Enabling Volunteerism

Looking for new adventures this 2017? Be part of the team that spreads the passion of volunteerism.

Last February, iVolunteer Philippines in partnership with ASpace Manila gathered individuals who believe that every Filipino can be a Hero. True to its purpose, Aspace became the venue to connect and collaborate with people who have the same vision of the future. The quarterly recruitment was held at Palet Makati last February 25, followed by a capability building session for iVolunteer members. It became an opportunity for volunteers to converse and brainstorm about their ideas on encouraging everyone to help.

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How iVolunteer Philippines gave back this Christmas

“The best time to give back is now.”

As the year draws to a close, December is when a lot of people usually feel the most celebratory and generous at the same time. For volunteers around the world, the 5th of December is very special as it is recognized by the United Nations as the International Volunteer Day: “a unique chance for volunteers and organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities”.

For iVolunteer Philippines, celebrating the International Volunteer Day and giving back to the community was much more meaningful, as it spent its last official volunteer day in 2016 for its staff with a partner NGO caring for the elderly home, Tahanang Balik-Alay in Taytay, Rizal on December 3, 2016.

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What do you envision this world to be?

What is your purpose in life? This is a question we all want to be answered. For Rina, one of the volunteers I met from PPCRV (manual count of the 2016 election returns), she genuinely believes that doing her best in helping others is her mission in life.

A student from Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Rina is currently the Executive Council President of the university’s Emergency Response Group (ERG), a rescue volunteer organization that primarily upholds the spirit of volunteerism within the community. She’s one of those who were captured by the spirit of the organization, and eventually one of the few who remained active from her batch.

During the manual count activity at PPCRV, she arrived alone. I already sense her genuine spirit, as she asked the question, “I’m one of the volunteers, what should I do?” As we talked, I found out that she’s been spending her summer joining volunteer activities available via the iVolunteer website. With or without her friends, she’d go as long as she’s able.

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It’s a GO!

Preparations for the Go Volunteer! Event are now in full swing, as iVolunteer Philippines held its kick-off session last January 23, with over 20 Non-Profits and Partner Organizations in attendance.

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The kick-off event, held at the Office Project in Salcedo, Makati, brought together iVolunteer’s various Partner Organizations – both current and new, to share what everyone should look forward to on March 5 and 6, 2016 at the Glorietta Activity Center.
Executive Director, JB Tan, opened the event by welcoming the attendees, and providing a brief background of iVolunteer Philippines – emphasizing the group’s mission of engaging all Filipinos in nation building through different and creative forms of volunteerism. Later, Bel Padlan, Director of Partner Relations and Go Volunteer! Project Lead, walked through the activities leading up to and happening during the 2-Day Volunteer Awareness Weekend.

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The adventure-themed Go Volunteer! event seeks to encourage visitors to go beyond their usual day, and their usual activities to explore new things, learn about themselves and others, while at the same time contributing and creating impact to important causes. For Partner Organizations, the Go Volunteer! Weekend is a valuable platform for them to not only share their organization’s programs, but also their individual volunteer journeys, enough to encourage others to begin their own.

Interested to join the Go Volunteer! Event? Pre-register by visiting the new iVolunteer Philippines Site and sign up for the March 5 and March 6 events.

by Hazel Javier, Director for Internals and Organization Development

Making Smart Life Choices Through Volunteerism 

It’s important to tell the story of Gerald (Ge) Catapang who breaks the stereotypical mold of a call center agent which some of us might have in mind, that young people like him working in the BPO industry often spend their time and money on food and drinks with their friends in the office after work hours. The truth is, if we are on the other side of the fence we might not fully understand the difficulties they face in order to survive the demands of their work. In his case, it might surprise you that despite working a graveyard shift, Ge has an active and healthy lifestyle as a volunteer who also recently turned vegan.

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Inspiring One At A Time

Last July, iVolunteer received an e-mail request from Ronnie Marquez for a meeting regarding his new organization. Not knowing what to expect, I went ahead to meet Ronnie in a coffee shop and the first thing he said to me was, “matagal ko na kayong gustong makausap pagkatapos ko marinig yung radio interview niyo.” (I have been wanting to meet you after I heard your radio interview).

Ronnie, a professional and father of 3 boys, heard our iVolunteer story while driving to the office and he had wanted to reach out to iVolunteer ever since. He and his kids are into music and they are now thinking of maximizing their passion for music by setting up Awit ni David, a non-profit organization that will bring together musicians and regularly raise funds for cancer patients as well as other causes.

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JB of iVolunteer and Ronnie of Awit Ni David

iVolunteer has been invited to numerous AM radio interviews but I never thought it would make a big impact. Flashback: It was an early morning interview at DZAM. I risked my car getting towed in front of Ministop (it didn’t, phew) and then I rushed to a DSWD meeting right after. All of these ran through my mind while Ronnie was telling me that he got inspired to setup a new NGO when he heard the story of iVolunteer that day. He felt uneasy and needed to do something bigger than himself. It was all worth it! Inspiring even at least one individual at a time reaffirms us in iVolunteer that there is hope for the country as long as there are good people who would dedicate their lives to help.

By JB Tan, Volunteer & Executive Director of iVolunteer Philippines