The act of giving kindness in any way possible to those who are in need, especially those in vulnerable and grassroot communities, has always been imprinted in the whole system of the SM group. Staying true to its commitment of spreading social good, SM Foundation and The SM Store worked together to distribute shoes and sanitizers for children across the country.
To date, almost 225,000 pairs of shoes and more than 16,500 sanitizers have been distributed in SM’s host communities—where the recipients are composed of indigent and vulnerable children identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In a message, SMFI executive director Debbie Sy said that SM is adamant to continue spreading social good in grassroot communities through its various programs focused on uplifting the lives of Filipinos.
“We have nothing but aspirations for these children to reach their dreams. And through these shoes, we hope to walk with them as they reach their fullest potentials in life,” she added.
More so, the sanitizers were distributed to serve as protection as the country is still fighting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sy also highlighted and expressed her gratitude for the important contributions of SM employee-volunteers and on-ground partners who dedicated their time and effort to bring this initiative to the ground: “Thanks to our employee volunteers and DSWD, with your continued support, SMFI will continue to find the best ways of bringing people and resources together to meet immediate needs and find long-term solutions to challenges facing our communities.”
Furthermore, SM Retail president Chelo Monasterio said, “The SM Store is grateful for making us part of the lives of many Filipinos, and this is our way of giving back.”
“In addition to the shoe donation from The SM Store, we also provided a venue for our customers to participate in bringing joy to communities through our quarterly donation drives on clothes, shoes, books, school supplies, and toys. We also partner with various NGOs in setting up coin banks in all of our branches nationwide,” Monasterio added.
This effort was made possible through SM’s Operation Tulong Express program (OPTE). OPTE is a social good program of SM Foundation, in collaboration with various SM business units such as the SM Store, SM Supermalls and SM Markets. The social good program intends to address the needs of communities during calamities and crises.