From Little Things, Big Things Grow
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
It’s a well-known adage and serves as a constant reminder to me on the significance of giving back to the communities in which we serve.
Across the Asia Pacific region and indeed throughout the world, Johnson & Johnson champions the concept of ‘giving back’.
As a global entity, it is our mantra to improve lives through innovative therapies but our remit as a corporate citizen and indeed for us as individuals extends well beyond that.
Our Credo inspires us to advance the health of the communities in which we live and work, and the world community as well. This unwavering commitment to make the world a healthier place is at the heart of our giving.
Giving is part of our tapestry and by virtue, a trait shared universally by our employees.
It’s also a personal passion of mine. I volunteer as a council member of the Singapore Dover Park Hospice outside of my corporate role because of the sense of purpose and perspective it provides me.
Of course, the notion of giving back is not new.
Yet what is astounding to witness is the groundswell effect the concept creates within an organization and its people when celebrated, encouraged, acknowledged and facilitated.
For over five years now I have proudly led the charge as Chair of the Asia Pacific Contributions Committee (APCC), championing the volunteering efforts of more than 10,000 J&J team members who support nearly 300 community-based organizations across the region each year.
The vast majority of our volunteer programs are aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of society – children, the elderly and those with a medical or social condition which have a significant negative impact on their life.
And the facts speak volumes.
Since its launch in 2010, our Volunteer Month has engaged a total of 65,258 Asia Pacific employees and touched 236,500 lives across multiple countries.
And the level of employee participation has more than doubled from 19% to almost 50% in 2017.
This year we’ve achieved record-breaking results.
A total of 286 volunteering programs were undertaken, 144 NGOs were supported and 12,343 employees actively participated.
In India alone, 71 programs were coordinated across the country. In Japan, 45 separate volunteering programs were run. Australia held 35 programs and China led 39 events, half of which were associated with childhood illness. And these are just a sample of goodwill endeavours embarked on this year alone.
Paying it forward certainly has a ripple effect.
From the establishment of external partnerships designed to reduce smoking rates in Malaysia; deworm school children in Indonesia; bolster mental health services in the Philippines and Indonesia; advocate better care for tuberculosis patients in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, and invest in maternal and infant health across our region, the range of good-will initiatives is extensive and growing.
The Supply Chain team in Australia rolled up their sleeves at the Infants Home to rejuvenate the garden and library, making a new sandpit and shelving, and covering and organizing books.
In Korea employees spent a day at Hansarang Village nursing home caring for children with disabilities.
In the Philippines employees pitched in to provide 20 Habitat for Humanity homes in Calauan a fresh coat of paint.
In Japan, a total of 217 employees supported communities still feeling the effects of the 2011 Great Tohoku Disaster, which included a tsunami, earthquake and nuclear fall-out. They provided a wide range of support to the victims of the disaster – from cleaning up the tsunami debris to cleaning temporary housing, befriending lonely elders, and renovating an abandoned school.
In China, the team supported multiple community programs including Sight for Kids, Operation Smile, and The Flower Shop Project.
And the list goes on.
Acts of kindness and giving have never been more necessary in our ever-changing world.
Philanthropic initiatives are vital in driving global change.
Volunteering for us is as essential and personal as caring for our own loved ones.
For me it helps me stay grounded. It helps me be a better person.
I truly believe that the more you volunteer the more you gain.
I am fortunate and proud to represent an organization that holds that belief as steadfastly as I do. Not only have our employees embraced the concept of giving, they do so with passion and pride.
It’s certainly true that from little things, big things grow.