Global Community Day 2018 brings Citi volunteers together to spread love to every corner of Taiwan

Citibank Taiwan employees and their families on Saturday gather at Taipei Expo park to wash donated used clothing at the Taipei Mental Rehabilitation Association charity sale to help people recovering from mental illness.

In an effort to implement corporate social responsibility, Citibank Taiwan celebrated its 13th annual Global Community Day on June 9. More than 500 Citi volunteers gathered together at Taipei Expo Park, combining forces with Taipei Mental Rehabilitation Association to participate in the “Working Together toward Laundry Love” initiative.

Cheng Cheng-mount, Vice Chairperson of the Financial Supervisory Commission, and Hsu Li-min, Commissioner of Taipei City’s Department of Social Welfare, also attended this charity event and worked with Citi volunteers to sort out and recycle used clothing.

At the same time, in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan, nearly 200 Citi volunteers accompanied the disadvantaged families supported by the Garden of Hope Foundation to have a fun trip at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium. Citi’s employees around Taiwan are contributing to society in different ways.

Since 2006, Citi holds its annual “Global Community Day” between May and June each year to encourage Citi staff, their families and friends to take part in social services. This year, more than 100,000 Citi volunteers are gathering in more than 450 cities across 90 countries to volunteer in more than 1,400 service projects that help address a range of community needs –from feeding the hungry to revitalizing schools for a better learning environment to preparing young people for jobs.

To date in Taiwan, the number of volunteers participating in “Citi Global Community Day” has exceeded 20,000. The scope of their services includes environmental conservation, community transformation, rural services, financial education, and stray animal care.

“‘Be the Best’ is the goal of all Citi staff striving to achieve. Citi will not only become the best bank for our customers and fulfill our commitment to our clients, but also demonstrate this spirit in the promotion of corporate social responsibility,” said Paulus Mok, Chairman of Citibank Taiwan. “Citi bankers uphold the mission of enabling growth and progress. What we do is More Than Philanthropy, but also a Community Progress Maker. The annual Global Community Day is the most specific indicator of our contribution to the society.”

In Taiwan, 2.3 million people visit the hospital for psychiatric treatment each year and patients who have the handbooks of mental disorders have been increasing year by year.

Given that the general public have many stereotypes and misconceptions of those who suffer from mental illness (here after cited within the text as those who recover from mental illness), and are even afraid of interacting with them, Citi launched the “Working Together toward Laundry Love” initiative to help those who recover from mental illness to rebuild their confidence, return to society, plus regain their value and dignity through the three steps of “fair treatment”, “participation and companionship,” as well as “employment assistance.”

In the June 9 charitable event, some Citi volunteers donated used clothing to the association for charity sale, while others worked with those who recover from mental illness to wash the clothes and hang out the laundry. Citi staff practice what they preach, thereby enabling such invisible companionship to support the mentally challenged people.

“People recovering from mental illness need more understanding and support from the general public,” the association’s Director-General Chen Guan-bin said. “In particular, a wave of social irregularities has broken out in recent years. Many people parallel mental illness to violence and danger. This is a common stereotype and stigma”

As a result, the association often encounters difficulties while promoting community service. It is expected that both the media and general public can treat these mentally challenged people positively. They not only need the care and support of their family members, friends and professionals, but also require the understanding and acceptance from the general public. Only in this way can we establish a stable, harmonious and progressive society, Chen said.

“It’s a great honor to work with Citibank Taiwan this time. The leading bank turns its care into real action by supporting our association’s services and people who recover from mental illness,” Chen said. “It is the best way to know them through real interaction. We’re looking forward to more companies joining forces with us in the future.”

Apart from the “Laundry Love” initiative, Citi also invited the St. Comillus Long-Term Care Center in Yilan County, Taiwan Toy Library Association, Zhishan Cultural and Ecological Garden, and Blue Magpie Tea Social Enterprise Co. to take part in the volunteer cause. The bank hopes that through a small fair, those who participate in this charity event will gain a better understanding of what these institutions do for the society.

Citi Global Community Day2018 has kicked off in mid-May. Through a wide variety of themed events such as environmental conservation, companionship for the underprivileged, tea garden adoption, ecological conservation, and community services, Citi delivers on its promises to take root in Taiwan and care for local communities.

This year, more than 2,200 Citi volunteers, families and friends participated in various charitable events. At the same time, Citibank Taiwan has partnered with non-profit organizations to further extend their volunteer work from ecological sustainability and support for disadvantaged groups to youth empowerment and long-term care. Citi staff’s love also stretches from Yilan, Danshi, and Sanxia to Nantou, Chiayi,and Pingtung. Citi staff in light blue T-shirts can be seen in the mountains or on the beach, as well as in the countryside or in the cities. Such performances make Be the Best not just a slogan, but the goal of all Citi bankers striving to reach.