PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITY
SM focuses on serving the customer and the community where every SM mall operates. The people in the community and in the mall—most especially the marginalized sectors of society—are given a voice and opportunity to be heard, through the various activities and initiatives of SM Cares.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
The SM Cares Program on Persons with Disabilities promotes a barrier-free and disability inclusive environment. It ensures that SM becomes a place for all; and a place for all means no one gets left behind. Every Filipino, with or without disability, is welcome in SM. The SM Cares Program on Persons with Disabilities helps promote awareness, acceptance, and inclusion for the sector.
The program has been partners with a number of organizations that hold different initiatives to advance the best interests of PWDs in the community. Some of them include the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Autism Society Philippines (ASP), the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI), Deaf-Blind Support Philippines (DBSP), Center for Advocacy, Learning and Livelihood (CALL) Foundation of the Blind, Inc., the Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Inc. (PFRD), Movies and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), and AKAP Pinoy, among others.
Some of the Program’s notable initiatives which were held in partnership with the above-mentioned organizations include the annual Angels Walk for Autism, Happy Walk for Down Syndrome, Special Movie Screening for the Blind and Deaf, White Cane Day for the Blind, Disaster Resilience Conference for PWDs and Senior Citizens, and special concerts for the benefit of the Filipino PWD. Similarly, all tenants, employees, and front liners are given orientations and training on how to handle customers with disabilities and special needs.
The SM Cares Program on PWDs have instituted key programs to address the needs of customers with special needs, which earned its reputation for being the most PWD-friendly establishment across the country. Our facilities have dedicated areas for parking and proper embarkation and disembarkation for PWDs, special restrooms, ramps, some have braille signs, designed areas for PWDs in cinemas, as well as utilities with accessible height like pay phones and wash room sinks.
Consistently over the years, SM Cares has been awarded the National Government’s Apolinario Mabini Hall of Fame Award for its Programs on Persons with Disabilities.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The SM Cares Program on Children and Youth Development has established long-standing partnerships with various organizations that share the same advocacy, including UNICEF, National Youth Commission (NYC), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), Global Peace Foundation, AIESEC, the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Vibal Publishing House, and National Bookstore.
Some of the projects include the Drink for Two, held in partnership with UNICEF, where a portion of the sales of the SM Supermalls’ bottled water goes to the Project W.A.S.H. (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program. This program provides a decent water system and basic sanitation in various provinces; the Adoption Consciousness Week project, where specialty booths are put up in selected malls, geared to assist families who are interested in adoption; the annual Global Youth Summit; National Children’s Book Reading Day event, held across all SM malls in the Philippines and in China, and the celebration of the International Youth Day.
In October 2016, SM Cares Program on Children and Youth partnered with the Council on the Welfare of Children (CWC) to raise 1 million pencils for underprivileged children across the country. The project raised more than 3.3 million pencils.
SM offers community programs for seniors to be more active, productive, engaged, and social. Aside from providing them with services for leisure and ease, SM also gives them opportunities that make them rediscover their self-worth in society.
Recognizing that senior citizens could still be productive members of society, SM Cares launched the Casual Employment for Senior Citizens program which gives senior citizens, 60 to 70 years of age, a chance to work in SM Malls nationwide. Under the program, they are given employment opportunities as greeters or ushers at the entrances, food courts and cinemas of SM malls. They work on Saturdays and Sundays on a four-hour shift that usually starts around 10AM when the malls open. To date, more than 1,300 senior citizens have been employed by SM.
Other initiatives include the regular Seniors Day at the Mall, held every 2nd Tuesday of the month where the seniors engage in fitness and dancing activities called Senior Moments which promote health and wellness for the elderly; livelihood projects; Walk for Life, an annual walk in celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week; Oldies but Techies – a program that teaches senior citizens the ease and functionality of modern technology and social networking; and the Pamaskong Handog for Senior Citizens (Christmas Tribute).
Some of the partners of the SM Cares Program on Senior Citizens include the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Health (DOH).