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As the Life Company, Great Eastern strives to be a good corporate citizen in the communities where it operates. We take pride in living our values of Initiative, Integrity and Involvement, as we support meaningful social and charitable causes through our corporate employees and financial representatives.
Through Great Eastern Cares, our corporate social responsibility efforts centre on helping the underprivileged across different life stages ranging from children to youths and seniors, from low-income families and other disadvantaged communities. We engage in fundraising, corporate giving and volunteering our time and expertise, because our purpose as The Life Company is to help the community Live #Lifeproof.
Driving Financial Literacy Awareness Among Students
It is important to be prepared for life’s uncertainties and financial literacy is a useful tool to have at any stage of your life. Even more so if you have this knowledge at a young age, to help you plan your finances well and prepare for your future.
Hence, we partnered Junior Achievement Singapore, a non-profit organisation, to run a series of financial literacy workshops for secondary school students. Over three sessions in April 2022 and October 2021, 60 staff and financial representatives went back to school to share basic understanding of setting career goals and budget balancing with the students.
The workshops were first carried out on Zoom due to the safe management measures at schools, and in person at the school in 2022 as the situation stabilised. Through the interactive workshops, our volunteers were able to engage with the students and get them thinking about possible career choices, how to set goals for themselves, making choices according to their available budgets and how to be a savvy shopper.
Supporting COVID-19 Needs
With the COVID-19 outbreak escalating into a global pandemic since January 2020, many have been impacted and struggle with their daily needs, especially the low income and vulnerable groups. In Singapore, we put together a $1 million COVID-19 Customer Care Fund to help our affected customers, and contributed $200,000 to the Community Chest’s Courage Fund to support vulnerable individuals and groups such as patients and healthcare workers.
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In May 2020, our employees and financial representatives raised $265,000 through the Great Eastern Cares Community Fund to bring relief to beneficiaries supported by AWWA, Care Corner Singapore Ltd and New Hope Community Services, to provide them the critical essentials such as hot meals, food supplies, medicine, hardship subsidies for those in need and shelter for the displaced, to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19.
To show our support and encouragement to frontline healthcare workers for their hard work and sacrifices amid the COVID-19 outbreak, our financial representatives also sent 1,900 bottles of cold pressed juices to staff of Singapore General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital in April.
Engaging Our Seniors
As seniors are among the most vulnerable groups in our community, Great Eastern actively engages them regularly through its employee volunteers.
In 2019, our employees together with their children hosted 40 elderly residents from the AWWA Community Home for Senior Citizens to a Christmas event. Highlights included craft activities, sumptuous lunch buffet, booth games and a festive Christmas carolling performance by staff carollers from Great Eastern, OCBC Bank, Bank of Singapore and OCBC Securities.
Our employees and financial representatives have also made cash donations as well as sponsored and self-packed daily essentials for low-income elderly residents and families to mark festive seasons or during times of need, as part of their own department or teambuilding initiatives.
Fund-raising for Children and Youths
The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund
Since 2015, Great Eastern has been collaborating closely with the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF), and organising regular fund raising initiatives involving employees, financial representatives and corporate partners. To date, we have raised over $600,000 in total to help its student beneficiaries cover school-related expenses, such as recess meals and transport fees. Here are some of the activity highlights:
In 2018, our employee volunteers rolled up their sleeves and raised over $68,000 for the Great Eastern Charity Car Wash and CARnival. This event was also held in celebration of Great Eastern’s 110th anniversary and the first anniversary of the rebranding of Great Eastern General Insurance. In line with our commitment to the environment, we partnered with EWash to provide waterless environmentally-friendly car washes which saved a massive 95% of water compared to a normal car wash. We also hosted 130 beneficiaries from STSPMF and their family members at the Charity CARnival, treating them to exciting games, a magic show, face painting and other activities, as well as ice-cream.
In total for 2020 and 2019, our festive season raffle draw events have contributed in addition close to $86,000 to STSPMF.
ChildrenCare and GoldenCare Programmes
Great Eastern has been a committed supporter of Community Chest and its beneficiaries since 1987. Through our ChildrenCare and GoldenCare programmes, our dedicated financial representatives volunteered their time to raise much-needed funds from the public door-to-door. The donations are channelled to Community Chest which supports over 80 charities in Singapore. For over 20 years, these two programmes have raised over a total of $11 million.
ChildrenCare supported disadvantaged children from MINDS Fernvale Gardens School to receive special education tailored to their needs and be equipped with basic life skills to lead independent lives, while GoldenCare focused on helping needy elderly and low-income seniors with little or no family support from AWWA Senior Community Home, to live actively and with dignity.
Blood Donation Drive
To mark our 111th anniversary and the opening of our customer service centre and agency office at Paya Lebar, we hosted our first blood donation drive in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross in September 2019. The event was supported by over 140 of our employees, financial representatives, customers and members of the public.
Championing Healthy Living and Wellness
We also sponsor events that focus on encouraging better health and wellness among the community such as our signature Great Eastern Women’s Run, started since 2006. Its 14th edition held in November 2019 which saw attracted 13,000 runners, has raised over $50,000.
Through this Asia’s largest all-women’s run, we support women-centred charitable causes such as the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Women’s Health Research and Education Fund under the SingHealth Duke-NUS Obstetrics & Gynaecology Academic Clinical Programme.
Caring for the Environment
Not forgetting to play our part in contributing to a sustainable, cleaner natural environment, our efforts include planting 50 endangered local native trees at East Coast Park in Singapore in 2017 and cleaning up the Ciliwung River in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2019.
In our effort towards environment conservation, we operate our business with the aim of using natural resources rationally, leading to reduced waste and emissions. We have a portfolio of green buildings that provide energy-efficient facilities to our employees and other tenants, with the Great Eastern Centre and offices in Nankin Row in Singapore awarded Green Mark certification.
For our CSR efforts in Malaysia, please follow this link.