A Guide to Your Volunteering Journey Based on Your Ruling Planet

It’s Space Exploration Day! And to celebrate the advancements brought about by Space Exploration, we’re paying tribute to the members of our solar system–the Sun, the Moon, and the planets–not only as subjects of the scientific community but also as guides to our daily lives. Continue reading “A Guide to Your Volunteering Journey Based on Your Ruling Planet”

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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Volunteering: food for the soul

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Project Pearl’s feeding activity at Tondo Manila

We all love to eat. We always look forward to a hearty meal after a hard day’s work. Even just a quick but sumptuous merienda in the afternoon is enough to light us up. And we also know sharing our food with good company, especially our loved ones is just priceless. We love it so much, it’s usually our first question or greeting – “Kumain ka na ba?!” And oftentimes, we do not really mind if we put on a little weight, as long as our stomach is full, because for most of us, it doesn’t take much to make us happy.

Now, imagine skipping a meal just for a day. We become grumpy, impatient, and frustrated. In short, an irreversible damage ensues, and our whole day is automatically ruined. In reality, not all of us could afford to whine if for some reason, there is no source of food when it’s time to eat. Some of us have no choice but to go on through the day finding ways to fill in empty stomachs, or maybe trying to forget about it completely. Yes, these children know the drill so well.

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Two Stories, One Message

 

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Offering the work of their hands

Rachel and Joseph’s passion for their careers, the heart for service, and their strong faith naturally brought them together. Through sheer dedication and love for the arts, Rachel and Joseph were able to successfully set-up their own graphic design business, Pixel Pencils. In every step of their entrepreneurial journey, they believed that God has guided them and blessed them tremendously. “We strive hard to earn money. But we strive harder to use what we earned in more meaningful ways — not because of what we have nor what we can do, but because of His will to provide everything we need,” they shared.  This statement is a testament of how they offer back to the Lord all their triumphs and blessings, because for them, they are instruments from whom others could also be blessed.

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On to a New Adventure

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Celebrating a New Adventure

It’s not everyday that we hear a story of a 20-year-old fresh graduate celebrating her birthday with a group of kids from an NGO, together with her friends and other volunteers. Raissa happily shared how she had a very eventful birthday when she spent it with the children from Mano Amiga Academy, complete with belly dancing and a whole lot of fun activities.

Even before organizing a party for the girls of Mano Amiga, Raissa has been actively volunteering in her university’s Pastoral Office, and has also been attending volunteer work during weekends through iVolunteer. And apart from joining different immersion activities, she would make sure she follows through with the project she was involved in. For Raissa, volunteering should be relevant and impactful, which then requires her to proactively monitor the progress of the activities she has attended. She has also volunteered for the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC), where she helped with the silk screen printing of eco-bags for relief goods. And since then, she has become an active volunteer in CDRC.

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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. 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 … Continue reading It’s a GO!

Ang Hamon Kong Tinanggap

Noong nakaraang buwan, sumali ako sa Bayani Challenge ng Gawad Kalinga sa Padre Garcia, Batangas. Nasubukan ko na ang pag-volunteer, pero yung sa mga relief operations na pa-isa-isang araw at dito lang sa siyudad. First time kong mag-volunteer na sa probinsya na, limang sunud-sunod na araw pa! Hindi ko alam kung anong nasa isip ko at tinanggap ko ang hamon; siguro, tulad ng marami, for the experience.

Giving the GK houses a brand new coat of paint!
Giving the GK houses a brand new coat of paint!

And what an experience it was. Yung tipong out-of-your-comfort-zone. Mahiyain akong tao, pero ang dami kong naging kaibigan pagkatapos ng limang araw na iyon. Kahit kaunting araw lang kami magkakasama, ultimate bonding experience rin siya—mula sa on-the-spot na pag-iisip ng programa at palaro para sa mga bata, hanggang sa pagkukuwentuhan at tawanan namin pagkatapos. Medyo importante rin sa akin ang kalinisan, pero okay lang na tumatagaktak ang pawis ko habang nagpipintura ng mga bahay. Makakalimutan mo yun sa saya ng pagtrabaho, lalo na kung may aabangan kang firehose truck sa hapon. At tulad ng marami sa atin ngayon, nasanay ako sa mga pribilehiyo ng pamumuhay sa siyudad, pero hindi ko ito hinanap-hanap doon. Masaya ring kalimutan pansamantala kung may mga notifications ka, kasi nararanasan mo in real time ang pakikisalamuha sa iba, bata man o matanda. Naramdaman ko rin doon ang tunay na malasakit sa kapwa, lalo na sa pamilya nina Nanay Suzette na nagkupkop sa amin ng kaibigan ko. Hindi kami umaalis ng bahay hangga’t hindi napapakain, at isinakripisyo ng pamilya niya ang comfort ng kanilang tulugan para sa amin.

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Do Good and Do More

“This is not a feel-good experience. This is a reminder and commitment to DO better.”
― Marc Sebastian, Gawad Kalinga

Five days later and I’m home. I’m sunburnt, I have an early day tomorrow since it’s back to work, and my dog seems to have decided to punish me for abandoning him (he keeps cuddling against my sister instead of me and it’s making me jealous).

But I’m happy and unsatisfied. I’m happy because this was proof and a reminder that where I’m at right now and the work we do in iVolunteer is an amazing purpose and vehicle for a stronger, united Philippines. I’m unsatisfied because I left feeling like five days wasn’t enough; I wanted to do more within the community. Continue reading “Do Good and Do More”