It was again time to visit my favorite orphanage and share our blessings with the less fortunate kids of Tahanan ng Pagmamahal. This was already my colleagues and I's 3rd straight year of giving joy to the children (ages 3 to 15) at this shelter for wounded, orphaned, abused and abandoned children.
This is a very small shelter, housing only 18 children (latest this year, but last year there were only 12 kids) and receives no financial support from the government. They sustain the kids purely through the kindness of private donors and individuals. This is the reason why I choose to go back here every year as I feel my efforts, even small, will make a greater impact. We even had my little boy's 1st birthday at this orphanage.
I am thankful for the support of my boss in Australia for our cause. Last year, they matched our donation for the children and we were able to give more than what we expected. This year, our company, through the kind heart of the owner, Alec To, will be donating a brand new computer for the children.
We didn't have a formal program. Normally when we visit, we just mingle with the kids and try to interact with them as much as we can. It was great that they remember me by my name, since I've been visiting a couple of times already. I like the fact too, that we (my colleague Liezel and I) already know the faces against the names and the sad story why they are not with their parents. It makes our interaction with them more natural and spontaneous.
|Mutya - the youngest child at the shelter. She's only 3 years old.|
The kids danced and sang for us which really warmed our hearts. During the 'welcoming ceremony' where they introduced themselves one by one, some of them were very shy and almost teary-eyed when they recited their names and what they want to be when they grow up. But during the dance presentation, all the meekness and shyness somehow flew away. Even the special children (those with disabilities) participated.
We cooked a simple merienda of baked macaroni, egg salad sandwich, hotdog on stick and bought cake at Goldilocks - staple food in every children's party. We didn't want to spend a lot on the meals (opted to cook instead of ordering from Jollibee) so we can give more grocery items for them.
Aside from the groceries and other basic necessities we bought for them, we prepared individual gifts for each child. It contained various goodies they need in school and for their hygiene like underwears, socks, and slippers. We also threw in some chocolates and biscuits and dolls for the younger ones.
Like our previous visits, this one made us appreciate the life that we have and the blessings we have been given no matter how small they were. Personally, I feel lucky to be have been born to a set of responsible parents who raised me to what I am today, who provided me not only with shelter, food and education but all the affection and care one could ever hope for.
I'd like to thank my colleagues who gave their love offerings, to my friends who sent their donations for this endeavor and for sharing their time with the children. I will call for your help again next year :)
God Bless Us All!