-a sour soup. a distinct Filipino comfort food for the soul. as unique as its people. as diverse as its culture. a blend of ingredients prepared to its sour perfection, exciting the palate, soothing the nerves, rousing the senses, bringing back memories of scenic greens, warm sun, blue waters, and the solace of home.
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Monday, December 17, 2007

Bloggers Unite: Acts of Kindness, 12-17-2007

I've been seeing the campaign for weeks, calling all bloggers to unite for acts of kindness to do offline and blogging about it thru words, pictures or videos. Today, December 17th is the day to tell the world about the good deed done.

I wanted to be a part of it but I wasn't sure until late last week that I was joining because I didn't know what to do. For sure I wanted it to be something meaningful yet something I've never done before.

I attended a Christmas party last weekend and I met someone who belonged to a Filipino non-profit organization here in Massachusetts, Bagong Kulturang Pinoy, Inc. whose main mission is to spread children literacy through books in poverty-stricken areas in the Philippines. Their slogan is: Helping Filipino children read their way out of poverty. The history of the organization is inspiring. It spurred from a simple idea of one person wanting to give something back to her community in the Philippines. From putting up one mini-library, now 10 years later it is supporting 100 libraries (still says 90 on the website) and counting- with 80,000 books sent out each year benefiting thousands of kids who eventually become habitual readers.

I got into real good talking with her and showed my interest about the program. We exchanged contact information and told her that I'm willing to volunteer anytime they need a hand. I got an email on Monday asking me if I wanted to come for Saturday, December 15 to help out. I didn't think twice and said yes right away! I drove for an hour to get to the place, in the cold Saturday and with snow from the days before. I get to the place and spent a very good afternoon with very nice people whom I was meeting for the first time. They took me like a friend and I helped stamping out each book (labeling that it came from here), sorting them out and placing them in the famous, distinctly Filipino Balikbayan boxes (care package).


Having had 'training' in stuffing just about anything to put in my own Balikbayan boxes I sent out each year for my family back home, they commented how good my packing was making sure every inch of space is utilized and not an air left to breathe inside the boxes. They said I was able to put the books that could have gone in three boxes to fit into one! That was an exaggeration I think but I was pleased they were happy with my work.

We finished packing 8 huge boxes containing hundreds of books by the time we were done! The books are going to 6 different mini-libraries in the Philippines and I can imagine how excited the kids will be once they see the various selections we've included on the boxes. This is the kind of thing one would find fulfilling because you can actually see the work in action. You know that every book you donate and ship, kids back home will read and treasure the opportunity because having books in depressed areas in the Philippines is a luxury. It doesn't come by very often.

I went home with an utterly light feeling and with a smile on my face! It feels so good when you're doing an act of kindness especially if it's something not planned and sort of just happened. I never knew such a Filipino organization existed here in Massachusetts. Now, I am hooked! I am going to continue volunteering for this great mission and I promised to visit one of their mini-libraries in the Philippines on my vacation in early 2008 so I could report on its progress. This has truly been an opener. I have been helping in my own little way to give something back to my home country and I just added another one that truly is making a difference in the lives of children in the Philippines. What a way to start my holiday, volunteering and spreading the good cheers around!


Note: I encourage you to visit the Bagong Kulturang Pinoy website to learn more about the organization. Just reading through the different programs and how they're impacting the lives of poor kids in the Philippines is amazing. Perhaps you may even find it uplifting to share some books or make financial contributions. Help is always needed in whatever form. © 2007


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5 taster(s) say...:

iriegal said...

Hi I visited the Senior Citizen Center up the street from me. During the holidays it gets lonely for some of the people at the center. Some of them do not get visitors during the holiday. I visited a Lady named, "Gladys Green." I went to the store and shopped for her. It was a rewarding time spent.

IRIEGAL

eam said...

Was just over at your site and left a message. thank you for stopping over here... happy holidays! :-)

Ann said...

The library project reminds me of one of Julia's (the murdered peace corps volunteer) own projects in Bicol she blogged about.

I wish I knew about the acts of kindness challenge earlier.

Black_Mamba said...

Hello Mae.

Wishing you A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

May God bless you and your family this holiday season and always.

Ivy
:)

eam said...

hi ann... sorry, i don't know Julia. :-( perhaps you can share her story through your blog.

yup, sayang at you didn't get to participate but with its success, i'm sure blogcatalog will have more projects like that. actually this is their 3rd (different topics each time) and I only learned about this now... wish you a happy holiday! :-)