On October 19, 2013, AmCham hosted its largest ever Corporate Community Day, a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative involving 2,000 volunteers and 9,000 beneficiaries in 57 distinct events. Corporate Community Day (CCD), organized by AmCham Singapore, is an annual event in which employees of U.S. organizations based in Singapore volunteer to give back to the community. This year, a record 82 organizations participated in AmCham’s 11th annual CCD.
Corporate Community Day Special Recognitions
Five companies were recognized for organizing CCD events that aligned well with the company’s CSR programs, were creative and unique, and had a large impact on beneficiaries.
These five companies are: Alfa Tech, Cargill, CH2M Hill, IBM, and Symantec.
Alfatech organized a community service project to repair and paint six senior citizens’ homes in Bukit Merah. The company worked with the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities (THKMC) to identify senior citizens in Bukit Merah whose homes needed sprucing up. More than 25 volunteers dedicated their Saturday on CCD to cleaning and painting the homes. Volunteers did simple repair work like replacing old light bulbs, covering cracks with putty, and fixing broken window panes. The recipients of the work were extremely grateful!
Cargill had a large group of volunteers that, together with its long-standing partner the APEX Club of Bukit Timah, participated in food preparation and distribution at the Redhill HDB Estate. 2013 was Cargill’s 11th year participating in CCD. AmCham has enjoyed watching the impact of Cargill’s event grow over the years.
CH2M Hill built two raingardens at Woodgrove Secondary School in the months leading up to Corporate Community Day. The raingardens were presented on CCD through a lesson given by students from the Environment Group at Woodgrove, as well as CH2M engineers. After the presentation, the group of CH2M Hill volunteers and Woodgrove students and faculty went on a green trail tour together.
IBM hosted a basic internet workshop for halfway house residents through the Yellow Ribbon Project and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE). SCORE works to rehabilitate and help reintegrate offenders to become responsible and contributing members of society. The organization offers training and employment assistance. IBM employees taught program participants computer skills that would be useful in many jobs. Ambassador Wagar made a special appearance at this event.
Over 100 volunteers from Symantec worked with The Soup Kitchen by Willing Hearts to prepare and distribute food. Symantec’s distribution had a huge impact with over 3,000 beneficiaries receiving food on CCD through the company’s program. Symantec’s event had the largest number of beneficiaries of any CCD event held this year. The company also raised more than $20,000 and collected more than 12 boxes of food. This was Symantec’s first year participating. AmCham looks forward to seeing the company’s great contribution again next year!
In addition to coordinating the events hosted by participating companies, AmCham held its own organizational CCD event. Through the Yellow Ribbon Project, Amcham hosted 20 ex-offenders and their families at Science Center Singapore. The Yellow Ribbon Project, which aims to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society and assists their families in getting back on their feet, is AmCham’s adopted charity for 2013. In addition to AmCham staff, representatives from 10 small businesses volunteered at AmCham’s event. Volunteers and beneficiaries participated in a treasure hunt, carried out science experiments, and enjoyed lunch together. The U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to Singapore, Blair Hall, made an appearance during which he addressed the group and participated in some of the activities with the beneficiaries.
In addition to DCM Hall’s efforts at the AmCham event, the new U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Kirk Wagar, and other senior U.S. Embassy officials participated in CCD events held across the island. Ambassador Wagar’s day started early as he participated in CCD events as diverse as: food distribution, tree planting, and an internet workshop for halfway house residents. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy hosted its own CCD event benefitting Special Olympics Singapore. Embassy staff and volunteers from the American business community hosted 30 special needs beneficiaries at West Coast Bowl. Ambassador Wagar led the championship round of bowling and handed out awards to the best bowlers.
We want to thank our generous sponsors of the CCD Thank You Reception and CSR Awards Ceremony: Citi, CH2M Hill, Cognita, and Seagate.
More than 130 volunteers from Citibank’s Global Consumer Technology division worked with the Southeast Community Development Council, the PPIS Family Service Centre, and the Ping Yi Gardens Residents’ Committee to distribute packs of essential goods to 500 needy families in the Southeast district of Singapore.
Cognita’s Camp Asia program, hosted at the Stamford American International School, allowed beneficiaries from the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Community Chest charities to spend the afternoon at Camp Asia where they participated in a variety of activities including soccer, basketball, drama, and art. Ambassador Wagar and his wife made a special visit to the Cognita event where they played basketball with the beneficiaries.
Caterpillar, Mondelez, and Seagate worked with the Garden City Fund to plant trees along the Eco-Link Bridge. The Eco-Link bridge crosses the BKE to connect Singapore’s largest primary and secondary forests, the Bukit Timah and Central Catchment nature reserves. The bridge enables animals, birds, and insects to move freely along the connecting bridge, allowing for the effective exchange of native plant and animal materials.
CCD 2013 Participants:
CCD Chairwoman, Nancy Frohman
Now in her 10th year of involvement, CCD Chairwoman Nancy Frohman has seen the volunteerism day transform over the past decade. “What started out as a handful of companies trying to do more in our community has developed into one of the most significant events of the year for our member companies. Many of these companies start working with their community organizations on a CCD event and then continue to partner in helping beneficiaries throughout the year,” Frohman said.
This is the 11th year that AmCham has organized CCD. The inaugural event was held in 2003, with 6 companies and 450 volunteers. Event participation has increased tremendously since then, as more companies have started new or expanded existing CSR initiatives. AmCham organizes this annual event to encourage member companies and their employees not only to get involved with CCD, but to commit to volunteerism throughout the year.