For our Throwback Thursday post, we stretch back to last December 8, 2012, when we visited the GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, a non-profit that bills itself as the combination of a farm, a burgeoning reforestation site, and a sustainable agricultural development set in the rugged backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains in historic San Miguel, Bulacan.
GreenEarth reached out to iVolunteer last year in search of volunteers and, lo and behold, was able to get connected with the Adventurous Friends – a group of young men and women who came together to heed the call of volunteerism. Their first visit to the site is documented here, on GreenEarth’s Facebook page, and it warmed our hearts that they continued returning to GreenEarth in the succeeding months to give back to the local community there.
We decided to join them during one of their trips that December, together with our friends from Eko Adventure (an adventure club of a big consumer goods company). The video below recounts the insights and lessons learned by iVolunteer’s Core Team at the time, right after the outreach activity with GreenEarth concluded.
Bel Padlan, Executive Director: We’re at GreenEarth, together with the Adventurous Friends. Natuwa kami sa experience! For me personally […] na-inspire ako sa story [about how GreenEarth] started until now. Yung good thing is, na-reaffirm yung thought ko na, “Big challenges can easily be solved pag marami yung tulong-tulong”. So that’s the concept of iVolunteer — how do you get more help from many people? — so I think yun yung learning ko ngayon. [The video incorrectly states Bel’s role — he is currently the Executive Director for iVolunteer, but is not technically the founder of the organization.]
Carlos Lasa, Director of Marketing & Communications: Ako, I lost something today — I actually lost my Frisbee kasi kinuha [siya] nung mga [GreenEarth] kids, pero okay lang. In exchange for the Frisbee, I gained a lot of things. I felt fulfilled reaching out and helping the local community here, and [marami akong nakuhang] insights as to how we can help, how there’s so much more that we can do as iVolunteer for the Philippines.
JB Tan, former Director of Solutions & Technology: I was reassured that […] iVolunteer is headed towards the right direction. Today we had […] Adventurous Friends — they started coming to GreenEarth because of the [iVolunteer] portal. They learned about the opportunity dahil sa iVolunteer. At the same time we saw that, since Adventurous Friends started coming to GreenEarth, we saw some progress. So it’s a win-win between volunteers and organizations. We can do this!
Clarissa Martin, former Partner Relations: For me, […] never give up on your dream. […] Dream natin is to bridge the gap between organizations and volunteers, […] and I know medyo mabagal yung progress natin pero we’ll get there, […] maraming umaasa sa atin!
Mavic Agbisit, former Internals/HR: We’re here […] sa GreenEarth, tapos for me, amazing siya na experience, amazing to see how it works in real-life. […] Madali siyang sabihin, but then to really spend your time here and really work ([kahit] hindi naman full-time) pero that much effort, sobrang amazing to see people who are really into that. And inspiring as well, for us to be able to know or acknowledge na pwede pala talaga. So if you really want it or if you have the passion then you can do it! So volunteer!!
Joana Tan, former Director of Marketing: Welcome to GreenEarth! […] I think [this is] really working, where iVolunteer connects people like Adventurous Friends the organizations that need [help] like GreenEarth and of course beyond the volunteers we also spread awareness [for the] other things [that] they need. I think that there’s a need for that role, for people to really connect to meet the needs of [organizations] kasi it’s more of communicating and finding the right match. Para kaming matchmaker ng mga organization and those who wants to help!
Bel Padlan: Yung learning ko is that malaki yung challenge, yung GreenEarth specifically and the whole country in general. But if you divide it [among ] many people, the burden is less big and less overwhelming. So yun yung na-feel ko kanina nung [kinukwento nila] when they started GreenEarth medyo ang laki ng problem nila and too few people were helping them. So ngayon they started getting help and mas lighter na [yung burden] so I think if we can do it for all [kinds of organizations, that would be great!]