SM Store CSR
SM Store and HSBC-EDPP visit Iraya Mangyan Village
June 8, 2023
In Sitio Sipit Saburan, a Mangyan ancestral domain in Barangay Villaflor, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, children have a happy disposition. They go to school, play and help their parents in their farms and copras. They have the best of everything fresh any city dweller would long for.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, SM Store along with HSBC Electronic Data Processing Philippines Inc. (HSBC-EDPP) employee volunteers, visited the community – a three-hour long trek, to distribute gifts and shoes. HSBC-EDPP has been an SM Store long-term CSR partner in their sustainability activities and both companies are dedicated to serve, share and empower the last mile communities and schools under the Yellow Boat of Hope network.
MORE THAN GIVING BACK. As SM Store reaches its 65 years, the company strives more to reach underserved communities all over the country.
Ms. Joy Hipolito, Sipit Saburan’s school head said “Our children need to thrive academically. The school supplies are a big help in facilitating learning.”
The children were gathered for a shoe fitting. Each, is excited to see if the shoes will fit.
Lyka, a Grade 2 pupil was in relief after the shoe fitting. She, in turn, showed the volunteers that she could walk in them.
Last Mile Interdependence
Being the farthest sitio in Puerto Galera, the people of Sipit Saburan take pride in their sense of community. The Mangyan Indigenous People voluntarily assisted SM Store and HSBC-EDPP volunteers to carry the boxes filled with books, shoes, school supplies and food. They take care of their own neighbors and look out for each other.
The children gathered around to choose their shoes and once they were done receiving their school supplies and toys.
“Pag wala ang kapitbahay namin at nasa bukid sila, pinapaiwan namin sa bahay nila yung kaloob sa kanila para lahat kami ay mayroon,” says Ka Peter, Sipit Saburan’s community leader. “Yung mga ganitong ugnayan sa mga taga-baba ay napaka halaga sa amin. Kasi di naman namin kayang bilhin ang mga ganitong bagay para sa mga eskwela.”
(Whenever there are gift-giving events in the community, we make it a point that all of us have our share, including our neighbors who were out of their homes and working in the field. These grants are important to us since we don’t have the capacity to buy these for our students.)
“Lahat ng tulong binibigay namin lalo sa mga grupo na lagi kami tinutulungan para sa eskwela”, Ka Peter added.
(We extend all the help we can give especially to those who helps our students.)
MIXED EMOTIONS. By nature, the Iraya Mangyan group are friendly but evasive. The school children were both excited and confused when they were made to choose gifts of their liking.
Doing SMthing Good
Over the years, SM Store has been visiting last mile schools and communities. With the help of their customers, employees and partners –books, shoes, clothes, and school supplies were delivered to areas they were needed the most.
In Mindanao, books from WS Pacific were distributed through Yellow Boat of Hope. DepEd Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao partnered with SM to distribute books from National Council of Women in the Philippines in the far-flung areas of Lanao del Sur. While in Iloilo, SM Store employees engaged with the students of Tapacon Elementary School with an afternoon filled with storytelling, gift giving and a children’s party.
In the North, SM Store partner, Richwell Trading Corporation donated shoes that were distributed to the students in Tuguegarao as well as in the Southern Tagalog region (Tanza, Cavite, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro).
In Las Piñas, Bahay Pag-asa, a DSWD facility for the children in conflict with the law, wards were given athletic shoes by Sports Central.
For 65 years, SM Store has been Filipino families’ go to place for all the things that they need from food, clothing and shelter. As the company’s way of giving back to the communities, initiatives such as Donate A Book, Share Your Extras, Share A Toy, and Share Shoes were crafted to assist communities in need through the help of their loyal shoppers.
But, the center of all these initiatives is the children. SM Store finds ways to be the avenue for shoppers who want to give but have no idea where to place their donations.
Sipit Saburan Elementary School teacher, Ms. Jonaliza Apostol, has nothing but gratitude.
“As a recipient, we are beyond grateful knowing that our community is hard to reach. Our grade school kids get to experience wearing signature shoes that other children got to own and wear. This is very meaningful to us and will help motivate them to go to school even more.”
About: SM Store is the Philippines’ largest department store chain with several branches nationwide. Since our first store opened in 1958, SM Store has been a long-time favorite one-stop-shop with the best product variety, shopping convenience, and value for money. We offer a great selection of menswear, womenswear, children’s wear, all kinds of beauty products, and things for the home. You can also find stationery, electronic gadgets, snacks, toys, hardware, and fun Philippine souvenirs here.
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