Use your special day in a special way by raising funds for those in need
The trials and tribulations of the year have shed light on many things we take for granted. While a party for a birthday or an anniversary may be canceled, we realize now more than ever how much we have to celebrate: our health, our privileges, and more. There are no more dinners or gatherings. Instead, we have group video calls where we get to appreciate the present, here and now, of love and friendship. With this new outlook on life, gift-giving has also taken on a different form.
International children’s rights organization Save the Children enjoins everyone to use moments of celebration to give hope to the vulnerable, marginalized, and deprived Filipino children during the pandemic. Its newly launched Heroes from Home campaign allows supporters to start their own online fundraisers through SimplyGiving.com. In lieu of traditional presents, family and friends are encouraged to help raise funds for Save the Children’s Covid-19 response.
A birthday spent in quarantine is not ideal. And nobody could fault a person for wanting more on their special day. But as Isabel Iglesias looks back on her life, she realizes there is so much she has to be thankful for, and so much she can do to pay it forward to others.
She set up a fundraiser through Save the Children’s Heroes from Home campaign. The goal is to raise at least ₱26,000 to symbolically mark her 26th birthday.
“I’ve always wanted to do this and I felt like this is the right time,” writes Isabel on her online fundraiser page. “The past few months have made us feel like the world has stopped or gone mad. I wish that we don’t forget to be kind to one another.”
Isabel was able to reach 85 percent of her target goal. Friends and family came together online to celebrate her special day in her special way.
“I miss you,” writes one friend in the comments. Undoubtedly separated from Isabel due to the travel restrictions, she donates to her friend’s cause. “Blessed to have kind-hearted friends like you. Really touched and inspired to see how you’re choosing to celebrate your birthday this year.
The over ₱22,000 already raised through Isabel’s fundraiser will help provide hygiene kits for children and their families. It will also allow Save the Children to purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs) for community health workers and hot meals for medical staff.
Now more than even
Save the Children Philippines has provided life-saving support to 11,000 children and their families, including frontliners, by distributing PPEs, food items, hygiene kits, and information, education and communication (IEC) materials in Caloocan, Navotas, Malabon, Cavite, Batangas, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and areas where they are needed the most.
“Filipino children have been suffering from extreme hunger and undernutrition,” says lawyer Alberto Muyot, chief executive officer of Save the Children Philippines, particularly as the health crisis continues to threaten the lives of million globally. “[Meanwhile] a significant number of learners may not be able to return to school or take part in online classes as their parents or guardians face a loss of income and livelihood.”
Reacting to the educational needs of Filipino children as a result of the health crisis, the organization has also been implementing Project ARAL, which stands for Access to Resources for Alternative Learning. This helps children from low-income families, those with disabilities, and those who face risks of being left out in school, by providing innovative learning modalities. Save the Children Philippines has worked hard to ensure that this complements the basic education learning and continuity plan of the Department of Education (DepEd).
The Heroes from Home campaign provides every Filipino with an opportunity to give back in a way that fits our current situation. Actress and Save the Children Philippines ambassador Ria Atayde recognizes that the pandemic has affected everybody differently, and while some are “stuck” in the comforts of their home, many out there need love and support
“I signed up to be a Hero from Home because the children need our support now more than ever as they continue to face challenges in these trying times,” says Ria. “I really hope that everyone can rise to the challenge and be a Hero from Home.”