Great Eastern strives to be a good corporate citizen in the communities where it operates. It takes pride in living its values of Initiative, Integrity and Involvement, as it supports meaningful social and charitable causes through its corporate employees and financial representatives. Asia Advisers Network takes a closer look at some of the key initiatives by the life insurer that have supported and engaged the community, especially in the current environment.
Through Great Eastern Cares, its 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. The company engages in fundraising, corporate giving and volunteering its time and expertise, driven by its purpose as The Life Company to help the community Live #Lifeproof.
COVID-19 Customer Care Fund
As the COVID-19 outbreak escalated into a global pandemic, Great Eastern acted swiftly to put together a S$1 million COVID-19 Customer Care Fund to help its affected customers, and contributed S$200,000 to the Community Chest’s Courage Fund to support vulnerable individuals and groups such as patients and healthcare workers. (See: COVID-19 Care Initiatives)
Mr Khor Hock Seng, Group Chief Executive Officer of Great Eastern, said when the initiatives were announced, “As the Life Company, with a 112-year old history in Singapore, we want to do our part in this time of need. By contributing to the Courage Fund, we are strengthening the national effort to ensure that vulnerable groups are addressed.”
Great Eastern also pledged monetary support for its financial representatives and their families, should they be affected by COVID-19. “The health and well-being of our financial representatives is important to us, and it is essential that we support them as best as we can,” he said.
In May 2020, S$265,000 were raised 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.
The month-long fundraising exercise took place in May with the company matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to S$100,000.
Financial Representatives Stepping Up to Help
Donations to the Great Eastern Cares Community Fund came not only from employees but also financial representatives. For instance, Advisors’ Clique (AC), a group of financial consultants representing Great Eastern Financial Advisers, made a donation of S$50,000 to the Great Eastern Cares Community Fund.
Doing meaningful charity work has been a part of the DNA and corporate culture of AC. Jonathan Lee, Associate Manager, Advisors' Clique, said what started off as a fundraiser in 2004 when the Tsunami hit has evolved from year-to-year ad hoc initiatives to the formation of a charity arm – AC CARE – in 2015 by its directors Yeoh Cheng Huann and Irene Phua.
Working with various charities and organisations, he said: “We want to be able to give back to a wide spectrum of the community.”
Aside from monetary contributions, members of AC contribute their time and effort. “It is important that our agents help out in these events and fundraisers that we do. We are giving back but in reality, the agents and volunteers get back a lot more from these experiences. It really helps us confirm what we are doing by helping families on financial planning,” he added.
Every drop makes an ocean
The spirit of giving and helping does not stop at the corporate level or financial consultants groups, it cascades through to the whole organisation, with even individuals stepping up to serve the community in their own ways.
One such individual is Diana Liew, an Executive Senior Financial Consultant with Genesis Advisors. When Circuit Breaker measures were first announced, one of the rules was the ban on dining in at food and beverages locations. She realised that many hawkers’ livelihoods suffered as they were senior or were not tech-savvy enough to use delivery services via apps to sustain their businesses.
She jumped into action. Diana volunteered her time and paid out of her own pocket to help hawkers with their delivery orders using her car, free of charge, during this period in April. She had even installed a food warmer, emptied her car boot and put in additional storage boxes to manage the huge orders.
While some of the hawkers had told her “I really don’t know what to do if you’re not here”, she said: “Personally it felt very good for me as well, not only for the hawkers.”
“There’s only so much that one person can do, but if everyone were to do one thing, every drop makes an ocean,” she said.
For more information on Great Eastern’s corporate social responsibility efforts and community engagement, visit Great Eastern Cares.
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