Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija—SM City Cabanatuan and SM Megacenter donated 2,000 pairs of shoes to public elementary school students here on Monday, part of the 60,000 shoes pledged in a simultaneous donation by the different SM malls nationwide in line with the 60th-anniversary celebration of the retail giant.
Mark Carlo G. Herrera, SM Cabanatuan mall manager, reminisced on the company’s humble beginnings in 1958, when Henry Sy Sr. opened the country’s first ShoeMart branch in Manila, as he led the donation ceremony.
SM employees personally delivered and gave the shoes to the students of Lazaro Francisco Integrated School, San Josef Elementary School, ACA Elementary School, and Sumacab Elementary School.
In 60 years, SM has evolved into a giant conglomerate that operates 71 malls in the Philippines and several more in China; BDO, the Philippines’ largest bank; and a property arm in its business portfolio that includes residences, commercial buildings, resorts, hotels, and convention centers.
“Now after 60 years SM would like to give back to the community by giving out 60,000 shoes to different public schools nationwide, and for Cabanatuan we are giving 2,000 pairs of shoes accumulated by the collaborative efforts of the company, the employees, agency personnel, tenants, and other partners as our way of saying thank you to everyone,” Herrera said.
“It was very heartwarming moment for us in the SM family! While achieving this milestone that the company we are working with turns 60 years put us to a nostalgic moment, it is not just our history that we are celebrating. We are celebrating our future as well for these children,” he added.
“We are hoping that someday [the children who received shoes] become successful, remembering the inspiration that we gave to them,” Herrera said.
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