to get to know new people, or to bond with colleagues outside of work. A group of volunteers delivered bread to the elderly as part of our #LoveOurSeniors bread delivery programme on 13 September 2021.

Christmas might be the season of giving, but volunteering and giving back shouldn’t just happen in December—it should happen all-year round. This is why some of our CapitaLand Workspace tenants, staff, and business partners came together to volunteer under CapitaLand Group’s #GivingAsOne campaign from September to November this year. A total of 12 activities – from talks, virtual and in-person volunteering sessions such as the #LoveOurSeniors Bread Delivery and Essential Care Packs Delivery, to curated workshops led by the beneficiaries – were organised to allow the Workspace tenants to give back to the community.

Various virtual workshops were organised - from learning how to decorate cupcakes, to making a tote bag from a t-shirt and an eco-enzyme detergent using orange peels - and led by beneficiaries from Metta Cafe and Rainbow Centre Yishun Park school.

Various virtual workshops were organised - from learning how to decorate cupcakes, to making a tote bag from a t-shirt and an eco-enzyme detergent using orange peels  - and led by beneficiaries from Metta Cafe and Rainbow Centre Yishun Park school.

Aimed at uplifting the needy and promoting environmental awareness, the events under the initiative were open to all Workspace tenants, and their friends and family members to participate. But apart from giving back to the community, the #GivingAsOne campaign was also created to engage tenants. Daniel Ng, Vice President of Community Engagement (Retail & Workspace) at CapitaLand Investment, shares that through these volunteering activities, the CapitaLand team hopes to allow tenants to forge stronger bonds within their own teams, while also learning more about the challenges faced by beneficiaries.

Volunteering events and workshops were held in partnership with CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philantrophic arm of CapitaLand Group, and non-profit organisations like TOUCH Community Services, Rainbow Centre, and Metta Welfare Association.

By taking the time and effort to reach out to and interact with the beneficiaries, our tenants walked away with so much more—we speak to some of them as they open up about their experiences volunteering in this initiative.

A time to bond

While some tenants signed up for our #GivingAsOne programmes alone or with a buddy or two, others rallied larger groups of colleagues to participate. Jeremy Lee, General Manager at Moog Singapore at Cintech I, was a part of our largest team of nine volunteers at the #LoveOurSeniors Bread Delivery session, who delivered a loaf of bread to the homes of seniors, on 13 September.

“This event provided an opportunity for our team to come together, which has been a great experience, especially during the pandemic period, where a lot of our colleagues are working from home and we don’t get to see each other,” Jeremy shares.

Of course, tenants that signed up alone were not left out—they were paired up with partners across various buildings and organisations prior to the event, so that they would have someone to interact with, and would leave having made a new friend.

Volunteers and their one-of-a-kind decoration in the virtual Cupcake Decoration workshop.

Apart from connecting with colleagues and fellow tenants, these sessions also allowed participants to bond with their families. Howell Caba of Rakuten Asia Pte Ltd at CapitaGreen signed up for the Cupcake Decoration Workshop and participated alongside his children.

The one-hour virtual workshop was taught by pastry chef Joanne Bai and her apprentices from Metta Cafe, Wei Jie and Rachel, and though it was brief, it empowered the Metta Cafe apprentices to gain confidence and boost their social skills by conducting the workshop by themselves. Additionally, it , while also alloweding Howell to spend some quality time with his children, as they learnt how to decorate the cupcakes with three piping techniques they learnt.

“It was well organised,” Howell shares, “and even my kids were able to follow the instructions!”

A time of warmth

Volunteers assisted with the delivery of essential care packs to beneficiaries living at various locations across Singapore.
Volunteers from Gebruder Weiss availed their time and resources for the #LoveOurSeniors Essential Care Pack Delivery on 20 November 2021.

While giving back to the community with friends and family is an enjoyable experience, the satisfaction one gets from helping others in need is something that all volunteers and workshop participants walked away with, whether they’ve gone into it alone or otherwise.

