After her husband’s battle with the big C, Judy never expected to find a partner in volunteering. At present, Judy is running the family’s food service business while also being a mom to 10-year-old Jamielle.
Volunteering has always been a huge part of Judy’s life. However, when she started her own immediate family family, she also began drifting away from volunteering, as she became preoccupied with husband and daughter, and even her mom.
Judy still had the strong desire to pursue her volunteer journey, as she felt it was her calling. She always prayed to God to direct her path with whatever He wants her to do, as she experienced challenges with balancing her roles as a mom, child, and a business owner. So whenever she felt she needed reassurance, she will always recite, “Thy will be done, Lord,” even until the faithful day that her husband succumb to cancer. Nevertheless, all the challenges she faced just made her stronger.
In the beginning, she struggled managing their business, and had to resort to different means to cope, such as painting. During the lowest point of her life, she let out her thoughts and emotions through art, where she also discovered more about herself. Judy slowly realized she was strong and resilient enough.
Once a volunteer, always a volunteer
Amid all the challenges she experienced, Judy felt that the volunteer in her will always be seeking a life of service. “Volunteerism is a gift. It is driven because of your passion to be involved, to help uplift the lives of others in your own capacity; it is giving without expecting anything in return. A volunteer’s happiness is to contribute to the happiness of others”, according to Judy.
She finally heeded the call to volunteer once again just this year. She decided to check volunteer groups and opportunities online, and chanced upon iVolunteer Philippines, an encounter which she is very thankful for.
For Judy, meeting iVolunteer PH was God’s will. She believes that if a person is destined for something, God will always lead him or her towards that path. “Even if you try to resist it, you’ll be directed to your destination in life”, she added.
iVolunteer Philippines gave her an opportunity to give more meaning to her life. She felt more alive now that she is back in her element. She considers volunteerism as a major decision because it is a commitment, as she shares, “I seriously plan to do this for a lifetime.”
Finding the right partner in volunteering
Upon giving volunteerism another chance, Judy made sure her daughter, Jamielle, was also on board. She wanted Jamielle to learn the values of volunteering at an early age.
Like her mother, Jamielle also eventually loved volunteering. She has participated in activities sponsored by PAWS and also by “Bukal ng Kapayapaan,” where she further developed her interest in volunteerism.
As for Judy, she’s very happy and proud for finding a lifetime partner in her daughter for her passion in volunteering and service.
Volunteering together as mother and daughter
One of the first few volunteer activities they attended together was Brigada Eskwela 2016, as well as the encoding of ballot returns at the PPCRV, where Jamielle was hailed as one of the youngest volunteers who offered her time to accomplish a very crucial task. Volunteerism is continuing to help Jamielle develop her maturity, empathy, and as Judy envisions, her character.
The parent’s role in teaching volunteerism
For Judy, it is very important to train your child on the significance of volunteerism. Such values shape a child’s understanding that volunteering is not all about offering monetary donation, but through immersing one’s self in the different environments that require support and guidance. And it is through the parents that volunteering can be introduced early to children, imprinting in them a sense of responsibility for the community. It also made them closer, which she is thankful for, since she’s able to play a big role in the life of her daughter.
“Just like any mother & daughter relationship, we support each other, we sometimes argue, and we date on weekends. Each day with my kid is fun for the both of us. I’m truly blessed to have a kind-hearted daughter like her”, shares Judy.
Jamielle wants to be a chef, architect or a veterinarian. Judy said she could be whatever she wants to be, and she’ll just always be there to support her in her dreams just like any mother would. Judy will be the wind beneath her wings, as the song goes.
“The small inexpensive things given with thoughtfulness, and simple gestures done out of love in any parent & child relationship are actually the essential ones. All the memories would forever be etched in a child’s heart, and no one can take that away from him or her.”
Indeed, volunteering is more fun when you’re with your loved ones! Check out upcoming volunteer activities for November to December: Volunteer Opportunities, and spend more meaningful time serving with family and friends!
By Kaye Marcelino and Celina Baylon