Giving back: Holiday social initiatives fuel Movers’ 2019
MANILA, Philippines – While most people spent the last days of 2018 traveling and hanging out, Rappler Movers made sure the remaning days of the year counted as they brought the spirit of Christmas to various communities.
The Movers were motivated by the goal of passing on the blessings they received in 2018.
“There's no other happier thing than giving back to people what we received during 2018. Because this will be the time when you'll realize that you are blessed and that you became fruitful the whole [year] which you can look up to on the next year as motivation to work harder and help more people,” said Pangasinan Mover Jerico Samson.
On December 27, Samson, who had been volunteering in outreach events since 2016, was with a non-governmental organization in Lingayen City to distribute food, school supplies, and toys.
Moving on from horrific experiences
In Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur, Mover Carl Berwin and his family and friends celebrated Christmas by reaching out to those in need.
Berwin and his team gave gifts at a social welfare and development center for abused and abandoned children.
Having done such activities for the last 3 years, Berwin shared that joining outreach activities and listening to stories of the children helped him to connect with people, his annual fuel for inspiration.
“[I found] another family of course. Most of these kids are abandoned by their parents and it’s something we can extend to them. It’s also a reminder that I should value more what I have and to always look back to these people,” he said.
Berwin said he heard a lot of horrific stories, including a girl who was raped by her own father and a minor who was forced to become a prostitute and now had 4 kids.
Such stories, he said, has motivated him to continue pursuing social initiatives.
Movers' hangout for a cause
Seven Movers in Isabela City, Basilan, volunteered for an outreach event organized for various beneficiaries such as the families of local members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit and the children of former rebels.
Jamju Rivera said that though they were not formally identified as a group of Movers in the event, they were all happy as their initiative in helping others also allowed them to keep track of each other's noble pursuits and reminded them of their common goal of helping others.
“Each of us live busy lives that most often we're not able to see each other on a regular basis. So activities such as these [are important] because we have a common purpose and we get to do things we enjoy…together! It's like a family picnic for a cause,” shared Rivera.
Bags from generous hearts
In Bohol, Mover Dandreb Arro and his team sold bags to raise funds for children with special needs. They also sought to generate interest for people to adopt communities.
“Our project shows that when one steps up to the challenge and others pledge their help, we can put smiles in the faces of the children,” shared Arro.
Arro is also raising fund for other beneficiaries such as the children of Mantatao, Calape, an island-community in Bohol which had been constantly flooded after a strong earthquake sank the island years ago.
Reaching the marginalized
In Isabela, heavy rains did not stop Mover Jeff Limon and his co-seminarians in reaching out to an Aeta community in Ilagan City.
Limon and his colleagues went to various Catholic churches in the province during the traditional 9-day dawn masses or Simbang Gabi to solicit donations from parishioners.
“We conducted it to share the joy of Christmas and as seminarians, we have been receiving a lot of blessings that’s why it is high time to share those blessings,” he said.
Aside from giving out food packs for Noche Buena, his group also offered mass to the community. During the time spent with the Aeta, he realized that people not only longed for material gifts but also for spiritual upliftment.
Limon said that the joy they saw in the faces of the Aeta inspired them to continue their seminary formation. They also hope that they would be able to continue carrying the light of Christ to others this year.
For Limon, everyone must recognize the blessings they receive because that ignites the act of sharing throughout the year.
These initiatives, which are beyond the scope of student journalism – the foremost responsibility of a Mover – just goes to show that the Movers are living up to the advocacies of Rappler and MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm.
Helping and reaching out to people, especially the poorest of the poor, could inspire more people to also strive to bring smiles and inspiration to others in 2019. – Rappler.com