To support the Singapore community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Standard Chartered Bank has made a S$1 million donation in April, and is continuing to engage its staff on volunteering for the community.
On an average, the Bank chalks up over 4,000 employee volunteering days on an annual basis.
For the past 12 years, staff volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank would bring good cheer to those who are celebrating Hari Raya in the community. This year, they are supporting 755 low-income families registered across 15 non-profit organisations.
Last Saturday (9 May), approximately 700 employees were assigned to partake in the ‘Hari Raya Food Packing and Distribution‘ volunteering activity with Heartwarmers, a volunteer group at Christalite Methodist Home that brings warmness to the destitute elderly.
However, due to social distancing and safety precautions, only 200 volunteers participated in the event on Saturday morning. Most of the preparation works were done a few days prior to ensure everyone complies to the requirements set by the relevant authorities.
Those who are participating would typically extend an invitation to their friends and families to play a part in the volunteering activity; but the Bank’s usual volunteer recruitment process had to be streamlined this year, along with changes made to its routing and logistics – due to the current circumstances islandwide.
As a result, the Bank resorted to using fewer individual cars as it rented more buses and vans, while maintaining the course to achieve the same distribution impact despite having fewer volunteers.
Additionally, safety measures among the volunteers were implemented. Face masks and hand sanitisers were provided, while social distancing requirements were practiced.
“COVID-19 has an adverse and profound impact on our businesses and communities. This is precisely a time for all of us do more, as the needs of the community have become more varied and extreme. I am very proud of our colleagues who are volunteering to support our Singapore community in this challenging time,” said Patrick Lee, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited.
“I celebrate Hari Raya and during the fasting month, this is a time for building empathy and giving back. It means a lot to me to be able to help someone who needs a hand during this period,” noted Mr Tumbuck Ridzwan Pardamean, a 41-year-old Singaporean volunteer who has spent 14 years working at Standard Chartered Bank.
Another volunteer, Ms Celeste Kweng, a 40-year-old Singaporean who works as a personal assistant under the property section at Standard Chartered Bank, expressed her delight to be able to give back to the community and make a difference in this time of crisis, especially during the circuit breaker period.
“I had read a quote online which best describes why I volunteer, ‘Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in,'” she remarked.