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THE nature of a ripple effect is affecting and enormous: An action of tossing a stone into water can create a continuous forward motion. It is simple, yet the results can be distinctly powerful.
Everyone has the potential to be "ripple makers". It is this multiplier effect that IBM hopes to seed, leading and rallying fellow businesses to give back through the Changi Business Park (CBP) Gives initiative.
"While each of us can play a part, we have demonstrated that when all are united, we can maximise impact and make real our vision that an engaged community collaborating in partnership can lift the lives and the spirit of those in need," said Abraham Thomas, managing director at IBM Singapore.
CBP Gives started in 2014 when IBM partnered corporate organisations residing within the vicinity to organise a charity carnival to promote corporate volunteerism and raise funds for the President's Challenge.
The project received strong support and raised more than S$85,000. Since then, CBP Gives has evolved into a multifaceted programme with various components of giving.
This year, CBP Gives will work alongside seven organisations - Citi Singapore, Cognizant, Credit Suisse, DBS, Standard Chartered Bank, UPS and Yusen Logistics. They will be supported by Infocomm Media Development Authority and community partners such as National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, South East Community Development Council (South East CDC) and The Social Co.
In its third year of partnership, South East CDC continues to support CBP Gives in its efforts to reach out to the needy. CBP partners will commit to fulfilling 700 wish requests from local non-profit organisations and underprivileged families.
These wishes range from schoolbags, shoes and beds to wheelchairs and gadgets such as laptops. Maliki Osman, Mayor of South East District, said: "This is an exemplary showcase of how South East CDC wants our partners to move from Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Social Ownership, to understand the concerns of the community and to take ownership in helping them."
Employees are also encouraged to get involved in skills-based volunteering to benefit the elderly.
Officially launched on Nov 17 at Heartbeat@Bedok, CBP Gives 2017 will host 30 digital clinics with 400 volunteers within the next year, engaging more than 1,000 senior citizens. These mobile phone literacy clinics are designed to help the seniors become savvier as Singapore transitions to become a Smart Nation.
Apart from the above, there are also opportunities to donate towards 51 underserved non-profit organisations such as Care Corner, Child on Street 11 and Marymount Centre through The Social Co's Pledge It Forward Campaign on Giving.sg.
IBM Singapore was among 45 companies who were recently recognised as prime examples of corporate giving at the inaugural Champions of Good 2017.
The Champions of Good is a national recognition framework under Company of Good, designed to drive the giving movement and build a City of Good.
As catalysts of change, Champions of Good are influencers that engage business stakeholders on a collaborative giving journey. With their participation in CBP Gives, Ng Kim Hung, managing director of Yusen Logistics, is one partner who believes the company has found synergy in contributing to the realisation of an inclusive and sustainable society.
Mr Ng said the company "inculcates the spirit of giving and sharing in employees and engages them to contribute".
When many unite around a cause, they not only address immediate needs but also work towards achieving long-term solutions. "Ripple makers" hope that when others see the value they place on improving the world, it will encourage them to do the same.
For IBM, they have indeed brought out the best in people and businesses.