Well, it is Christmas day as I write this article, and it has been a wonderful Christmas for me and my family so far! Yesterday was a super day for us, and I want to share it with all of you here on LiP who helped make it possible.
As any regular reader of the site knows, Christmas Eve is the regular day for the annual LiP Christmas Giveaway, and this year was no different in that regard. There was something that was different, though, and that is what we did for the Christmas giveaway this year. In the past, we have usually gone out to the Provincial areas, up in the mountains and such, and given out food and toys to the poor, so that they would have something to give them a bit of Christmas cheer. In 2011, because of the devastation of Typhoon Sendong, which struck hard in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, we donated the Christmas Giveaway funds to help the victims of the storm. Of course, this year, Mindanao was again hit with a Christmas Season Super Typhoon, Pablo, who struck very hard here in the Davao region. But, we didn’t want for Pablo to stop the Christmas celebration, so we had a separate relief effort for the Pablo victims this year. So, as Christmas Eve approached, we were faced with deciding what to do this year for the LiP Christmas Giveaway! I think we made a good choice, too.
This year, we decided to throw a big lunch for the kids at an Orphanage near to our house here in Davao. Because of the rules of the Sisters who operate the orphanage, I cannot name the orphanage, and was even limited from taking any video there. We were allowed to take some pictures, though, which is not even normally allowed.
The orphanage where we went normally has about 80 children, and there are also about a half dozen nuns who run the place. Additionally, there are a dozen or so volunteer staff there. We decided it would be nice to have a really nice feast for these kids, and include the staff as well. What we decided on was to purchase Lechon Baboy (whole roasted pig) from a local Lechonero (the people that prepare the pigs). Additionally, Feyma and my niece Glenda prepared some homemade Pancit Canton (a Filipino noodle dish). We also served rice, bread and juice for everybody. It was really a nice meal, a treat for these kids. In addition to the food, Feyma visited the Orphanage a few days back and talked with the Sister in charge. In the past, when we have visited the kids at the Orphanage, the sisters have asked us if we could help by purchasing some medicine for the kids. The biggest medicine demands are for medication for Asthma, Tuberculosis and for the heart. Some of this medication is very, very expensive, and that limits the amounts that the orphanage can afford. So, Feyma asked the nuns in advance which types of medication were most needed, and got a complete list. Feyma went to the pharmacy with the list in hand and literally purchased hundreds of dollars worth of the medications that are needed to keep the kids healthy! I have to say, it was quite gratifying to see the huge box of medication that was brought to the orphanage, and the nuns were also very happy with that!
Article continues below pictures, click on the picture to see a full sized image.
One of the things that we really liked about this year’s LiP Giveaway is that with the money being spent on an orphanage that cares for many kids, you really know for sure that the items are being used wisely. We enjoyed serving the food to the kids (we did not eat, just served the children), and seeing the joy on their faces as they enjoyed the bounty that was provided by LiP readers!
In addition to the meal and the medication, a “goody bag” was prepared for each and every child, and even a few extras in case any additional kids were present. The goody bag contained little Christmas trinkets, candy and such, the kids loved them!
I want to take a moment to thank those of you who donated to the Christmas Giveaway this year, your kindness was greatly appreciated, and I am quite sure that rewards will come your way. In fact, I feel certain that for most of those who gave, including me, seeing the pictures of the orphans alone is a great reward in the feeling it provides for you at this time of the year, knowing that you made a big different for these kids. Not only were their tummies full for a special day, but they have plenty of medication available to help keep them healthy for months to come!
This month, December 2012, was a very busy month for us. Between the Relief drive to help Pablo victims, the LiP Christmas drive, our business at WowPhilippines, and preparing for our own family celebration of the holiday, it kept us busy nearly every available moment of the month! For their extra work, I want to specifically thank Feyma, Glenda and Bebe for the work that they did to make all of this possible. We all worked, but these three did way more than their fair share!
Merry Christmas everybody!