I thought I’d end 2017 with a recap of my annual Christmas charity food distribution and Christmas party. Every year I rely on the kind and generous hearts of friends, family, and strangers to help bring the shared purpose of my mother in law and myself of helping a community in need to fruition. And every year I am amazed by the bigheartedness of people willing to help our cause. We are a small grassroots charity that primarily consists of my mother in law Rose Jacob and myself . We have volunteers who assist on the day, some who have been helping Rose for many years. We have small accessible goals. Food packages for a community of 300. Raising funds for this is hard work but manageable. My side project is always a Christmas party for the children of the community, which I work on alone. As with every year I am beholden to a group of compassionate souls who donate their time, money, and effort to our event and I have to thank them for helping us make Barangay St. Mary’s 2017 Christmas a little merrier this year. A big thank you first of all, to Singaporean based website Give Asia who helped me promote our campaign and reach our monetary objective which was an integral part of this year’s successful event.
This year a few companies donated products for the families that were incredibly functional. Angie King of Victoria Court endowed 200 bed sheets and 300 towels.
Stephanie Sy contributed Perla laundry soap and Ovaltine products. Nameeta Dargani of Baskin and Robbins provided water bottles and delicious Baskin & Robbin cookie packages for the families. Ricardo Po of Century Tuna supplied a mix of canned goods. With these products and the items we were able to provide from the money we raised, the food packages were complete with hygiene, food, and sleeping items. This made the families who received their packages very joyful.
For my children’s party I reached out to my suppliers who have been helping me for a few years now. I’m so grateful that they are always willing to help in whatever way they can. Jollibee who has supported us for 3 years, contributed 200 out of the 350 meals for the children this year. I am so appreciative that they were able to earmark us some meals as most of their charity efforts were focused on Marawi this year.
The kids were of course in heaven with their chicken joy and rice lunches. My trusted party suppliers (and friends) Mich and Maan of Party Starters helped to coordinate Madison Events who provided the entertainment for the children in the form of Queen Elsa and Bell from Beauty & the Beast. This was the highlight that had all of us singing and dancing. Party Starters also had a face painter for the kids to add some holiday fun.
Swell Sweets donated cookies, which we handed out in the beginning while waiting for the show to start. A great way to kick start their Christmas party. Every year I solicit used toy donations from the expat community in Singapore. This year a huge percentage of toys, books, and clothes came from the parents at Dulwich College. A special mention must go to Canns Hanna who generously donated new overruns of baby clothes from her company. LBC was gracious enough to allocate 5 extra large boxes to accommodate the Singapore donations to be couriered to Manila free of charge for the charity. For the children, I purchase plastic buckets that their families can use to put the toy donations in as well as coloring books and crayons for each child. Louie Arcilla of Louie Arcilla Weddings & Lifestyle photography took all the wonderful photographs on the day.
I am so indebted and grateful for the trust of everyone in Singapore, Manila, and all over the world who donated to our annual cause. Every single cent and donation that is given goes straight to the food packages, party, and children’s buckets. We do this every year and we always welcome and need volunteers for the actual distribution and party day in Manila. I always look forward to this day every year as it is part of my Christmas tradition. My children join me too and are always right there in the thick of things helping me to distribute meals and buckets to the children. Echoing the sentiments of author Jim Rohn, “Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
The Barangay St. Mary Christmas Charity Team 2017