Let’s talk about heroes today on LiP. I want to discuss heroes in two different senses. I want to talk about recognizing a hero, and I want to talk about every one of us becoming a hero in our own small way. What? You didn’t think you could become a hero? Believe me, you can do it, and I am going to tell you how.
First, let’s recognize somebody who is a hero and has now been acknowledged as a real Filipino hero! I’m talking about Efren Peñaflorida. You remember Efren, don’t you? Efren is a Filipino that I wrote about last month. I told you about how Efren has started a “pushcart school” in Metro Manila. He has a pushcart that he pushes around to places where there are less fortunate people who need help. A lot of the kids in those areas are dropouts from school. Some are just small children who have already given up on getting an education because they don’t have enough money to stay in school. Many of these families need these children to actually work to help make enough money for the family to eat.
I am so happy right now, because it was just announced that Efren Peñaflorida has been named as CNN’s Hero of the Year for 2009! Efren will receive a prize of $100,000, which he plans to use to expand his network of pushcart schools and to educate more poor Filipinos. One of Efren’s goals is to keep these kids from becoming gang members by offering them a free education. Can you imagine how many people that prize of $100,000 will keep on the right side of the law? How many kids will go on to do great things in their lives because of the efforts that Efren has put forward to help them? What great news. And, it’s thanks to you LiP readers, among others, who went to CNN’s website and voted for Efren! Thank you all very, very much!
It’s time for the 2009 LiP Christmas Drive
OK, guys, in light of our talk about Heroes, I am going to give an early kick-off to our LiP Christmas Drive this year. So, if you are asking how you can become a hero, I believe that I can help you on that, just keep reading!
As regular readers will know, every year LiP readers have been donating funds, and Feyma and I have used the money to assist poor people in having a Christmas meal, and a little celebration for the Christmas holiday. The people who receive this are people who would have no means of celebrating Christmas without the generosity that you provide.
This will be the third year that I have asked for LiP readers to pitch in and help provide this assistance. Feyma and I have been doing this with our own funds for about 7 years now, but with lots of LiP readers pitching in we can do so much more to help! Last year, LiP readers contributed just a few dollars shy of $2,000 to this cause. To read up about the Christmas Giveaway of 2008, click here.
Hey, I know that the world economy is in the dumpster this year. Things are not the same as they were a year ago. Some of you guys reading this are not doing well. My businesses have been severely hurt by the economic crisis. That is why I wanted to start the drive a little early this year. I hope that even though we might be doing a little worse than last year, we can all see and feel how much better we are doing than the people that we can assist here in the Philippines.
My goal this year, as in the past, is to put together packages of food and supplies that will feed a Filipino family for “Noche Buena,” the Christmas feast that Filipinos celebrate at Midnight on New Years Eve. I hope that this year we can exceed the amount that we gave as a group last year, will you help me achieve that goal? With your generous donation, we can feed at least several hundred families. As I said, I have been doing this, along with my family, for 7 years now, as I recall. I will tell you, the reward I get from helping these people is a gift to myself every year. It is such a warm feeling to know that you have helped a few less fortunate people to have at least one day with a nice meal, and some Christmas spirit. The feeling that I get is priceless, and I want you to experience that as well.
If you are willing to donate to this cause, I would ask you to use the “Donate” button on the left side of this paragraph. When you click on that button, you will go to Paypal, and you can choose how much money you can donate to this cause. By the way, if you don’t use Paypal for some reason and want to use another method to get the donation to me, I would be happy to work with you any way I can, just contact me and let me know. Last year, we got donations from LiP readers from $5 all the way up to $500 from a single individual. Now, I am not asking you to donate $500, but if that is in your heart, I sure won’t turn it down! But, even if you can only spare $5, that would feed several people with a nice Christmas dinner! And, I appreciate every amount given, no amount is too small.
Now, let me just say, for those who have doubts, 100% of the funds that you donate will go toward feeding these people for Christmas. No funds are kept for “Administration” or anything like that. This is just a small thing that Feyma and I enjoy doing, and we are certainly not looking to make any money from this, only to help people. We hope that you also are willing to help a few people this Christmas.
I will also be placing a Donate button over on the sidebar of this site for those who want to donate later, as Christmas gets nearer. I might even hit you up a few more times before Christmas gets here, I hope you won’t mind.
Won’t you help me bring some smiles to a few Filipino kids this Christmas? And a full belly too, for at least one night of the year? If you can help me, I assure you of my sincere appreciation of your efforts.
I’d also like to once again offer my sincere congratulations to Efren Peñaflorida for being the winner of this year’s CNN Heroes Award!