An Extraordinary Journey for an Extraordinary Volunteer


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Volunteerism has made such a significant impact in Gemma’s life that it has been ingrained in her personal life – her values and beliefs all point to sparking positive change. She has even initiated her own programs, such as her Be D.E.A.F. (Doing Extraordinary Actions Fulfillingly) project, a volunteer raising awareness workshop in Cagayan De Oro. Truly, Gemma is on a mission bigger than herself, and she plans to share her unyielding zest for service to anyone who is willing to join her in this journey.

In light of the upcoming elections, Gemma’s volunteering journey is truly a testament that anyone of us can spark change within our own communities as long as we have the humility and commitment to serve.

Defining Life Through Volunteerism

Hailing from South Cotabato, Mindanao, 26-year-old Gemma Ordoyo has already charted an extraordinary volunteering quest, both in her hometown and even within Manila. With her unwavering dedication, she was able to lead her own projects with the help of some of her friends and family members, as inspired by the many volunteer activities she has participated in. One project she headed was for the Special Deaf Youth of Cagayan De Oro, and another for the Minimum Security Inmates of New Bilibid Prison. She takes pride in these personal projects, as it keeps her passionate in sharing the spirit of volunteerism by engaging in initiatives she cares for.

Before she participated in different volunteering projects, Gemma was first part of Save the Children Philippines. Her involvement with them opened her eyes to her mission of serving others. She realized that sharing a part of herself gave more meaning to her life: “Dito ko pala makukuha ang depinisyon ko sa buhay.”  And as a socially responsible citizen, she draws inspiration from the different stories of defeat and victory, colorful personalities, and the natural undiscovered beauty of the places she visits. For Gemma, there is a whole new world to learn about and discover beyond her own beliefs, thoughts, and community. She is now currently based home again in South Cotabato, and is an Online Social Campaigner – Volunteer of the M.A.D. (Making a Difference) campaign, particularly for their scholarship project. In every volunteering project she participates in, Gemma ensures she keeps the fire and passion burning in her.

Continue reading “An Extraordinary Journey for an Extraordinary Volunteer”

How to make your vote count this 2016 national polls

With only less than a month before the 2016 national elections, have you decided which candidates to vote for? In the latest community meet-up organized by iVolunteer Philippines, elections watchdog NAMFREL and PPCRV appeals to Filipinos to not too much focus only on which candidates to support, but to also be educated on voter’s rights … Continue reading How to make your vote count this 2016 national polls

iVolunteer Philippines invites Filipinos to make a difference, be happy

Nobody makes a difference alone. If you’ve ever had a yearning to make a positive change in your community, you will learn that you cannot just do something by yourself, without needing to connect with like-minded people, or get some support from the right networks.

 

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GO! Volunteer Expo

This desire to make a difference and connect with people has powered the success of the biggest volunteer-engaging event in the country, the GO! Volunteer Expo, held at the Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City last March 5-6, 2016. The two-day event drew over 20,000 visitors who came to the expo to learn how they could contribute to the causes they care about.

Those who attended the expo came from different walks of life, with different backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and interests, but with the same desire: to be part of something bigger than themselves by giving back. This may be through sharing whatever time, skills, or resources they could offer. Could you imagine how it feels like to be surrounded by throngs of people who want to do good?

Continue reading “iVolunteer Philippines invites Filipinos to make a difference, be happy”

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!

iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market

One fine Sunday, March 2, 2014, I volunteered to be part of the rummage sale at Bel-Air Village in Makati City.  This is one of the fund raising projects of  iVolunteer organization.

1 Bel Air Clean Up!

It was a Clean UP! Flea Market activity inside the subdivision, the venue was at Park 3 Solar Street.  From 7am to 3pm, mostly resident vendors sold pre-loved items which included clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, luggage, CDs, books, toys, household items and a lot more.

4 over 120 vendorsThere were over 120 non-food tables that filled the whole covered court.

2 IVolunteer tables 30 and 31There were few food tables found on the side of the court for the shoppers and vendors.

iVolunteer had two tables.  We were divided into two teams.  On one table were men’s clothing and miscellaneous items headed by Hazel and Olenny.  My partner for the women’s clothing was Mana. She is a one petite lady that I could pass as her mother, except that she has nice big eyes compared to my twinkling small eyes. I’ve met Hazel, Olenny and Mana in the past. They are part of the iVolunteer core team. Continue reading “iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market”

Mga Batang Bayani

YOLANDA – Everyone was surprised at the devastation wrought by this typhoon when it hit the Philippines late 2013. From Manila, I felt helpless when I saw how Yolanda swept through the Visayan region and its dreadful aftermath. We were very much aware of the immediate help that came from all over the country and the world to relief the victims with short-term support. As the media exposure subsided, I cannot help but wonder if a sustainable rebuilding plan has been put in place to give those impacted with a fresh new start.

Right before the summer of 2014, I was excited when an opportunity came up for iVolunteer to help Gawad Kalinga recruit volunteers for the Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan. It’s the seventh year of the program and focused on helping the Yolanda victims rebuild their homes across 12 provinces, with the help of one million volunteers.

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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”

Makinabang Tayo

I liked today’s meetup. It felt like I had a bucket and was just catching all the information raining down from heaven. You see folks, I am studying disasters myself and would not pass up on the opportunity to hear from a person with first hand experience. JB, the iVolunteer Director even teased, ‘Nakinabang ka nanaman’ and he was right — I did gain something again. But really, the bigger picture is this — volunteering creates for me the world with the healthiest give and take system I can ever imagine. Wouldn’t anyone want to live in that?

Recently, I discovered that I am not who I am when I cannot give. Continue reading “Makinabang Tayo”

International Coastal Cleanup – How you can help make a difference!

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Last September 27, 2014, we arrived at around 6:30am to get a head start on the activities. Various corporations, NGOs and volunteer groups were present at different points along the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) for the International Coastal Cleanup.

The volunteers from ivolunteer and Haribon were split into groups of four to five people. A data recorder was also assigned per group to record information on a standardized “Ocean Trash Data Form” for every trash collected. The event was well-organized and volunteers from different age groups and walks of life dotted the Manila Bay coastal area.

Under the heat of the sun and equipped with gloves, pickers and sacks, volunteers enthusiastically picked up everything and anything that should not be on the beach – including extraordinary trash such as crib and appliances. As expected, the trash washed up on the shore were mostly plastic – food wrappers, sachets, plastic bags, plastic cups, cup holders and the like. These shoreline litter are both an eyesore and a threat to wildlife. Aside from habitat destruction, marine animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles…and even sea birds get entangled in them and often mistake these litter as food.

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iVolunteer Stories: Giving One’s Spirit through Volunteerism

But the truth is, need knows no season. Helping does not just start and end in one day. Volunteering means supporting others not only because it’s Christmas, it’s your birthday, it’s the height of a tragedy, or it’s Thanksgiving. For me, this is a commitment—a chance to inspire souls, and a lifetime opportunity of giving … Continue reading iVolunteer Stories: Giving One’s Spirit through Volunteerism