(Warning: Brace yourselves for this very long blogpost. :)
To give and not to count the cost.
That has been my motto since I started volunteering and doing outreach activities. The first time I was exposed to a depressed community was when I was a 4th year high school student. My family was also struggling to meet ends meet that time but it did not stop me to reach out to those who are less fortunate than we were. I remember my first outreach experience happened in an elementary school in Mambuaya, Lumbia. Since then, I've promised myself I would help and extend my services more. True enough, I became a very active volunteer in College. I've been exposed to a lot of areas in my hometown where help is greatly needed.
I was just so glad when another project was given to me. In one of the meetings of the CDOBloggers last summer, they assigned me to spearhead an outreach activity. It was a challenge for me since this would be my first project for the said group, but I was more excited to plan the activity right away.
The first challenge was actually to find a beneficiary. Since this was my project for the said group, I really wanted it to become meaningful and something that would not only make a great impact to our beneficiaries, but also to the benefactors as well. I also wanted to give the bloggers an experience they would never forget.
After months of looking for a beneficiary, negotiations, and failed attempts to contact persons, I finally found the perfect beneficiary just in time! God is so good!
Then, I got so overwhelmed with the response and the support of my co-bloggers and their friends! I never thought they would become so participative in this advocacy. I would really say now that among the organizations I'm part of, CDOBloggers has been one of the most ever-supportive of all! They would also die to help and serve others. Naks! It made me so motivated. I was so motivated that every time I received donations, I would purchase books and other learning materials right away. :)
After days of collecting donations (cash, books, bags, shoes, food), we were all set for the last day of preparation (December 1). We went to Mommy Ruby's house and did all the packaging, stamping, and labeling there. We went home at 10pm just to make sure all is set for the next day.
The next day (December 2) was a joyful day for us! The time had come for the outreach activity!
I, my mom, and my aunt woke up very early to prepare the food for the feeding activity. Biggest thanks to my loving family for the support.
Then, I met with the rest of the bloggers at Jollibee Vamenta. We talked about our excitement and enthusiasm while waiting for the truck to arrive. Yes, only trucks and big vehicles could pass through the roads going to our destination.
While we were already riding the truck, it was a great challenge for us to keep those big barrels of crude oil from falling, especially that the ride was really super duper bumpy. Plus, it rained in the middle of our journey!
But at last! After 2 hours, we were able to arrive at Sitio Katorse safe and sound.
After that, we were accompanied on our way up to the school. The school is actually situated on top of a hill.
At last ,we're here! Welcome to the Cadayunan Primary School!
The moment we saw the kids and their excited faces, we definitely said to ourselves "our journey was all worth it!". Seeing the kids and the supportive barangay officials made us want to start the activity right away.
We started with an introduction of the group and the purpose of our coming. Since it was already lunchtime, we proceed to the feeding activity right away. Mommy Ruby led the prayer before meals. Food was distributed by the other members. The kids were glad to know that they have their favorite spaghetti for lunch!
Some children even sang to get those amazing prizes prepared for them.
Last but not the least, the turn-over of books and other learning materials for the children of Cadayunan Primary School. With all the learning materials we donated for them, they can already say they have a mini-library. :) It was really a beautiful sight when children began to flip the pages of the books. They will really enjoy all of the learning materials when they go to school.
CDOBloggers Christmas Outreach and Feeding Program was a huge success! We will be back! :)
If you wish to donate or contribute something on our next visit, please don't hesitate to contact us by leaving a comment below. We will appreciate any help you could offer. Should you also want to join us next time, here's a snippet on our very long bumpy ride to our outreach destination:
Special thanks to the following:
Cash contributors : Bang, Ems, Ding, Vic, Venus, Eleanor, Shailini, Grace, Myra;
Paypal contributors: Harriane Calwill, Verna Liza Luga, Borris Mabulay, Kristy June Dinampo, Teresa Barcelon-Tippett, Dexter Panganiban, Karen Chayne Sanchez, Jessica Cassidy, Ruby Ricafrente, Jay Ginete, Mhai Damasco;
For those who helped in the preparation : Ruby, Eleanor Mike, Ding, Jacques, and Ems;
For those who gave their time to join in the outreach: Ruby, Eleanor Mike, Ding, Jacques, Ems, Vic, and Emman;
The rest of CDOBloggers