685 Ate Irish’s Christmas Tree with Hospicio de San Jose
Written by Core Team Leader, Kuya Jap Paragsa
With U! Happy, Christmas means more than spending quality time with family and friends, gifts, sumptuous meals and parties. This means more opportunities for us to spend quality time with our extended families, our beneficiaries, through the generous hearts of our sponsors and volunteers who want to give back especially this season.
This Christmas becomes extra special because our sponsors and volunteers to choose to spend their hard-earned money and more importantly their time with the kids. Ate Irish together with her friends spent the 20th of December with their chosen charity, Hospicio de San Jose. This institution is social welfare institution which supports orphaned and children with special needs.
The team prepared an art workshop for the kids and volunteers to work on and enjoy. Each kid created their very own Christmas tree using the materials provided and guidance of their Ates and Kuyas. Everyone was so engrossed in the activity which later on produced the most creative Christmas trees ever made by these children. Truly, this activity made one of Christmas’ symbols really meaningful because of the bond created between the kids and volunteers.
Apart from the art activity, we also played a couple of games which brought out the competitiveness of everyone, more so of the volunteers. They wanted to get those stars for their kids which would mean special prizes (story books) which the kids will truly enjoy.
Of course the celebration will not be complete without a simple “salu-salo” among the participants. Both the kids and volunteers shared a simple meal which was immediately followed by the gift giving activity. Ate Irish and her friends especially prepared gifts for the kids as a token and remembrance of the celebration they shared. The joy in the children’s eyes is just priceless; more than the gift itself, the feeling that someone cared to spend time and bond with them during this season makes Christmas all the more meaningful and blessed.
Activities like this prove that volunteerism remains to be in the hearts of people. It is heartwarming to know that there are still a lot of people who are willing to go out of their way to reach out and touch another soul. For as long as there are people who want to volunteer, U! Happy will continue to be a vehicle in affecting these children’s lives.