I might as well get blogging about my family over before I move on to a more interesting and non-family related topics. I know most or some of you will probably get tired of reading posting about my two precious daughters but I will go ahead anyway. After all, this is a free country.
The article below was written by my daughter S 3 years ago during her junior year in high school. She was supposed to be posing with the Marilima kids from Virac, Catanduanes in the photo but for some reason, her second trip to the Philippines didn't happen as planned despite of the preparations she had done. I took her place instead, though I felt the disppointment from each of the children. They were very much looking forward to meeting my daughter for the first time. They made all kinds of preparations for her coming. They brought all kinds of goodies, delicious native food, native gifts, and even showcased the beautiful artworks that they created from the art supplies that they received. Only they didn't get to present it to her personally.
Additionally, from the article you will be able to learn and depict my humble beginnings. Please read on...
A project that holds much meaning to me is the one that I created called "Donations for Education." The inspiration came when I visited the Philippines last summer and saw the elementary school in my mother's village. The children were very poor and the school was very simple and stark. The school's walls were bare, the chairs were broken, and the children barely had any pencils or pens to write with. Also, they had few art supplies and books to read. When I walked back to my mother's old house, I noticed that my cousin was studying for her final exam. She had managed to crowd all of her notes onto a single sheet of paper. When I asked my mother why she did not use more than one piece of paper, she informed me that paper was hard to come by, and it was important that my cousin saved every single piece.
I found this surprising since I remembered that I had reams of paper lying around my house. I also had many old boxes of crayons and markers that could be better utilized by the Filipino children. I had several old backpacks, binders, and folders that I did not need anymore. I realized that if every person in my community could donate a few extra school supplies that were available in their homes, even the simplest items such as a few sheets of paper, it would be enough to support several elementary school classes in the Philippines. I decided that the easiest way to plan out this endeavor would be to create a school supply drive in which community members could easily donate any items relative to education.
To accomplish this goal, I asked my Key Club for their help. I proposed my idea during a club meeting, asking if they could help with the project advertisement, and other related tasks. I was the head chaiperson and called several committee meeting throughout the duration of the project to organize and plan the school supply drive. Together, we decided to hold both a community-wide and a school-wide drive.
Through the project "Donations for Education", more than thirty four hundred school supplies were collected. These included pens, pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, backpacks, children books, paper, colored construction paper, scissors, glue, etc. Large shipping boxes were filled to the brim with the supplies (in fact, we were not able to fit all the supplies into the three boxes...which will be carried over into the next year's drive.) The Filipino children received many essential school supplies that would help them with their schooling. Additionally, the students now had backpacks to help them carry their belongings during their long walking trips to and from the school. The teachers were very enthusiastic receiving art supplies, teacher's manual to several textbooks, and children books in english.
Not only did the project affect the lives of many children, it also taught me to believe in myself. Before, I did not expect a project of this much planning and organization to follow through, but I discovered that I do have strength within myself. I learned to set my mind on my goal and understand that obstacles will certainly get in the way, but I just have to overcome them with confidence. The closer friendship that I gained with the rest of the Key Club members were invaluable. Additionally, I gained a connection with my Filipino heritage. Even though the Philippines is halfway around the world, it felt like the distance didn't matter since I was able to help them no matter how many miles away they were. When I received thank you letters and pictures from the students, I was truly amazed to see them holding up school supplies in the pictures that had been previously held by my own hands. I never imagined that I would be receiving letters with personal signatures from the students and creating new friendships. I am truly thankful for this project, not only for the result that it has accomplished, but also for the joy and gratitude that it has instilled within me.
My daughter A has been spearheading the drive for the last two years now.