No greater gift
Is there than love
What the world
Needs is love
Yes, the world
Needs your love.
– “Give Love on Christmas Day”
ONE of the most popular Christmas songs reminds us that the greatest gifts aren’t found under the tree but in our hearts, and the essence of Christmas is love.
Helping out in the community and giving back to those in need are meaningful throughout the year, but especially during the Christmas season.
So this year, how about thinking of what we can give, more than what we wish to receive. In honor of Jesus Christ, the real reason for the season, let’s be a blessing to others.
Here are some ideas for “giving back”: organizations in Cebu that you may want to share some of the year’s blessings with — monetary or in-kind contributions, and perhaps some of your precious time.
100 Santas Project – Be a Santa (the one who gives gifts), one of the reindeers (the one who delivers them) or both. Bring cheer to someone’s Christmas this year at the northern part of the island. Now on its fifth year, a group of volunteers have been sending gifts to the children in Special Education Center in Bantayan Island, some disadvantaged children in San Remegio and orphans at the Children’s Haven Orphanage. Here’s the deal: Once you sign up to become a Santa, you will be personally assigned to a child and to give gifts such as pencils and pens, notebooks, school bags, etc. (Do keep your commitment. Otherwise, there’ll be a child who will not be receiving a gift this Christmas.)
* Find them on Facebook: 100 Santas Project–Year 5
House of the Lord – For the elderly, the best gift we can give is our care and time. In Talisay City, there are elderly people who will be spending the holidays alone or away from their families. Make them feel loved by spending a day with them or donating for their daily needs.
* Contact the Missionaries of the Poor at tel. no. 505-0302.
iLearners Inc. – Inspire a child’s thirst for knowledge and inspire them to value education. iLearners is a group of young professionals that aims to eradicate illiteracy in rural areas, where help is rare. In their partner schools, they help build libraries, give out school supplies at the start of the school year, practically anything to keep the kids motivated to go school every day. They also have a “sipilyo” campaign that promotes oral care to target and fight toothache, which is the common reason of absenteeism among students.
* To volunteer for their lined-up Christmas activities, contact 0922-8003739.
For donations, you can send to:
BPI Account Name: iLearners Inc, Account Number: 0009133-0749-93 ((SM CIty Cebu Branch)
BDO Acount Name: iLearners Inc, Account Number: 2450179352 ((BDO SM City Cebu Northwing Branch)
Parian Drop-in Center – Every child deserves to feel the magic of Christmas, especially the 38 kids living in the Parian Drop-in Center, who have either been rescued on the streets, abandoned or victims of violence. The shelter, run by The Children of Cebu Foundation Inc., aims to help orphaned, abounded and abused children and provide them a place to call home, where there is food, security and a future.
* Reach them at tel no. 255-7937. Or visit the center at Pari-an Drop-In Center, Sikatuna Street, Cebu City, Philippines.
Island Rescue Organization – The symbolism of Christmas includes animals. Here’s a way to show our love for our furry friends. IRO is a group of volunteers dedicated to help the plight of animals in the region through rescue, education and advocacy. They also have a safe haven for abused, abandoned and tortured animals and find them new loving homes.
* You can donate for dog food, through:
BDO Account Name: Ronna Rojas, Account Number: 118-0119116
BPI Account Name: Ronna Rojas, Account Number: 4749-1641-02.
Also, message them through the Island Rescue Organization Official Facebook Page.