These photos were taken last Friday, December 18, at the Banawa Elementary School in Cebu. It was their final day of classes and this was the final feeding program date until school re-commences in early January. All throughout December, the kids have had extremely special meals, not only as a result of the many donations received from readers earlier in the year, but also from special corporate donors who have stepped in to sponsor several days of the feeding program, often with generous budgets and hence delicious, nutritious and abundant meals. I must make a special mention however, to one of marketmanila’s readers who prefers to remain anonymous this year…
“Texas” as I will call him, contacted me several months ago and had indicated then he wanted to help with a Christmas feeding program. He emailed me again a few weeks ago and we finally connected on line last week. He made a VERY generous donation, enough to provide more than 2,000 meals for the regular feeding program. And while I wasn’t even able to claim the funds until yesterday, I had promised him last week that we would dedicate the last feeding day/Christmas celebration to him and his family, who wish to remain humbly unknown. Substantial funds that remain from this generous donation will go to more feeding dates in January. Salamat. From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of each of the kids who have benefitted from your and many other readers gifts, a huge thank you indeed.
For last Friday’s meal, one I could not attend, the office crew brought, of course, freshly roasted Zubuchons and lots of pancit canton and several hundred puso or rice wrapped in coconut leaves. It was certainly a feast by this public school’s standards, and I know the kids appreciated it. They feel special, they understand that this comes to them out of the kindness of strangers, and yet I get teary eyed every single time I see their faces because this is just a teeny tiny bucket in an ocean of problems they and millions of others like them face on a day to day basis.
The week prior, the kids had terrific meals courtesy of corporate sponsors and other days in December sponsored by MM readers who have donated earlier in the year. We shall continue to fund this program until the end of the 2009-2010 school year.
I think these photos, taken by one of my office colleagues in Cebu, say more than I can ever express in writing.
If only one of these kids, recipients of some of the nearly 60,000+ meals provided so far, does something to help others in his/her adult life, then it was totally worth the effort.
In this season wherein it’s easy to forget what the holidays should really be about, just pause a minute to realize just how lucky each of us really are, and how many other folks out there we could help with just a little bit of our time, resources and effort.
This feeding program is a good thing. And I am seriously grateful to all of you who have contributed to it. As well as to my Cebu and Manila crew that have helped administer it. A Very Merry Christmas to you all! Oh, and stay tuned for the Marketman gingerbread post which I will publish by hook or by crook sometime later today!