This year’s marketmanila.com feeding program has raised roughly PHP520,000 (almost $11,000) so far!!! That will provide some 22,000+ meals for undernourished public school children through next November 2009! A huge thank you to the generous donors who came to the various pick up points and left generous donations and picked up the Christmas ornaments that we featured here. Roughly 140 people dropped off donations at the various pick up points and contributed some PHP120,000. Another 50+ donors from around the world and all over the Philippines transferred some PHP170,000+ to the account set-up with the principal of the beneficiary school in Cebu. Close friends and family (including efforts of Sister in New York) raised another 230,000 or so, for a total of PHP520,000! I know many of the donors want to be anonymous, but I just have to say that I am stunned most by the donors whom I do not know or have not met at all, and who have sent extremely generous sums at $500 or so… the children are most grateful, and I thank you for your trust in this simple charitable effort.
One of the large donors from the U.S. asked for a special favor that instead of meals, their donation would be used to bring some Christmas cheer to the kids at the Cebu school that we are helping. Along with other donors who gave up ornaments, and still others who emailed, we decided to dovetail a small treat for EVERY SINGLE STUDENT at the school during their Christmas party day last Friday, December 19. We arranged for the local distributor of Nestle ice cream to deliver 1,000+ individually wrapped (we learned our lesson from the scooping nightmare with the dirty ice cream vendors the last time we did this) ice cream treats to the school and we were there to distribute the treats to the kids. Distribution went much more smoothly than the last time, and the treats were gone in less than 30 minutes.
The kids had not been warned in advance. Suddently, this truck was parked in the middle of the field and yikes! free ice cream just because. I cannot describe to you just how happy many of these kids were to get this goody… and I am certain that the donor will see from these photos that it was a very nice thing to do indeed…
I recognize that this is a dole out, and cannot in any way really help to fix the underlying problems of poverty and lack of nutrition. But that isn’t the point. The point is it was Christmas, and isn’t it just plain nice to share a little something with those who would otherwise be unable to manage the treat for themselves. We had several extra ice creams so we managed to give all of the teachers and lots of the other neighborhood kids a treat as well!
It was very close to dismissal time so the kids took their treat and headed home with a smile on their faces…
Edik, a Cebu-based reader of this blog, who has joined us for feeding programs before, also joined us for this distribution of ice creams.
If you would like to contribute to the feeding program, the account to which you can forward donations is detailed here. If you are abroad, XOOM seems to be a favorite option for remitting funds. If you are in the Philippines, just make a deposit at any BDO branch, and you should NOT be charged any fees. I promise that 100% of your donations will be used for the feeding programs. All administrative costs, etc. are my donation to the program. A PHP1,000 peso donation will provide between 40-50 meals for the kids. Also, for those concerned, I will simply split the proceeds of the fund raising to provide assistance to the two schools in the program, one in Taguig, the other in Cebu.
As another year comes to a close, and we reflect on all of the wonderful blessings we have received, I will probably most fondly recall the several visits to the public schools that have benefitted from the generosity of marketmanila’s readers this past year. From the bottom of my heart, and in behalf of the hundreds of kids you have helped, THANK YOU. This is absolutely the core of that inexplicable Christmas spirit that makes this such a wonderful season in the Philippines… :)