Yes indeed, it’s getting close to the holiday season again. For Filipinos the Holiday Season starts when the months end with “ber” like September, so now that it’s already November, Christmas is almost here. There is a lot of excitement in the Philippines at this time of year. People are happy and friendly.
Back in the States, and in much of the world, people look forward to what gifts they are going to receive for Christmas. The whole holiday thing has gotten very commercialized, it’s all about shopping. Here in the Philippines, things are a bit different. Most people don’t have money to splurge on gifts and such. The biggest Christmas tradition in the Philippines is Noche Buena, which means a Midnight meal on Christmas Eve. It’s a meal for the whole family. Food is enjoyed, games are played, it’s a real old fashioned fellowship among the people. There was a time when it was like this in the West also, but times have changed a lot. Also, since most Western people have more money at their disposal, this makes it easier to make a real commercial thing out of the holidays.
It’s a tradition for LiP that we have the LiP Christmas Drive. This is something that my family and I started even before LiP existed, but over the past years we have included the LiP family in the event, and by doing so have been able to vastly increase the event. What is the LiP Christmas Drive all about? Well, for new readers who have joined us in 2011, around this time of year, I ask readers, if they choose, to make a donation toward the event. My family works by buying food items and packaging those items into Christmas packages to give to the poor. We choose a different area each year, but on Christmas Eve, we go to some remote area and give out these Christmas packages to the poor. Usually we all dress with Santa Claus hats to give it a real holiday feel.
The gratitude that I have seen over the years from the Filipino people that we have been able to help has been very touching, and it is what drives me personally to keep doing this year after year. This will be our 9th year to do the LiP Christmas Drive, and it seems to get bigger and bigger each year. It is very rewarding to me, Feyma and our kids each year.
I am coming to you asking for donations a bit early this year. Usually I wait until about December 1 or so, but because the world economy is still in very poor shape, it might help to ask a bit early, so that people can make arrangements with their funds. Keep in mind, nobody is obligated to donate, but I ask that if you want to make a difference in the lives of some poor Filipinos, please consider doing it.
It’s a yearly tradition that each year, we take lots of pictures, and also try to make a video too, which we can share here on the site. For those who gave money, I like to share it with them so that they can see what their funds did to help the poor. Last year, we helped several hundred families on our regular LiP Christmas Drive. Later in the day, we kicked off something new by going and visiting some poor students that we found out about and sponsoring them for all of their meals in school for the remaining part of the school year. Those kids were very grateful and were really touched by the generosity of the LiP family.
I want to let you know a couple of things about the LiP Christmas Drive. Firstly, there are no administrative costs involved. We do all the work, so nobody has to be paid or anything. 100% of the funds that you donate will be used to purchase food items to be given away to the poor in the Philippines. Second thing is that these gifts that pare purchased and distributed are given 100% to the poor and needy. None of the items are given to family members or friends. Last year, I found another “Philippine expat blog” that took donations and they gave the Christmas gifts to kids in the expat’s family. That does not and will not happen with the LiP Christmas Drive. These items are given to people that we don’t know. People we encounter in poor areas. People we have never met. You can trust 100% that no funds will be used for family members or anything like that.
So, Minda Claus will be riding again this Christmas. Are you willing to help me out by making a donation to the cause? If so, just click on the Paypal “donate” button in the article. If you want to give but prefer not to use Paypal, please Contact Me, and we can work out an alternative donating method for you.
Let me take a moment to thank you in advance for your generosity. No amount is too small (or too large!), it’s all up to you. I have gotten donations for $1 or $5 in the past, and I’ve also gotten donations up to $500 as well. All donations are equally appreciated. I have a new eBook coming out sometime in December. The book will be selling for $49, and for anybody who donates $100 or more, I will give you a free copy of the new book that I am working on! It will be sent to you as soon as it becomes available, but only for those who give $100 or more! If you give less than $100, you also get a great reward… the happiness and good feeling in your heart that you helped somebody who may not have been able to celebrate Christmas, due to extreme poverty.
Thank you again!