Despite the challenges that our nation and communities have faced, there is much to be thankful for, such as the availability of vaccines, vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) that allow for a gradual resumption of normality and long-anticipated reunions with loved ones, and general easing of social restrictions.
At Amazon, as we made the workplace safer for our employees and kept our customers’ needs top of mind, our community has remained at the heart of our thoughts and actions.
Delivering smiles (and gifts) to children
The holiday season is one of cheer and merry and we want to bring the same joy to children in Singapore. Most recently, we collaborated with Glyph Community, a local charity that helps underprivileged children develop holistically through activities such as field trips, arts and crafts classes, and creates opportunities for them to apply learnings from the classroom.
Children are a growing focus for our community outreach at Amazon and like Glyph, we deeply care about their development. Collaborating with Glyph means we can reach and support many more children in Singapore – increasing their access to everyday items needed for learning, such as notebooks, colouring kits, pencils, and toys.
In addition to welcoming Glyph to our wishlist initiative, we want to multiply the impact of donations from our customers on Glyph. We are matching customer donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to S$10,000, made via their wishlist in December 2021. As we match the dollar value of donations to Glyph in December, every act of kindness, regardless of the amount and item, will go a long way in helping children here enjoy development and enrichment classes so their learning can be fun, engaging and holistic.
You can contribute via Glyph Community’s wishlist here.
Fulfilling needs of more communities with NVPC
Beyond joining forces with Glyph, we expanded the reach and impact of our Amazon x Shop for Good wishlist initiative by collaborating with more non-profit organisations (NPOs) across causes in Singapore.
The new NPOs we have onboarded include Beyond Social Services, Fei Yue Community Services, and Engineering Good, and we are proud to support a total of 16 charitable organisations in Singapore. Our collaboration with these NPOs help children, low-income families, and the elderly easily and quickly get the daily essentials they need the most as Singaporeans donate in a transparent and fuss-free way through the wishlist initiative.
We launched the Amazon x Shop for Good wishlist campaign in June 2020, in collaboration with National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), to make giving and doing good a part of our everyday lives – as simple as shopping for ourselves or our loved ones online. Since then, thanks to our customers, the wishlist initiative has helped over 6,000 beneficiaries with 3,640 donations amounting to over S$19,600 in value. Singaporeans continue to rally and donate necessities such as milk formula, oscillation fans, air purifiers, and canned food, to help disadvantaged families tide through the pandemic.
Today, the 16 NPOs that are a part of the Amazon x Shop for Good wishlist initiative include: Arc Children's Centre, Beyond Social Services, Blessings in a Bag, Children's Wishing Well, Club Rainbow (Singapore), Engineering Good, Fei Yue Community Services, Glyph Community, New Hope Community Services, Singapore Red Cross, SHINE, Singapore Children's Society, The Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), SOSD, The Food Bank Singapore, and Willing Hearts.
Additionally, in collaboration with Engineering Good, our AWS InCommunities and Connect@Amazon teams are supporting Singapore's Smart Nation drive for improved digitisation through the refurbishment of donated corporate PCs and distributing them to local charities and social service agencies (SSAs) - the programme has provided PC's to numerous charities, SSAs and support services including Glyph, Loving Heart, Mountbatten Vocational School, Lion Befrienders, Haemophillia Society of Singapore and many more.
Increasing access to STEM education with Science Centre Singapore
As home-based schooling and learning through digital tools became the norm locally, we have also grown our collaboration with Science Centre Singapore to empower STEM exploration among the youth here.
Earlier this year, we hosted the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge for primary and secondary school students – a complimentary, virtual learning experience curated to develop creativity, problem-solving skills, and spark interest in STEM through immersive robot activities and games.
In the lead up to Science Centre’s National Robotics Competition, the Challenge equipped students with the tools and skills to learn and practice the basics of computer science and coding. During the free workshops, students could try their hand at coding an Amazon Hercules robot to deliver a friend's birthday present within an allotted time. While they digitally navigated through Amazon's fulfilment centre during the robotics game, they could discover how Amazon uses computer science daily to fulfil customer orders and understand how coding is applied in real-life. Over 3,000 children directly benefited from the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge to become the next generation of coders in Singapore.
Students who emerged within the top 10% of the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge and the Think Big, Youth Science Ambassador Programme (Science Centre Singapore’s training and mentoring programme for deserving youths) were each recognised with a bursary award to celebrate their achievements and further support their STEM education.
Our collaboration with Science Centre Singapore for these initiatives was in addition to the 2020 STEM pilot programme that offered primary and secondary school students free access to online courses to complement home-based learning amidst COVID-19.
(Re)building a community with Singapore Children’s Society and Willing Hearts
In 2021, we also expanded our collaboration with Singapore Children’s Society, contributing S$30,000 to support the renovation of Sunbeam Place Children’s Home. In collaboration with AITC (Amazon in the Community), volunteers from AWS Infrastructures InCommunities and Amazon corporate PR helped renovate the Sunbeam Place Children’s Home computer and activity hall, working to improve the home’s IT lab and create an engaging workshop space with local social enterprise Vivita to facilitate the kids’ learning. To furnish the renovated hall, Amazon also donated 20 laptops, 10 secondhand workstations and office chairs, as well as 20 office chairs for their conference room.
We also brought STEM education and our Robotics Challenge to Singapore Children’s Society, donating S$10,000 and working with Science Centre Singapore to host coding workshops for primary and secondary school students.
Similarly, Connect@Amazon, our Amazon volunteer employee engagement group, has continued their collaborative work with Willing Hearts. In late 2020, Connect@Amazon worked with Willing Hearts’ overseas charity, One Mission, to collect clothes, furniture and appliances to help those left homeless following Beirut’s warehouse explosion in August 2020.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the team supported the renovation of a crisis shelter for Willing Hearts consisting of 26 rooms that will provide emergency housing for singles, families and transgender men. This was completed in August 2021. Our AWS, Amazon and GREF teams also donated masks and hand sanitisers to Willing Hearts to encourage safety.
NVPC's Company of Good Fellowship Programme
As a continuing engagement with the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), two Amazonians, John Le Tissier and Anna Nguyen have completed the annual City of Good, Fellowship of Good programme. The five-month Fellowship, delivered over two to three days every month, offers a unique opportunity for Fellows to sharpen their perspectives in leadership, systems thinking and the giving landscape, with an aim to drive corporate giving that is strategic, sustainable, and impactful. The impact project and ongoing programme being developed by the Amazon team and Fellowship partners will be a collaboration of charities and corporates to provide employment and family support for the underprivileged women in our society.
Throughout and beyond this holiday season, we will continue to actively engage our customers and employees to build lasting solutions, collaborations, and programmes that increasingly give back to the community at scale.
We thank our customers in Singapore who have whole-heartedly poured in in numbers to grow and support our community initiatives. In the coming year, we hope to do more and better to improve the lives of those around us in the communities we live, work, and play in.