By Cherry Joy D. Garma/ PIA Ilocos Norte
PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte — Drawn from a simple conversation of wanting to conduct an outreach program, a group of youth volunteers in Ilocos Norte provided a helping hand to give back to their community as the Holiday season kicks off.
Kathrine Jessica Calano, a senior law student at a university in Ilocos Norte, initiated the plan by saving up some money to buy school supplies to be distributed to the hopeful children in their village.
Kath (her nickname) grew in the village of Ligaya in Pagudpud town, and she always looks back to her roots through the eyes of the children in their neighborhood. Ligaya is a small village out of the 16 barangays in Pagudpud.
“We did this tradition sometime in the previous years with my cousins, and I want to pass it on to my friends, so they will be involved in sharing their blessings too,” she said.
Together with her friends, Kath, went on their way buying more school supplies and some toys for their planned “gift-giving” activity.
But the activity turned out not just a gift-giving. The group of youth volunteers brought with them a dental mission led by Doc Lois and Doc Alex Marquez, which catered to the kids’ need for fluoride, and a dental check-up for free.
Knowing that children have innate love of stories, the volunteers shared their skills in storytelling and facilitated some group activities for the kids to enjoy and remember.
Members of each winning team received cash gifts as prizes, which made them giggle more and put their best foot forward to every activity and game that was prepared especially for them.
This altruistic act was initiated because of the shared efforts and volunteerism work of Kath and her friends, who aimed for nothing but to make a difference to the children’s view about the Holiday season, which is to foster love though simple act of sharing.
From a random thought of helping out to a real act of giving back, these volunteers indeed have spread goodwill especially in time for Christmas where generosity thrives.
After all the activities, joy can really be seen in the eyes and genuine smiles of the 70 children-beneficiaries, together with their parents, as they happily received their well-wrapped gifts and munched their simple snacks.
Truly, a simple act of giving can make a huge difference, not only in the life of the beneficiaries, but more on the givers’ perspective about life.
Starting from this day onward, let us commit to share more of what we have, as blessings can only be a blessing if shared to one another. (Cherry Joy D. Garma/ PIA Ilocos Norte)