When we hear the word “hero”, we generally associate it with “war”, “blood”, “weapons”, and other violent or aggressive stuff and events. But as we celebrate this day of heroes, may we be reminded that there is heroism in volunteering.
In this modern age where battles are mostly fought in the political and economic arena, and victims appear in various forms of collateral damage, may the passion, service, and leadership as exemplified by our great heroes inspire us into action.
Here are five simple ways to be a modern day hero:
1. Participate in Disaster-Related Volunteer Activities
Typhoon season has yet again hit our country with unrelenting force, leaving calamity-stricken families and communities in dire need of assistance.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is calling for volunteers who can help process and re-pack relief goods in their Pasay facilities.
With donations coming in in huge quantities, they need more people to help them provide faster aid to those who were affected by the recent storms and flooding. Volunteer works are available between 8 am to 5 pm on scheduled dates.
For those interested in becoming an advocate of disaster-preparedness and being part of a year-round campaign, the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) is looking for social media campaigners.
They need help in building a stronger social media presence, with the intent of spreading awareness and educating more people, specifically on community-based disaster management.
Interested volunteers can visit their Quezon City office on the day of the activity.
2. Help Feed Children in Marginalized Communities
Not all children grow up believing in fairytales and bedtime stories. Some of them grow up with hunger as their constant reminder that life is far from magical.
Volunteers who wish to stand in as fairy godmothers to these children, may assist Project Pearls as they organize a daily feeding program in a slum community in Tondo.
Daily Soup Kitchen, as they call it, aims to provide nutritious breakfast to help marginalized children start their day right.
Volunteers can help set up the feeding area, distribute the food and supervise the children. Join Project Pearls every Tuesday to Friday as they work on shedding some semblance of positivity and encouragement to these children.
3. Teach Former Street Children
“On this battlefield, man has no better weapon than his intelligence, no other force but his heart.” – Jose Rizal
As Jose Rizal eloquently puts it, knowledge is indeed a power in itself. Many of our children are living a shattered dream, primarily because education is not within their reach.
He Cares Foundation grants scholarships to former street children, and organizes volunteer tutorial programs to help their scholars maintain the required grade. Volunteers will be tasked to teach basic Math and English, and to assist the children in understanding their lessons and assignments.
Since these children live in informal settlements with unhealthy environment and financial difficulties, they need all the encouragement and support they can get to help them rise above their situation.
These tutorial sessions are being held in Quezon City and are available almost every day (including Saturdays).
4. Protect Animals from Abandonment and Abuse
With the kind of loyalty they give us, animals deserve nothing but love and care. It’s an unfortunate reality though that a lot of them end up in varying stages of neglect and abuse.
CARA Welfare Philippines is looking for Animal Welfare Champions who will help them improve the quality of life for pets. They will hold their monthly volunteer orientation this coming September 15 (Saturday) in CARA Clinic, Mandaluyong.
Volunteers can choose from 4 different teams: adoption, educator, media and events. They require a Php 500 annual membership fee which will help fund the Laguna Pitbull Sanctuary.
5. Join Eco-Warriors in their Fight for a Greener World
Unleash your creativity with CDRC’s biodegradable-pots-making activity held every Sunday at the CDRC Rooftop Garden in Quezon City. Instead of throwing away donated clothes that are too worn out for use, CDRC—with the help of volunteers—sew and design them into pots for plants.
With the persistence of pollution and the trend towards urbanization, it comes as no surprise that even Mother Nature is crying for help. It’s a good thing that the month of September offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities for the nature lovers.
Eco-volunteers are also needed every 4th Sunday of the month to sort and segregate collected plastics waste in Pandacan Manila. The Pandacan Ecology Ministry is a volunteer group that collects and segregates plastic wastes to be picked up and re-used by their partner organizations. Their advocacy is to help build an eco-friendly city.
The Humanist Alliance Philippines, International and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would also like to invite volunteers in the 3rd Manila Bayside Clean Up on September 15 (Saturday).
Volunteers of all ages can join in this collective effort of preserving the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, the only remaining wetland and bird sanctuary within Metro Manila.
A Tree Planting activity in Mt. Banahaw will also be organized by Haribon Foundation on September 29 (Saturday). Volunteers will learn more about their advocacy, enjoy a leisure trek to the site, and plant native trees that will help revive forests instead of bringing them down. Interested participants should be prepared to pay a minimal registration fee of Php 350, exclusive of food and transportation.
Looking for more activities? Visit iVolunteer’s website and follow us on Facebook for a weekly update on upcoming events. Indeed we need more modern day heroes to spread love, care, awareness and encouragement. Let’s help create a world filled with heroes rather than villains—one small act at a time.
Lorraine Rañoa, iVolunteer Philippines