Sands China Ltd. is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its volunteer team, the Sands Cares Ambassador programme, with a year-long series of celebratory activities that are reaching into the community.
Themed “Spreading Love and Embracing Our Community,” Sands China team members have been given several ways to serve the local community by organizing activities and initiatives that work towards a better city.
With an increasing membership of more than 3,300 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 100,000 hours of voluntary community service since the programme’s founding.
For Sands China, this initiative is more than just visiting the local community. It is about becoming part of the city’s different communities as it continues to hold corporate social responsibility as one of the core values of the firm.
The volunteers have been providing a series of community services to the less privileged, creating a positive impact on society.
Sands China has a designated department to work on corporate social responsibility in a bid to foster the growth of community outreach programmes.
Dr. Wilfred Wong, President of Sands China Ltd., remarked, “Sands China is proud of all its Sands Cares Ambassadors, who have dedicated their personal time over the years to addressing the needs of Macau’s most vulnerable communities. They have our sincere appreciation for the important work they do.”
“Providing a platform for volunteering in the local community, the programme is a vital channel for the company and its team members to contribute meaningfully to the place we call home,” Dr. Wong added.
Through years of engaging with some of society’s underprivileged groups – children, the elderly, and the physically and mentally vulnerable – Sands China has created a long list of community outreach events, focusing on four areas.
These areas include delivering good cheer during festive seasons, reaching out to community groups, engaging in experiences that enrich volunteers’ understanding and compassion, and hosting outings that bring joy to the participants.
Throughout the development of the programme, the integrated resort operator has also hosted home visits during Chinese New Year of senior citizens who live alone, doing arts and crafts with people with intellectual disabilities, learning sign language, and bringing underprivileged families to exhibitions and events organized by the company.
“Sands China would like to express its gratitude to the Macau SAR government and to all the various organizations and community groups it has worked with over the years for their continued encouragement and support,” said Dr Wong.
“Ten years of the Sands Cares Ambassador programme is a milestone to be proud of. This anniversary gives us a chance to look back on our efforts over the years, and to look ahead to the important work still to be done,” he added.
Just recently, to celebrate its tenth year, a group of around 30 Sands Cares Ambassadors visited families in Guizhou’s Congjiang County, as part of Sands China’s ongoing poverty relief efforts in the county and in response to the SAR government’s call for targeted poverty alleviation in mainland China.
The volunteers visited 10 families in a mountain village where they shared gift packs containing staples like oil, rice, sugar and noodles, and household essentials such as tissues, bedsheets and detergent.
The items were purchased and delivered by the Sands Cares Ambassadors themselves, who walked along the village and hillside to give them to each family, who were very grateful for the visit. Together they chatted, the villagers talking about their daily lives with the volunteers.
Sands China has long-partnered with different charitable organizations including Macao Special Olympics, Fuhong Society of Macau, Caritas Macau and the Macau Holy House of Mercy, Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Association, Macau Red Cross, Clean the World and amongst others.
The Fuhong Society of Macau is one of the first NGOs that the Sands Cares Ambassador programme began collaborating with, going back to 2009.
Sands China’s donations to Fuhong over the years have included a large-format A3 printing system – which gives Fuhong the ability to print its own promotional materials – and industrial-sized washers and dryers for Fuhong’s Happy Laundry Social Enterprise, including a platform constructed by Sands China’s facilities department.
Sands China was also the first integrated resort operator to work with Peng On Tung, and has been doing annual spring cleaning visits to the homes of live-alone elderly users of the Peng On Tung Tele-Assistance programme since 2009.
And the Sands Cares Ambassadors recently worked with Macau Red Cross to help pack and distribute emergency typhoon response kits in an initiative by the company to help enhance the Macao community’s precautionary measures ahead of typhoon season, in line with the SAR government’s direction.
Annie Lam, one of the founding members of the programme from the Community Affairs department, said that the programme has been greatly expanded in terms of its volunteers’ experiences.
“Sands China was the first integrated resort operator to establish a volunteer group, and we started with around 200 team members in 2009. As time has gone by, our volunteer numbers have grown bigger and they have gained more experience. Many of our volunteers have been giving some advice and some of their thoughts on how we could further improve and reach out to the community. They are really eager to know what the community needs,” she said.
A group of Sands Cares Ambassadors has also completed a training workshop to help them better serve the community.
Workshop participants were taught effective volunteer strategies and skills to enhance the service quality of their work.
“The team has a very strong will for doing good community work. They are real volunteers. The 3,300 volunteers – from the start – have given their hearts free of conditions,” Lam explained.
“From the very start, we appropriately had the simple purpose of giving back to the community unconditionally,” she added.
From different nationalities and backgrounds, Sands China is proud that volunteers are continually strengthening the company’s efforts in engaging with society, raising a culture of doing good in the community.
“They have been giving selflessly to the community, including their time and money,” Lam noted.
“Sands China now has a very experienced group of volunteers that are always ready to reach out to those who are in need,” she added.
A gala celebration will be held tonight to honour the active volunteers, inviting around 300 participants including the ambassadors and community partners.
Sands China pledges that it will continue to contribute to society through initiatives like the Sands Cares Ambassador programme, as they are central to its commitment toward community outreach and service.
As the company continues to grow and expand in the SAR, it also looks forward to many more years of service to the Macau community.
What they say
Over the years, Sands China has been providing various types of support to our association. Their volunteer team also organises activities for our members on a regular basis. Through taking part in these events, the volunteers get to know about social service and people with disabilities, and in turn help us improve our rehabilitation services.
-Jennifer Chau, Director of Fuhong Society of Macau
For the ambassadors to be working together as colleagues at Sands China is a kind of providence, and you have the good fortune of being able to serve together as volunteers. I have seen your many teams of volunteers giving of themselves to different charitable organisations, as well as showing boundless enthusiasm at the Caritas Macau Charity Bazaar, seeking to help more and more people.
– Pun Chi Meng, Director of Caritas Macau
The Sands China volunteer team has always actively participated in social service work and giving back to society with all their capability and love. For instance, in support of our Welfare Shop, the Sands Cares Ambassadors help by distributing food hampers every year, spreading blessings and warmth to the families in need. This service is really touching.
Since the establishment of their programme, the volunteers have shown selfless dedication and have spared no effort in serving their community. It is a rare achievement indeed.
– António José de Freita, President of Macau Holy House of Mercy
I always believe that it’s better to give than to receive so I use my own time to help others, which has also helped me in a lot of ways. I can communicate better with others, have a proactive attitude and am confident in the things that I do.
– Sandra Zhou, a 10-year Sands Cares Ambassador from Table Games
The Sands Care Ambassador programme is such a good platform for us to get in touch with different groups in society. Through this experience, aside from being given the opportunity to help others, I also learn a lot from them.
– Lilian Chao, a 10-year Sands Cares Ambassador from Conventions & Exhibitions