It is always a good idea to give back, especially to those in need. Helping underprivileged and underserved communities not only puts smiles on people’s faces but fosters positive change and fortitude. It also helps ease hardships in the face of difficulties, even for a while.
In the spirit of its 26th anniversary, Suntrust Properties, Inc. (Suntrust) commemorates not only its success in constructing high-quality homes and developments but also its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) through the initiative “26 Rays of Hope.”
“This initiative ensures the cultivation of a strong bond with the community,” shared Suntrust President Atty. Harrison Paltongan with The Philippine STAR. “It serves as a means to actively engage our employees in this meaningful endeavor. They take great pride in contributing to this charitable cause. Our commitment to this annual tradition stems from our perception of the anniversary as a time for gratitude and thanksgiving, “ he added.
For this year’s CSR initiative, Suntrust employees, also known as “Suntrustees,” gathered near the site of Suntrust Ascentia, a rising vertical community in Sta. Ana, Manila, where they held a donation drive last Nov. 10 for residents of the said barangay, as well as in Sta. Ana Hospital to help it meet its various needs.
Giving their time and personal funds for a cause, the Suntrustees truly made the day of their beneficiaries through this gesture of thanksgiving and fellowship.
In the service of the community
“26 Rays of Hope” began with a short program near the barangay hall where Suntrustees distributed wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, digital blood pressure monitors, tables and chairs, tents, medicines, and grocery bags. These donations benefited not only the residents of Brgy. 886, but residents of neighboring barangays, as well.
A dental mission was also held, providing free tooth extractions, while children received free ice cream while interacting with the company’s mascots, Sunny and Sunshine.
“Sa bawat anibersaryo po, isa pong gawain ng aming kumpanya ay ’yong pagpunta sa mga komunidad at, sa aming maliit na kakayanan ay makapaghatid ng saya, tulong, at serbisyo sa mga pamayanan, sa mga komunidad, lalo na malapit sa aming mga proyekto,” said Jerry Rubis, Suntrust first vice president for marketing and business development.
Housing over 1,300 units, Rubis emphasized Suntrust Ascentia’s potential to stimulate employment and support local businesses, contributing to the overall prosperity of Sta. Ana, Manila.
“Kasing init ng inyong pagtatanggap, nakikita namin na kapag tumatayo na [ang Suntrust Ascentia], natapos na ’yan, at may komunidad na ’yan, babaguhin niyan ang mukha ng Sta. Ana at maghahatid po ’yan ng saya, sigla, at tulong sa ekonomiya,” he said.
Gratitude above all else
Ana Santiago, barangay captain of Brgy. 886, expressed her gratitude to Suntrust for the donations they received, adding that other barangays were also able to benefit from the donated items.
“Sa totoo lang, napakaganda ng puso ng Suntrust. Noong nagsabi sila na magbibigay sila ng wheelchair, tungkod, at tsaka walker, hindi po natin ito sinarili lang sa barangay sa Brgy. 886. Tayo po ay naging daan din sa ibang barangay kung saan nangangailangan din sila ng [mga ito],” she said.
She further told the Suntrustees: “On behalf of my council, kami pong lahat sa Brgy. 886 ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa benepisyong binigay niyo sa aming barangay.”
On the other hand, Dr. Grace Padilla, OIC director of Sta. Ana Hospital, feels blessed after Suntrust donated 26 wheelchairs, 26 crutches, 35 pieces of diapers, and medicines, as well as for renovating its server room to further boost the hospital’s digitalization.
“Thank you for choosing Sta. Ana Hospital as one of the [beneficiaries]. We’re neighbors and we have this common purpose of serving the community,” she said. “We would like to accept [these donations] on behalf of our honorable Mayor Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan and Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto. These will go a long, long way in our hospital, and we are very grateful to have you as our partner in the succeeding years.”
For Paltongan, the “26 Rays of Hope” initiative is special because it helps people around their properties, emphasizing that benefiting communities is top priority for Suntrust each time a new development breaks ground.
“We want to show them that we think about them, we care for them, so we bring these donations to help them in some other ways and assure them that we are trying our best to minimize whatever inconvenience they feel,” he said.
As it celebrates 26 years in the real estate industry, Suntrust has evolved into not only a renowned real estate developer, but also a catalyst for social change and a driving force in community development.