Almost a century after its inception, Shaw Theatres remains a mainstay not just in local cinema but also around the region. It’s only natural then, that they dedicate an entire non-profit organization, the Shaw Foundation, to giving back to the society that helped them become successful. Executive Vice President of Operations Mark Shaw talks about how charity is in his blood.
What are some of the causes the Foundation supports and how are you involved?
We support a wide number of causes such as caring for the elderly, community awareness programmes, education and the arts. I personally am involved with the Singapore Cord Blood Bank, Northwest Community Development Council and the National Fire Prevention and Civil Emergency Preparedness Council (NFEC), each for about six to 14 years now.
How did this passion for the community come about?
The concept of community service has been a part of my life since childhood. My grandfather founded the Shaw Foundation and my father, uncles, siblings and cousins are all involved in some form of community service.
Learn how you can do your bit for national security
What kind of active roles do you play?
I am probably most active in the NFEC where I am chairman of the fundraising sub committee. I am involved in a number of fundraising projects for them, as well as some of the working committees regarding public education. I give speeches and presentations, including a presentation regarding community involvement in civil emergency preparedness at a recent convention. There’s usually something going on every month that I set aside time for.
Do you wish other Singaporeans sacrificed more time and effort for charity work?
I think that Singapore already has a great system of community involvement, although it would be nice if more Singaporeans volunteered their time in addition to donating to worthy causes.
Do you actually enjoy it?
It always feels good to be contributing to the society and the community.
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Do Your Bit for National Security
• “Fight” in the war
Pick up civil defence and first aid skills useful during wartime emergencies by becoming a member of the People’s Association Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Log on to www.pa.gov.sg to apply.
• Be a volunteer policeman
Men of PES A or B status in the army—listen up. If you’re younger than 45 years of age, you can help fight crime in Singapore as part of the Volunteer Special Constabulary. Apply at www.spf.gov.sg.
• Keep families together
Register to be a Volunteer Probation Officer with the Ministry of Community and Youth Services (MCYS) and help handle cases such as student delinquents and broken families. Log on to http://app1.mcys.gov.sg to apply.