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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Finding a Lifetime Partner in Volunteering

After her husband’s battle with the big C, Judy never expected to find a partner in volunteering. At present, Judy is running the family’s food service business while also being a mom to 10-year-old Jamielle.

Married life

Volunteering has always been a huge part of Judy’s life. However, when she started her own immediate family family, she also began drifting away from volunteering, as she became preoccupied with husband and daughter, and even her mom.

Judy still had the strong desire to pursue her volunteer journey, as she felt it was her calling. She always prayed to God to direct her path with whatever He wants her to do, as she experienced challenges with balancing her roles as a mom, child, and a business owner. So whenever she felt she needed reassurance, she will always recite, “Thy will be done, Lord,” even until the faithful day that her husband succumb to cancer. Nevertheless, all the challenges she faced just made her stronger.

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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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