If you have a big heart for the needy, what would you do?
When I started my walk on the path of volunteerism, I did not exactly know what I wanted to do or to accomplish. Many questions crowded my mind. I never thought I would encounter a question like this. This is a question that Miss Lorybelle Jarligo answered when I saw how passionate and dedicated she was when our path met in my first volunteering stint at Karinderia ni Mang Urot (KMU), a feeding program held three times a week for homeless people in Quezon City.
Belle in Karinderia ni Mang-Urot
As a newbie in volunteering, I excitedly asked her how she found KMU. She was all smiles and her eyes sparkled. She told me, she just searched for volunteering opportunities and found the iVolunteer Philippines website that offers many volunteering events. As we waited for other volunteers, we shared more details about our volunteering goals and rewarding quests. I shared that I also searched for NGOs that offer volunteering opportunities that I can join for free and found iVolunteer too. Instantly, we built an affinity for each other.
We became Facebook friends and I can now see how active she is with so many advocacies. Following her on Facebook seems knowing her more each day. It is like counting the pieces of her big heart which she gives out as she goes on fulfilling her volunteering works for various organizations she pledges to help. This gave me an idea to ask her to share her story.
Miss Lorybelle or Belle for many, is a graduate of Advertising from St. Scholastica College Manila, a secured corporate professional at 27, and a proud parent to two cats named Lucky and Lucy that she adopted from PAWS where she is an active volunteer.
When I asked how she started it all, she said PAWS paved the way for her 3 years ago. She already had volunteering experiences for corporate events and outreach programs before though. One of these she recalled, was her memorable experience with the Yolanda storm victims who were temporarily housed in Nichols Airbase during the disaster period. That event brought her volunteering to another level. From then on she became a passionate volunteer who is always on the go to participate in different advocacies. She also said that because of her volunteering encounters, her exposure to a lot of environmental and animal concerns, and through reading books and other materials about nature, she became a vegetarian.
Right now, she is volunteering as a caretaker of dogs and cats at PAWS on weekends and after her work. She is also a volunteer member of Earth Island Institute, an organization that upholds the wide-range movement for environment protection across the globe. And since Belle loves to give a hand in KMU feeding program, she is often present at the event as well.
KMU inspired her to start her own feeding program. She made this aspiration into action last December 2016. She invited her friends to join her and make Christmas a memorable one for them and for others. They prepared packed sandwiches and drinks and went around Metro Manila and distributed the food to vagrants. They also gave out old clothes. It was a success for them.
Belle has a vision and mission. She could not stop giving reasons why she does it all. She poured out what’s inside her big heart and shared with me these words that raised my admiration for her.
“I am so passionate in what I am doing that I want to learn more about it and to get more experience from it. I never thought that volunteering would play such a huge role in my life. I never thought that I would dedicate all my time to volunteering. Volunteering changed the way I live now. I value what I have. It got me to thinking that I am always so blessed to have this kind of life. I believe that through volunteering, I can help any organization and group in meeting their goals. It may start from a small action but it is a win-win situation. We always learn something from actual encounters. My inspiration comes from the good feeling of helping and giving. It makes me addicted to it.
“Volunteerism also taught me to live a humble life, and to be contented with what I have. Before I learned this, I always complain about a lot of things. But now, I always want to volunteer, and to engage and occupy myself with meeting and helping people; both the less fortunate and the successful, but humble people who also inspire me. Right now, I am more content and thankful to have this kind of life. And I realized that I still have extra money and time to share with the needy.”
What excites her more these days? She plans to have her own regular street soup kitchen and her own environmental advocacy group that will focus on plastic waste management.
All these endeavors and fulfilment of dreams and plans are here for her because she took a step forward towards volunteerism. And with the assistance of iVolunteer Philippines and similar institutions that guide and provide the avenue to take her idea to the next level, nothing could go wrong.
Her volunteering story is one of those unheard of stories of everyday heroes who are not seeking rewards and payments but the “good feeling” which sharing and helping gives, which is more than enough to give life to any worthy and selfless undertakings.
For the love of people and animals, Belle plays the role of a dedicated volunteer and she loves the part!
To volunteer in Karinderia ni Mang-urot, you can check their available volunteer opportunities at http://www.ivolunteer.com.ph.
by Nenia Dulom, iVolunteer Philippines