Volunteerism is the spirit behind GSK’s Orange Day, when employees get one paid day off to volunteer at a non-profit organization of their choice.
On November 23, some 400 employees of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Philippines visited 16 Gawad Kalinga and two Smile Train sites in the country as part of the company’s annual Orange Day.
All GSK employees are entitled to Employee Volunteering, which means they can take one paid day off per year to pursue an authorized charity activity. Although there are multiple ways of volunteering at GSK, Orange Day is a key flagship program.
One of the Smile Train sites the employees visited was in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Jose (not his real name), three years old, is a boy who had a cleft lip and cleft palate. His lip had an opening to the nose and a hole at the roof of his mouth, making it difficult to feed. He’s had two surgeries and is doing well.
“Jose’s mom proudly showed me his baby picture, sharing how they previously used one of our dental products to stick a device (similar with a denture) to cover the hole so he could feed. He is three years old now and had two surgeries. He is also undergoing free speech therapy from Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, a Smile Train partner institution. He was not able to speak much but I got lots of hugs from him, enough to fill my heart. I am proud being part of GSK and our partnership with Smile Train and for having volunteered today to help children like Jose enjoy better-quality of life,” said Amy Jo Onrubia, HR Director, GSK Philippines, during her visit to the partner institution.
GSK believes that by volunteering, employees are challenged to think differently, develop leadership skills, and heighten cultural agility. Further, GSK believes that they can also be instruments in helping create positive, sustainable change for non-profit partners, and the communities they serve; and that through their experiences, they bring fresh ideas and new energy back to the company.
Ritesh Pandey, General Manager for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Philippines, shared, “Our partnership with Smile Train speaks a lot about our vision to do more, feel better and live longer. The goal is to ensure that children born with clefts can lead full, productive lives which will then allow them to achieve their dreams and contribute back to the community.”
Pandey continued, “Our commitment is to raise funds for operations for as many children to enable them to lead a healthy life. We have planned some fundraising activities but more than sharing financially, each member of our team pledged to spend time with the children and their families to appreciate them and be inspired by their journey.”
“Personally, I am very happy that this partnership came to life. We pledged to give them smiles. In return, these brave children touched our lives,” said Pandey.
This year, GSK commemorates its 50th year in the Philippines, committing to continue helping Filipinos do more, feel better, live longer.