Force 21 started our Corporate Social Responsibility journey five years ago when I was tasked to organise teambuilding for the company. And after organising teambuilding for many years, I find emptiness in eat, play, bond, repeat. I wanted a deeper meaning to our company’s team bonding. So I figured to marry team building with volunteering, the perfect concoction!
Getting my idea approve is a walk in the park, because my bosses are very charitable people. My CEO, Daniel Cheah goes on mission trips with his family to neighbouring countries. Yong Jin, my GM volunteers at Ren Ci Hospital monthly for the wellness massage program.
With the management’s support, I engaged the Singapore Children’s Society wanting to bring joy to a class of less fortunate children. We decided to bring them to Singapore’s newest attraction then, the River Safari where they can spend a day with animals and interesting wildlife. There was a list of Dos & Don’ts that our staff volunteers need to adhere to, in order to be sensitive to their needs and emotions. We gladly did. We started the day with brunch at MacDonald’s and pairing our staffs to the children, like a buddy system. We were all excited when we arrive at River Safari. We brought the children to see red panda, manatee and all the different wildlife. We took the Wild Amazonia boat ride down the river to see the tropical rainforest and various habitats. Well, kids being kids, they would run around and our volunteers had to give chase. It was fun exploring and teaching them new things. Overall it was an enriching experience for me and my colleagues, though a tiring one.
Force 21 made CSR a yearly affair. We were invited to the Garden Party @ Istana by People’s Association. We “donate-a-bus” and brought a bus load of primary school children from the lower income families to the garden party for an afternoon of fun. This time, there was only 3 of us volunteers and 1 of their teacher against 30 children! I tried to befriend them and joke around with them but maintaining discipline of course. We went around the carnival playing games, watching performances, winning prizes and freebies, etc. We had a glimpse of our ex-President, Mr Tony Tan. Our GM, Yong Jin was involved in a drum performance using traditional drums. He was happily going with the rhythm and drumming his hearts out!
Our next CSR was a big step for me and a big commitment for the company. We are to commit quarterly CSR activities with our beneficiary. We participated in People’s Association – Stay Well with Friends program. We collaborate with Chua Chu Kang Zone 2 RC to engage seniors and befriend them. For our first CSR, we brought them to the food factories to buy lower prices dim sum, pastry and traditional kueh. We gathered at the community club for a pairing session and try to get to know one another before we set off. We have a good mix of friendly, chatty & more reserved seniors. At the food factories, we sampled food together, chatted and assisted them with their purchases. They were given a $10 coupon by our company to buy food they like. We saw happy faces and they were satisfied with the food shopping. We had bento lunch box back at the community club. Before we part, we had prepared for them a goodie bag with all the healthier choices dry food for them to bring home.
At Force 21, we wish to instill volunteerism into the company culture. Pay it forward, giving back to the society will make any individual lead a more fulfilling life. And now, we are looking forward to tomorrow’s CSR with the Seniors!
Christine Tan, Manager