The Sands Cares Ambassador programme is holding its year-long series of celebratory activities leading up to its 10th anniversary in August 2019, with the theme Spreading Love and Embracing Our Community.
This programme provides a platform for Sands China employees to respond to the various needs of the local community, serving it through a series of activities comprising four major pillars: reaching out to the community, enriching experiences, delivering festive joy, and happy outings.
Realizing that many team members were using their spare time to volunteer in the community, Sands China decided to formalize these efforts in 2009 through the establishment of the Sands Cares Ambassador programme.
The number of team members in the programme has increased from a couple hundred at its inception to its current membership of more than 3,300 volunteers.
The Sands Cares Ambassador programme is one of key initiatives in Macao under Sands Cares, the charitable giving programme of Sands China’s parent company, Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Sands Cares integrates LVS’s philanthropic work worldwide in four key areas: financial giving, community problem solving and collaboration, in-kind donations, and team member volunteerism.
A significant initiative of the Sands Cares Ambassadors is their work with the Macau Special Olympics (MSO) Healthy Athletes programme, which Sands China has sponsored since September 2014.
Each year, Healthy Athletes provides health examinations for people with intellectual disabilities, screens for health problems, and subsequently informs caregivers of precautions to be taken in daily life and of any medical follow-up treatment needed, which the programme subsidizes.
Sands Cares Ambassadors receive training from MSO to assist with the check-ups, and Sands China makes donations to the programme to support its work.
To date, the Healthy Athletes programme has sponsored 1,685 people with intellectual disabilities for checkups.
The programme has also subsidized 233 people with intellectual disabilities to have follow-up treatment.
MSO’s Healthy Athletes programme has helped many of its members since its launch.
“We have been trying to improve our system as Sands China really cares about the community so we understand and see what these families need. The ambassadors understand and feel what our clients go through; we will create a better society for the future when we have volunteers like this,” said Hetzer Siu, chief executive officer of MSO.
“Sands China provides us with manpower and they give us funding to support our clients to have follow-up treatment and that is important for us,” he added.
Siu also thanked Sands China for its support to Macau Special Olympics since 2005. MSO has been in cooperation with Sands China since the establishment of the Ambassador programme, as MSO members have been invited to various activities including bowling, the Light the Night Run at The Parisian Macao’s Eiffel Tower, and other events.
Echoing the same sentiments, president of the board of directors of the General Union of Neighborhood Associations of Macao, Ng Siu Lai, commended the gaming operator for its tireless effort in providing assistance for the past nine years.
“Sands China has provided support to our single-living elderly with the Peng On Tung Tele-Assistance programme, and they also visit them and do cleaning initiatives during festive seasons and give them gifts every year,” said Ng.
“They also give us assistance in promoting how to take care of our elderly,” she added.
Additionally, as part of the programme’s ongoing celebratory activities, a group of 25 Sands Cares Ambassadors hosted 100 members of the Macau Autism Association December 8 at The Parisian Macao and The Venetian Macao, taking them to Qube Kingdom and the Keith Haring Maze Macao, and painting recycled bottles with them – providing opportunities for autistic children to interact and play with their parents, and gain creative inspiration.
The activity served to raise awareness of autism while exploring and demonstrating the potential of autistic children, helping them integrate into society.
The Sands Cares Ambassador programme was established in a bid to give Sands China team members a platform for serving the local community by organizing community activities and initiatives that work toward creating a better Macao. With membership comprising volunteers from across all Sands China properties – Sands Macao, The Venetian Macao, The Plaza Macao, Sands Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao – the Sands Cares Ambassadors have contributed 95,000 hours of voluntary community service since the programme’s founding.
Dr. Wong, president of Sands China Ltd., said: “The Sands Cares Ambassador programme will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. Corporate social responsibility is at the core of Sands China’s business philosophy, and we are very proud of the efforts of our Sands Cares Ambassadors. Through their caring, compassion, and service to others, they represent some of the best qualities of the human spirit. Their dedication to service benefits the local community, and that same commitment manifests itself in their interactions with our guests and with their fellow team members at work.”
Over years of engaging society’s most vulnerable, Sands China has initiated or supported a wide range of community outreach events.
Through a variety of activity formats, memorable and moving experiences are created for the volunteers and the beneficiaries.
Efforts include reaching out to communities through events like friendly competitions and creating arts and crafts with people with intellectual disabilities; acquiring enriching experiences like learning sign language and experiencing a silence workshop; delivering festive joy in visits to live-alone elderly during Chinese New Year; and enjoying happy outings that bring underprivileged families to various exhibitions at The Venetian Macao.
This article is sponsored by
Sands China Ltd.
What the sands cares ambassadors say…
“The company provides us a platform that gives us the opportunity to serve those people in need. It gives me inspiration serving those who are in need, as it is a very enriching experience; as a result, I’m able to share with others how we can help and gather resources to make a better community.” – Constance Cheang, associate director of business and event services for Venetian Macao Limited
“Our volunteers gain more empathy and insight on how to improve harmony in society. From simple visits to participation in community events, the effect of volunteerism is magnified as our ambassadors spread these efforts through word-of-mouth. Thus, our volunteers, who are of different nationalities, have raised awareness on social inclusion – which is one of the programme’s aims.” – Annie Lam, director of community affairs for Venetian Macau Limited