The gift of giving

Giving to a good cause is a good thing, and we Malaysians are pretty good at that. Not only do we rank pretty highly against other countries in the region on generosity (who knew such a list even existed), we continue to be amazed by the amazing things Malaysians have done for fellow Malaysians and other people in need. But can too much of a good thing be bad?

shutterstock_329926214On the one hand, there are unscrupulous people out there making a pretty penny by simply preying on our sense of compassion and empathy. And then there are those that take issue against people based on either personal prejudices or misinformation gleaned from inaccurate sources.

Take for instance the unfounded (and largely inaccurate) accusations hurled against McDonald’s regarding its Matching Gift Program in the USA. Under this program, each dollar donated by an employee will be matched with a donation of the same amount by the company to the employee’s chosen charity.

Now of course, if you’re interested in more details about the Matching Gift Program, you can read more about it here. What’s more interesting to us though is how some people are quick to take issue with some of the organisations benefiting from the program –the Jewish United Fund (JUF) being targeted in particular.

To start with, the Matching Gift Program by McDonald’s Corporation ONLY applies to its employees in the United States of America. This means, McDonald’s Malaysia couldn’t participate in the program even if it wanted to!

On top of that, there’s a host of other qualifying recipients too including some Islamic organizations. The best part is, not a single one of these organizations have been proven to support any political or religious conflict – a stand that mirrors McDonald’s own, we might add.

So does McDonald’s Malaysia support any charities?

Bet you’ve put your loose change in this box before… Picture taken from RMHC‘s website.

Of course it does! At a company-wide level, McDonald’s holds that CSR is everybody’s business – with concerted efforts made in effecting meaningful and sustainable change to its food, business practices, environmental impact, its people and the communities in which it operates.

Here in Malaysia, McDonald’s efforts are particularly visible in its work with the community, especially through its support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Malaysia. For the past 25 years, RMHC Malaysia has channeled more than RM11 million to help over 20,000 underprivileged children in Malaysia. You can find out more about these specific programs here.

As a matter of fact, McDonald’s Malaysia has Malaysians to thank for these contributions as a major chunk of these donations come from the little boxes at McDonald’s restaurants that you drop your loose change into. Pats on the back for all of us!

In addition to that, McDonald’s Malaysia has also contributed over RM900 thousand to numerous local charity homes through the Prosperity Gives Back campaign since 2011. What’s more, this year’s Prosperity program took on a fun-filled twist with Lari Bersama Prosperity – proving that giving back to society can be rewarding in more ways than one.

If you’re interested in finding out more about McDonald’s Malaysia’s charitable works, check out the following links: