630 Ate Chessika and Ate Ram’s Ice Skating with CCT Visions of Hope
Written by Core Team Leader, Ate Chessika Chua
What makes you HAPPY?
The usual question that many of us couldn’t find the answer, still. But I am beyond grateful to have discovered the answer a year ago. Yes! A year ago when I’ve started to become a volunteer for the children.
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. Why would you want to spend your time doing things for someone else, when there are so many really good things you need to do for yourself and people you care about? When you have to work forty hours a week, or more, just to make your end meet your other end? Why on earth would you want to do more work? I remember someone asked me, “Hindi ka ba napapagod sa ginagawa mo? Hindi ka naman binabayaran, nauubos pa oras mo.” (Don’t you get tired of volunteering? You don’t even get paid and your time is just wasted).
Because volunteering has a very special power that many people don’t realize until they actively start volunteering. That power may best be described as “happiness”. As a volunteer, I find that the events we execute do not make me tired. In fact, these activities motivate me to do everything else in my life, in a very happy way.
Volunteer work is love. It allows me to love the people I’m working with and for. I think that many of us do not love enough and are not loved enough in return. We may begin to feel we’re not that important or that we just aren’t contributing in our lives. I believe that volunteering lets us give the love we have, get love in return, and know we matter.
Since the day that I have attended my first volunteer event, I’ve always set a “giving-back day”, usually on Saturdays. I do this not because “I have to” but because “I want to.” Volunteering makes my heart happy. And I’m sure it will make your heart happy too!
When I celebrated my birthday last March, U! Happy Events helped me to organize an Acting Workshop with the kids of Bahay Maria. But, it doesn’t stop there! Now that I’m celebrating my 1st year anniversary as a volunteer, I thought of having another event for the kids! Birthdays celebrate life. Therefore, volunteerism should also be celebrated because it gives meaning to life.
I’ve always wished to become a Figure Skater and though I wasn’t able to pursue that dream, I wanted the kids to experience the dream of being an Ice Princess as well! A dream that turned into a reality last November 8, 2015 with the children from Center for Community Transformation (CCT).
At first, I was concerned that some of the kids were slipping and falling inside the rink. But I was amazed when they became very independent after some time. Whenever we (with fellow volunteers) tried to hold the kids’ hands, they will just say “Ate, okay na po. Marunong na ako, kaya ko na po!” (Ate, no need to guide me. I’m an Ice Princess, I can do it already!) Made me even happier that for each time I asked the kids “Are you happy?”, it felt like I don’t even need their answers anymore—the smiles, laughter, and fun say it all.
After the Ice Skating fun, we had a quick but a hearty meal for everyone’s lunch! The “Little Figure Skaters” also received school supplies and toys to keep their dreams in school and back home. I asked one of the children’s guardians, “Ate, nag-enjoy naman sila?” (Ate, did the kids had fun?) She answered, “Yes! The kids were too excited that they woke up at 12midnight and waited ‘til morning already! They were up all night!” Hearing those words made my heart smile and my soul, the happiest.
The Ice Skating event finished with big hugs from these children! My happy ears received a lot of “Thank you’s” too! To be honest, I’ve never imagined how a simple “Thank you” can actually make me feel fulfilled, happy, grateful, all at the same time. It’s probably the best “Thank you!” in my life!
Taking this chance to thank U! Happy Events and Kuya Harvard for organizing this event with me and for creating other activities to make the children happy, to the Core Team for dedicating their time and hearts for this activity, to other volunteers for having the will to serve (keep it up! Yess!), and thank you CCT for loving us in return!
Also, this event has been made possible through the help of my dear friend Ate Ram. She lives abroad but her helping hands know no distance. She kept on checking, “How was the event?” “Is everything okay?” “Everybody’s happy?” I will forever be thankful to have friends like her! Ate Ram is a proof that anyone can find a way to help whatever the circumstances are. Anyone can be a blessing to others!
Just imagine the collective impact we could have in creating a better world if each of us volunteered a little more often. Not only can our efforts help to make our community a better place for all, but volunteering can lead to a happier and more fulfilled life for us too! That’s the power of volunteering; it doesn’t just help those in need.
So, “What makes me happy?”
Love, the power of giving, life and not just living —everything I get from volunteerism. Being a volunteer makes me happy.
“When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Happiness that started a year ago, and will surely last forever. It is forever with U! Happy Events, indeed.