The First of Many.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa

Christmas holidays is one of the most anticipated affairs of the year. Yes, the traffic in Manila is 3x horrible than ordinary days but still, the people are extra cheerful and extra kind to one another. Who wouldn’t be? Even the man with the coldest heart would fail to ignore the Christmas spirit in the air.

So, how did you spent your holiday vacation? Well, it has been a very busy Holiday for me. I was asked by our Parish Youth Coordinator if I could direct the annual Nativity that we do each year. Well, I couldn’t say no. Aside from the the honor bestowed to every youth member to be asked to direct the kids on this presentation, it’s just really fun to be surrounded by new faces of kids and help them hone their talents. To be honest, I was having a hard time aligning my schedule with the play. But then again, it wasn’t just my friend who asked me to do this, I knew that God is just using my friend as an instrument to send me His message. And we all know that when He asked for something, you better give in to His will 🙂

Just like the Cenakulo (Passion of Christ) Play that we do annually during Holy week, we also prepare a simple presentation called the Nativity Play every Christmas. Well, I’m sure you all knew the story of how Jesus was brought into this world though Virgin Mary and Joseph, but we always add a little twist to each play so that it would be fun and at the same time educational to kids who are watching. Plus, the play is always composed of the talented and very patient youths from our community.

The kids during our Nativity Play 2013. The holy family and the cute angels 🙂

The three Kings: Melchor, Gaspar and Balthazar 

Our Ballerina Dancers, Raphael and Marimey.

Most of the actors are first-time-performers so they’re a bit nervous during the start but as the play goes on, every act seemed natural. It’s nice to see that they’re enjoying themselves while they’re on the stage. And as their big sister, it’s a fulfillment for me seeing that they’ve come a long way. And I can only look forward to witness them enhance their crafts just like acting, singing and dancing for the greater glory of God 🙂

After the mass, I went home straight and packed foods donated by my good friends from Canada. These foods are to be given to the less fortunate people spending their Christmas eve on the streets. Just around October last year, my childhood friends and I created this private organization dedicated to help others called Make a Change (MAC). There’s nothing grand about our organization, it’s just a simple, non-profit volunteer organization that we arranged to extend our blessings to the people who need them the most.

Actually, our first objective was to help out or volunteer and give donations to an adoption center along Sta. Mesa Manila but then the typhoon Yolanda or internationally known as Haiyan happened, so we decided to help the victims of the the typhoon first.

The infants at the adoption center, waiting to be adopted. 

Along with our generous sponsors and friends around Metro Manila and outside of Philippines, we have accumulated around 70,000.00 pesos and 3 truck loads of donated clothes for the victims. Since our government is having issues about the money donors and all that stupid crap, we bought goods instead and donated them to Philippine Red Cross and a local, trustworthy media network.

Miko, me, Brian and Jem of Make a Change Organization during our first volunteer work at Red Cross QC Chapter.

My friends helping us out in repacking the clothes and goods. 

This is how my house looks like even during the Holidays, full of donated clothes from all over the Metro! 🙂

The president of our Village has always been generous to lend us his trucks and drivers in delivering our donations to drop off point. 

Another batch of goods, clothes and medicines donated to TV5 Network.

And the very recent donations are sent directly to Eastern Samar through the provincial bus. Meet the very accommodating guys of Eagle Star! 🙂

The damages brought about by the typhoon Yolanda has been very tragic. Words cannot truly express how heart-breaking it is to see your nation suffer like that. Alongside the horrendous events brought by this tragedy, the typhoon also brought the people together, uniting us as one nation. And despite the issues here and there about our twisted government, the thing that drives people to rise again is their innate humane characteristic. It is simply love that touches our hearts and makes us decide to reach out. The truth is, if it weren’t for Yolanda, my eyes, ears and heart would still be closed by now and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to it.

Yes, the victims of the typhoon greatly needs our help but we also couldn’t ignore the people nearby who needs help as well. So during Christmas eve, as some people are happily munching over their Noche Buena, my friends and I are getting ready to deliver some food to families who are spending their Christmas eve with empty stomachs along the streets.

My friends, Sherwin, Eg, Reina, and I, together with the help of my friends from Canada and brother Kelvin, we were able to prepare packed foods for 100 persons. Yey! 🙂

We scouted the areas along Quezon City where we usually see less fortunate people on the streets. We filled the trunk of the car with food and water and headed first to West Avenue near SM North and Trinoma. My friend, Father James once mentioned that there were lots of street children along the overpass of West Ave. which is near the radio station Radyo Veritas where he works, so that was our first stop.

And to our surprise, there are a bunch of kids out there! With the help of some security guards stationed nearby, we managed to give them the foods in a very organized manner.

Our trunk filled with packed foods ready to give smiles to people on the streets! 🙂

The street children of West Ave. are very excited to see us and even called out some elders to share their foods with.

Seeing these kids makes me wish there’s a better life for them..

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It was late at night and some of the areas are dangerous so we stayed inside the car and give them their food over the window.

Sherwin is a very good photographer and works his magic over these guys as he says “Kuya, smile for the camera!” 🙂

These kids won’t be sleeping with an empty stomach on Christmas 🙂

These are two blind men asking for alms along the streets of Katipunan Ave. were also given food. 

 My friends and I were driving around QC till about 4 in the morning then the next day I flew to Eastern Samar to be with my aunt from Italy who spent the vacation here in Philippines, and also to visit the people who has been affected by the typhoon. Whew! What a day right? haha Definitely exhausting, but just seeing their smiling faces and hearing the words “Thank you” really wipes the fatigue away.

All this project wouldn’t be possible without the help and efforts of our generous friends: Many thanks to my sister Kat, Abi, Jem and Brian for all the encouragement and support in looking for sponsors and helping out in repacking and volunteering. We’ve done great in creating Make A Change Organization! 🙂 Cheers to you guys!

Thanks to my generous neighbors who always bring smile to face whenever I wake up each morning and seeing your donations in my house! 🙂 Thank you for lending us your trucks and vans for the delivery of the goods, we are more than grateful. To my friends and youth members who painstakingly helped me in packing clothes and buying goods, your helping hands are of an angel. To all the people worldwide, thank you for your prayers, donations and efforts to help our country rise again from the tragedy. This generosity will always be remembered and will forever live on in our hearts.

To all private organizations who does and aims to do the same thing, I wish you all the best in the world and may you touch more hearts and encourage more people in helping out and giving a part of themselves to deprived people.

And thanks to you, my reader for always taking time reading my posts even after two months of silence 🙂 You make me feel so loved!

Cheers!

xoxo,

KC

For inquiries, donations, suggestions please email me at karlene.contado@gmail.com or pm me at https://www.facebook.com/kccontado

You can also join our private group at MAKE A CHANGE : A private group dedicated to help others

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3 comments on “The First of Many.

  1. Your work is inspirational! from teaching little ones their talents to caring for little angels waiting for a family, then helping with relief efforts, it’s people like you that still brings this world hope 🙂

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