A handful of individuals from Gebruder Weiss, a transport and logistics company at Aperia, initially planned on volunteering for the #LoveOurSeniors Essential Care Pack Delivery, to deliver food items and daily essentials to vulnerable seniors living across Singapore. However, they did not have sufficient private vehicles to get around to ferry the care packs. That's when Jason Lim, the Branch Manager and one of their volunteers, came up with the idea of using their company's trucks to involve everyone with the activity.

"I think a lack of vehicles shouldn't be the reason to stop someone from doing something good, so I decided to write to CapitaLand to ask if we could send in our company truck, Jason shared. “I'm happy that they accepted our proposal. It's so meaningful to see our people working together trying to contribute to the society."

Similarly, Daniel Watts, General Manager at Audi at Aperia, and volunteer at the #LoveOurSeniors Essential Care Pack Delivery on 19 November shared that a quick email to his team resulted in a many of them throwing their hands up to get involved. “Naturally, as a car company, we have the benefit of having access to vehicles, which meant we could lend some help,” Daniel says. Apart from the generosity of the volunteers, he counts the smiles of the recipients of his care packs as his reward.

“Ultimately, knowing that we were adding value to the lives of others was my biggest takeaway, but the big smiles from the aunties and uncles receiving their care packs was an additional bonus,” says Daniel.

11 employees from Audi participated in the #LoveOurSeniors Essential Care Pack Delivery on 19 November 2021.
Daniel distributing the #LoveOurSeniors Essential Care Pack to the homes of the elderly. The pack contains daily essentials such as milo, biscuits, bathroom necessities and protective equipment.

The warmth and joy of our beneficiaries isn’t just felt in person though—their happiness is infectious even through a screen. Joel Wong was one of 11 individuals from Cognizant at Plaza 8 at Changi Business Park that volunteered to read ‘At the S.E.A Aquarium’ by David Seow to a class of students from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School over Zoom on 28 September, before demonstrating how to make their very own mini aquarium in a bottle.

Joel recalls how wholesome the experience was for him. “The warm feeling it gives to have completed the session successfully is something that is indescribable,” he says, and adds that he hopes to be able to participate in more of such events in the future.

Volunteering can be fun too! Volunteers for our virtual session with Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School on 28 September 2021 also got to make and keep their own mini aquariums in a bottle.
Happy students from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park (left) and Metta Preschool@Punggol (right) with their mini aquariums in a bottle.

A time for consistency

To the needy elderly, simple acts of delivering bread or having someone to talk to could make their day. This is what inspired us to start our #LoveOurSeniors bread delivery programme.

Joel isn’t the only one inspired to continue volunteering. Among all of the tenants that volunteered, most of them have expressed a desire to continue to participate actively in similar programmes. For instance, Moog Singapore has committed to volunteering regularly as a team.

“Moog Singapore may not be a big organisation, but we have a big heart for the community. With CapitaLand creating #GivingAsOne, it has eased the logistical burden of us having to plan volunteering events on our own. Moving forward, we’re looking forward to volunteer on a regular basis, perhaps starting with twice a year,” says Jeremy.

Elsie (left) and her colleague at the #LoveOurSeniors Bread Delivery distribution on 25 October 2021.

When asked why he thinks people should volunteer, Daniel Watts explains that we all have a responsibility to support the communities we live in, and that a little effort from a single volunteer can make a big difference in someone else’s life. In response to the same question, Elsie Munjan of Axess Offshore at Nordic European Centre says that volunteering can help keep communities together.

“In times of hardship, if we don’t make an effort, there’s a good chance of losing touch with one another. When this happens, communities fall through, and many get left behind. We all need connection, and this can be formed in many ways. Every bit of action matters,” she says.

Of course, volunteering isn’t always a walk in the park. Elsie, who signed up for three activities in the #GivingAsOne programme, shared that sometimes, it’s tough seeing the circumstances that beneficiaries are in, and not being able to do more for them. However, at the end of the day, taking that first step and helping in whatever capacity we can is better than nothing.

By engaging in the activities under the #GivingAsOne initiative, our tenants, staff, and business partners not only got to do good and give back to the community, they also had the chance to mingle with fellow volunteers, and walked away with full hearts and newfound friendships.

The campaign might be over now, but we hope it has inspired you to embody the spirit of giving in your own communities, wherever you might be.

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