Embracing the Christmas spirit with open arms
SM group spreads social good with ‘Christmas Cheers’
SM employee-volunteers from SM CDO Downtown with some of the beneficiaries of Christmas Cheers
The season of giving is within our midst.
As the world embraces the spirit of Christmas with open arms, SM group employees stepped out of the holiday rush and into the shoes of volunteers, spreading social good through the Christmas Cheers gift-giving initiative.
Spearheaded by SM Foundation and SM Supermalls, the program stood as a testament to the dedication of volunteers to create meaningful contributions and build memories with communities, one act of kindness at a time.
The spirit of Christmas is synonymous with generosity and the joy of giving, and for one individual in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, this sentiment came to life through their involvement in the Christmas Cheers distribution volunteer program. In a recent interview, a member of the volunteer team shared insights into their motivations, experiences, and the profound impact they witnessed during the holiday season.
A manifestation of love, kindness
For Carl Maglangit, SM CDO Downtown’s Public Relations Manager, the motivation to join the Christmas Cheers stemmed from a deep-seated belief in Filipino generous culture and how it has a magical way of spreading joy and building a supportive society.
Upon hearing about the opportunity to give back, he promptly embraced the role of coordinating and organizing the program for the community.
“I have always been inspired to someday share my blessings with the community. Now, it has happened and the experience felt magical for me. It taught me the value of generosity and that giving is a manifestation of love and kindness. I am now more empowered in community giving, and with this passion, I can influence other people to do the same,” Carl said.
As the gift-giving activity unfolded, he knew that the beauty of it would resonate with him beyond the holiday season, especially after hearing a message from one of the beneficiaries, PWD and Christmas Cheers recipient Liza Corpuz.
PWD members of the Cagayan de Oro community and their loved ones smile as they receive Christmas Cheers packs from SM group.
Carl narrated: “She felt honored that their sector was chosen as one of the recipients of this program and has gotten the impression that they are acknowledged in the community as equally essential citizens. Previously, she shared that they felt ignored and forgotten and felt terrible that they lacked the opportunity to receive help. Since last year, the Christmas Cheers program has uplifted their spirit to celebrate a merrier yuletide this year. The food packs make one person happy, and the entire family will.”
At the end of the event, Carl saw the strong convergence of the season of giving and Filipino generosity: “The Filipino value of generosity has truly been lived through this activity. I am a firm believer that the true meaning of Christmas is giving. In this season, we will continue to aim to serve our community and give the message of how sharing happiness can uplift each other despite the many challenges we encounter.”
PWD and Christmas Cheers recipient Liza Corpuz expresses her gratitude to the SM group, saying the initiative uplifted their spirits when they felt ignored and forgotten.
Happily spreading cheers
Another SM volunteer who keeps bayanihan alive is Ron Ryan Malitig, an Operation Assistant at SM City Calamba. Like Carl, it was his first time volunteering to help make Christmas Cheers a memorable experience for the beneficiaries. For him, it’s definitely not the last.
SM City Calamba Asst. Mall Manager Elmundo Olazo lead the distribution of gifts for the elderly member of the community
Having been with the mall for just a month, Ron Ryan discovered the opportunity through the mall's communication channels. With a burning desire to extend a helping hand, he joined.
“Nothing beats the feeling of knowing that everyone in the community gets to celebrate Christmas with a smile on their faces and hearts. I know that volunteering would allow me to do just that–share my skills and bring genuine happiness to the community we happily serve,” he said.
As the spirit of giving takes center stage, SM group’s employee-volunteers embody the real meaning of celebrating Christmas: giving to others for a kinder, stronger community.