Giving the gift of change
While “change is coming” has become this year’s political buzzphrase, it could also be the holidays’ corporate gift-giving theme, thanks to a program initiated by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
Called “Give a Gift of Change,” the program serves as platforms for corporations, through their respective corporate social responsibility arms, to effect positive change in the lives of marginalized Filipinos, particularly women and children.
Corporations can choose from among six “gifts”: Life-Saving Information for Women; A Better Learning Environment; Protection from Dengue in Schools; Career Path Guidance; Senior High School Educational Assistance; and Reading.
PBSP corporate affairs head Jerome Daclison says they came up with the program because of the increasing demand from its member-companies for more employee-volunteerism events.
“CSR has evolved from mere donations to employees wanting to take an active part in the various causes that their companies engage in,” he says. “It has even become company tradition for some businesses that conduct yearly activities for their employees.”
The Gift of Life-Saving Information for Women is basically an educational caravan on women’s health, particularly the services they can avail themselves of before, during and after pregnancy. Through health classes, participants will also be educated on how to take better care of their children.
The caravan can accommodate 200 women, and costs P72,000 (that’s P480 per employee for a company with 150 employees, or P240 per employee for those with 300 employees), which includes tokens for resource person, and snacks and loot bags for participants.
The Gift of a Better Learning Environment will enable companies to equip a classroom, at P66,000, with 45 new armchairs and a teacher’s table and chair. Dividing the cost per employee, the package is equivalent to P440 per person for 150 employees, or P220 each for 300 employees.
To help reduce cases of dengue in the country, companies can install insecticide-treated nets on windows and doors of a public school classroom for 50 students through the Gift of Protection from Dengue in Schools.
Aside from nets, the P20,000 package (P134/employee for P150 employees; P67/employee for 300 employees) includes carpentry and installation, food for volunteers, as well as resource materials on dengue for the students.
An insightful career talk could help lessen job mismatches among the country’s next generation of professionals.
PBSP’s Gift of Career Guidance, at P22,000 (P150 each for 150 employees; P75 each for 300), allows companies to hold a seminar for 75 incoming senior high school (SHS) students to help them decipher what exactly they want to pursue after they graduate.
Valuable tips from industry experts and pertinent information on the country’s labor demand will also be discussed.
Of course, not everyone has the financial capability to even enter SHS—and that’s where PBSP’s Gift of Senior High School Educational Assistance comes in. At P33,000, a company can sponsor two years of a financially challenged student’s SHS education, including school supplies, transportation allowance, expenses for projects, school uniform and shoes.
Finally, to improve young Filipinos’ literacy and reading skills, companies can give the Gift of Reading by purchasing for schools, at P100 each, storybooks; or, at P5,000 each, reading nooks.
PBSP hopes to raise P1 million to be able to build 200 reading nooks for 15,000 students in 16 PBSP-assisted schools.
Dalicson lists the steps companies need to take to give out their gifts of change:
- The company, through its CSR, community relations, or corporate affairs program, selects a Gift of Change aligned with its program.
- The company informs and engages their employees in the program. Employees give their financial share through salary deduction.
- The company consolidates and purchases from PBSP their selected Gift of Change, for which PBSP issues an official receipt and Certificate of Donation to the company.
- PBSP implements the gift.
“All gifts have a volunteering program where employees may opt to participate,” adds Dalicson, citing one company whose employees participated in the turnover of reading nooks and in the reading sessions of their selected beneficiary of the Gift of Reading.
As to the beneficiaries, Dalicson says that while some companies already have chosen communities, PBSP has also identified their own “collective impact” sites that they believe need urgent help.
“By giving these unique and most needed products and services to underprivileged communities, the givers will be able to change lives for the better,” he says.
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