Universal McCann (UM), the full-service global media agency of IPG Mediabrands, held its fourth annual global Impact Day on 22nd July. Launched in 2016 under ‘Better World’, UM’s corporate social responsibility initiative, the annual day of service represents two core values: Care and Community. As it was last year, this year’s UM Impact Day was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Themed solidarity, UM Impact Day this year saw 150 employees from Ensemble Worldwide, UM Studios and UM in Malaysia come together to produce and run a series of virtual live-streaming events in support of fifty (50) local businesses and SMEs. The livestream events raised over RM62,000 in sales and donation amounts to deserving organizations.
Audrey Chong, Chief Executive Officer of UM, UM Studios and Ensemble Worldwide said, “The theme of solidarity really spoke to us very deeply this year. There is a lot of hardship and suffering all over the country, and the hardest hit have really been our SMEs and local businesses, many of whom have dipped into their savings to stay afloat. Our team collectively came to this decision, selecting fifty businesses and social enterprises to support and help raise awareness amongst our friends, family and wider network.”
Many of the featured businesses were in food services as that has been the only option available for many whose shops have remained closed during the pandemic.
The list included a number of NGOs and social enterprises and a shelter – A Pet’s Journal, a rehabilitation shelter for animals with disabilities that aims to be self-funded through the sale of homemade treats for dogs; Bake with Dignity, a social enterprise that provides sheltered employment for adults with learning disabilities by providing them with culinary skills; Dignity for Children Foundation, an NGO that provides holistic care and education for urban poor children in KL, and operates transformational social enterprises across food services, hairdressing, sewing, art and wellness; Ferris Wheel Organisation, a non-profit that empowers single mothers and B40 women to make a living.
The livestream also included auction of art by UM’s creative team in support of Food For Others, a grassroots initiative driven by those in production services to provide grocery services for other in the production and film industry who have been left jobless due to the lockdown.
“We are truly amazed and humbled by the generosity of all those who heard the stories of these businesses and chose to open their hearts and wallets in support of them. I am also especially grateful to our Mediabrands family and all our partners and friends who supported us and attended the events. Our efforts may just be a drop in the ocean, but our hope is that this movement and message of support and hope for local businesses will spread throughout Malaysia,” said Audrey.
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Catch the UM Impact Day Livestream videos here:
List of NGOs/ social enterprises/ shelter:
Businesses to highlight:
Fisherman’s Express – The owners of Fisherman’s Express were tour guides who lost their only source of income. This opportunity of bringing fresh fish to sell in KL was brought about through their grandfather, a fisherman in Rengit, Johor.
Mamalee – Mamalee is a family-run Penang Nyonya restaurant based in Damansara uptown whose plans for expansion and franchise have been affected with the pandemic.
Merdekarya – Merdekarya is one of the only bars dedicated to Malaysian music. They have played host to thousands of gigs featuring original music written and performed by grassroots musicians, though their doors now remained closed.
Scuba Club Langkawi – Scuba Club Langkawi provides scuba experiences for certified and non-certified divers around the islands of Langkawi, whose owner has been forced to dip into savings to fulfill commitments, having been unable to operate through most of the pandemic.
Softsrve – Established in 2014, Softsrve is an artisanal ice-cream parlour serving fresh soft service ice-cream made fresh daily with real ingredients. The owner has had to re-imagine the business to now cater for delivery.
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