The year was 1984. I was a sophomore in college. The song was “Do they know it’s Christmas?” and it raised millions and millions of dollars for the starving in Africa. Organized by Bob Geldof and sung with, among others, Sting, Boy George, Bono, Simon Le Bon, Tony Hadley, Phil Collins, George Michael, etc… it was an example of how a few people, with a lot of help from others, can do something incredibly positive. And for those who are much younger than me, check out the video here to listen to the song and smile at all the outrageous haircuts and outfits of the 1980’s!!!
Now we may not be literal rock stars, but marketmanila’s readers and friends provided nearly 20,000 (twenty thousand!) meals for undernourished grade school students at public schools in Manila and Cebu this year!!! An unexpected donation from the restaurant Mamou during the year contributed roughly 4000+ meals out of the total 20,000. Poverty and a lack of basic nutrition are some of the most likely reasons why so many young kids don’t make it to school at all, and if they do manage to get to class, a huge percentage of them sit there hungry, unable to concentrate or learn much. I know, I know, a longer term solution is to limit population growth; but for the kids already here, these supplementary feeding programs might be just a drop in the bucket, a flimsy band-aid, but it’s better than doing nothing at all… Both schools that marketmanila.com sponsored this year reported much higher attendance, more active class participation and a positive weight gain for the students involved. But funds will only last until to the end of this year. And I just couldn’t let the feeding programs end without checking with you all to see if you are game for more…
I know times are tough in the Philippines and in many places around the world. And they must be even tougher for the segment of society on the verge of, or in the thick of, poverty… So what do you think? I picked up my order of Christmas ornaments the other day from a wholesaler/exporter, and was stunned by the beauty of some of the ornaments. Then I thought, it’s time to make another pitch for those who need it far more than we do. If you donate at least PHP500 to the marketmanila.com sponsored feeding program 2008, I will give you one of these glass ornaments as a token gift. It is locally made, by hand, and worth just a teeny fraction of your donation, but let it be a symbol of sharing and caring on your Christmas tree this year. Folks can even consider getting many of them and give them out to your friends or clients with a simple note that reads something like “In lieu of a Christmas present this year, a donation to feed undernourished public school children has been given in your name. Hang this ornament on your tree and know that (nearly 2 dozen) meals will be provided for children who will truly appreciate your generosity…Merry Christmas!”
I have checked if I can accept transfers or cheques from donors abroad, and sorry to say this, but realistically, I cannot. I do not have a foundation status and any donations must be made straight to the schools involved. Even if I set up a joint account with the schools for donations from abroad, each individual donation will be charged a remittance fee in your home country (e.g., U.S.) plus a minimum acceptance fee on this end of $7-10. So that option isn’t practical or economical. I am still trying to see if I can set up local accounts for readers based in the Philippines who want to simply transfer a donation… At any rate, this is just the first salvo. I just want to know if there are enough folks out there who want to participate… then I have to order the ornaments, set pick up dates in late November and early December from the Salcedo market (or other Makati location) and possibly one location in Mandaluyong and another in Cebu.
So this is all I am asking of you now… Would you like to help support the marketmanila.com public school feeding program? If yes, leave a comment here, with the approximate number of ornaments you might want to “reserve” and after two days or so, I will see if we manage to get up to a minimum of 500 ornaments (PHP250,000) and if I can organize everything in time, I will pursue this year’s fund raising program. I promise that 100% of your donations will be coursed to the two schools that we have supported in the past. The ornaments are a gift from Marketman & family to you, and I will underwrite the cost of the ornaments. Each PHP500 donation will pay for roughly 20 meals for the kids. The choice of ornaments will only be red or clear glass, as shown in the top or final photo above. No special orders for colors or shapes as that will just get too complicated to handle. The ornaments come in a small simple box that can easily be wrapped. And no, I am not at liberty to divulge the manufacturer’s name on this blog. I am going out of town for the next two days for some much needed rest and will return to count the comments on this post. I will understand if you think this is all just too much given the tough times all around. But it certainly is worth the effort. Thank you very much for your continued visits to marketmanila!
Earlier posts on the marketmanila.com feeding program:
It started with a simple question “What t-shirt would you wear?”
Then reader Lee helped with unsolicited and terrific designs for the t-shirts…
…while another reader suggested tote bags that we had made in cacha.
Then, a moronic interlude with EMILALVA, who thought Marketman had gone commercial and was selling t-shirts and totes instead of trying to feed undernourished children
I did a post on the first feeding program done in Cebu…
…followed up by photos of the Cebu feeding program here.
Millet, from Davao, offered a pick-up point in that city
An update of the feeding program, this time from a school in Taguig
Another update of progress of the feeding program
The restaurant Mamou, generously offers to help the feeding program
which results in 4,000 more meals provided