Sixty-five days to go and it’s Christmas! What more? Today is also the Sweetest Day, so we have one more reason to be extra nice.
The third Saturday of October is designated as the official Sweetest Day in some parts of the US. A day of sweet treats and deeds. We might be celebrating 8,000 miles off and it just might be my sweet-tooth talking, but hey! Who doesn’t need an excuse to munch a chocolate or share one?
So, let’s get the party going and see the unique sugar and spice ingredients sprinkled to the world by some of our partner organizations.
A pint of faith.
Faith is belief that the best is yet to come. It is the voice that says something greater is working. Not only to make our lives better, but to make us stronger. Faith puts things into perspective—challenges only toughen our bones so we can move bigger boulders.
He Cares Foundation is a Christian, non-profit organization built on faith. They aim to be the channel of God’s blessings to the poor, especially the street children.
It can be difficult to believe in a sweeter world when you live in a bitter one. This is especially true in the case of the young. The foundation was on a task to create a generation thriving on faith, love, and positivity.
He Cares seeks to show the work of faith by improving the lives of the people they serve. They provide for the children during Saturday Feeding Programs. They help rehabilitate their and their families’ connection to God. They also address their health needs and extend help to their homes, schools, and their parents’ works.
Faith is to believe in what we do not see, and the prize of faith is to see what we believe.
A pinch of positive change.
Change can be scary. It demands strong will to leave what is familiar and comfortable. It requires a great mind to question what works fine. It is not easy to wander into the unsure. But good has been an enemy to great. So at some point, we may need to cross the lines of comfort and go higher.
Ashoka Philippines envisions a chain of positive change. They see an ‘Everyone a Changemaker’ world. A world where everyone has the freedom, confidence, and the community’s support to address social challenges and drive change.
Ashoka Philippines accomplishes this by finding and supporting social entrepreneurs. They are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change. Ashoka is looking for a venture team to help them find these social entrepreneurs.
Change adds an exciting flavor to our society. Thanks to the people who are brave enough to make these changes happen. And the people who are even braver to take the first steps towards it.
A dash of hope.
Hope is healthy expectation. It is wanting good things to happen and knowing it can. Hope is bred even in what seems to be difficult, or impossible.
“Silid Aralan invests in the majority of the learners: the low-performing and underprivileged students. We shifted their our paradigm that only those on the top of the class are capable. We believe that in every underachieving child also lies a genius, and they are also equally promising and can also give back to society. If we only give these children hope, if we also believe in them, they will also believe in themselves.
“We are an after school program, giving supplementary education to our learners through the Silid Aralan Learning Technology, a customized learning approach. We teach the kids how to love learning, we guide them so that they can discover their passion. We empower them, eventually building amongst themselves confidence in their own capabilities.
“Kent started with Silid Aralan when he was in Grade 4. His grades were all in the line of 7. Now, he is a graduate of Bachelor in Elementary Education and is serving as one of the Silid Aralan co-learners. Who would have thought that this underachieving child before can really pursue his dream of becoming a teacher?
“Carlo just wanted to play DOTA in a computer shop. He has no money, no personal computer, not even a cellphone. His grades were hopeless. His inclination towards computers was his potential. He is now a graduate of Information Technology and is developing websites and mobile applications.
Some kids just need a little nudge, a hope, and someone who believes that they can. Thinking a little differently makes a larger than life difference.” – Jaiza, Silid Aralan
A spoonful of care.
One of the biggest things we can do is to care for the littlest ones. Maybe a show of concern to seeing another rainbow. Karma may even repay our goodness with a pot of gold, or a pot of candies.
Everyday our minds were flooded by thousands of thoughts. Sometimes too overwhelming that we forget those that deserve more of our attention—the home we always had, our planet. But despite these demands, it is sweet that there are still people reminding us of its importance.
Pandacan Ecology Ministry is a face of genuine care for the environment. They are dedicated to saving our home by turning wastes into something useful. Every fourth Sunday of each month, the Ministry collects and segregates plastic wastes. Their industry partner then makes these into pavers and bricks. If you live near Pandacan area, you can be a part of this. Bring your wastes to the Sto. Nino Church at Jesus St. near the Caritas Center.
Doing these things will ensure us a brighter sunshine and a more vibrant rainbow. Isn’t it worth it?
A bunch of helping hands.
A growing number of people are considered poor. Poverty statistics say so. These numbers are a call for action. A call to reach out to those who cannot extend their grasp. To share, regardless of how small we can give.
The mission of Progressive Assistance Canada (PAC) is to assist the poorest of the poor children in the Philippines to have a better life by improving their welfare, and that of their families and communities. They support the nutritional need of over 300 infants and children. They conduct feeding programs, provide infant formulas, and others. They give effort, time, and some of the basic needs of the children’s family. Education and scholarships are one of their advocacies too. They improve communities by partnering with organizations to resolve water and lighting issues.
It is nice, once in a while, to see through rose-colored lenses. To think that all will be well because there are people who are making the world a better place. And it doesn’t hurt to hope that someday, the better part will be our reality.
Filipinos are lucky to have all these game-changers. Luckier are those who stand behind these organizations. They are etching a permanent mark in a world where most things are temporary. It is huge, being part of the solution; being responsible for a smile; being the face of hope, or care, or love. You can too. Learn more of the works of our partner organizations here. Be inspired and take action.
The world craves a sweet treat that is you, and it has never been easier to be one. Visit this link for volunteering opportunities. You are a game-changer.
Gie Maningas, iVolunteer Philippines