Here's the most-awaited MAY Birthday Project 2012 story..
The merry month of May
by Maria Kathrina Lopez Yarza
May 28, 2012
The month of May is almost over, but the memorable experiences of this month has given me more reason to believe that my life is worth living, and I owe it to the success of my May Birthday Project each year.
Last May 12, I arrived at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) at past 2 p.m. The volunteers were already there, all prepared. In our previous gift-giving events, we were only a little less than 40 people. But this year, everything felt surreal. We were not sure anymore how many volunteers came and who was who. All I knew was that more than 100 people showed up!
When we started this event in 2007, we were only less than 28 people consisting of my close friends and family who distributed all the items that I solicited from friends. Each year thereafter, it becomes bigger and bigger – more donors, sponsors and volunteers. All these have materialized with the one reason why we have continuously pursued this project: to share my blessings with strangers.
Volunteers or donors are not necessarily people that I know, but in one way or another, got involved because they learned about it. Together, we have shared our time, effort, and resrouces to give the sick and the needy the hope to live.
Before we started, Tita Angie, our “human megaphone,’’ led all the volunteers praying for the success of the event, for the patients and for strength. I also gave some words of encouragement, that while there’s life, there is definitely hope. We also interacted with all the patients – learning their stories, giving them words of encouragement, and prayers.
Before the event, a few people told me of their interest to join the event, but they were hesitant because they were coming alone. I encouraged them to come because our purpose for joining the event are all the same. Indeed, many friendships bloomed because of the event. No one went home without gaining a newfound friend.
We’re not doing the gift-giving because we have a lot of money – we don’t; but I am rich in blessings that I call friends. We were not there to shake our hands with them, but to reach out and lend a hand.
With the help of all the sponsors and donors, we were able to do more than the usual. Aside from our usual food, juice, toiletries, loot bags, and toys, we were able to hand them books, candies, puto with cheese, mamon, cookies, shirts, coloring books with crayons, balloons, chocolates, and personalized eco bags were used instead of what used to be plastic bags.
There were a lot of smiling patients that day because Cebuana-Lhuillier Insurance Solution, together with PJ Lhuillier Inc., brought the Happiest Campaign with us. Even though my friend Jen Arellano is miles away working in the deserts of Doha, Qatar, she did a fundraising campaign in order that the cheerful givers of Doha can take part in the event. One other angel in the desert, Abhie, joined us while here on vacation. Others who helped were Goldilocks Bakeshop, Isshin Dream Publishing, Cavite Mayors’ League headed by Hon. Strike Revilla, Office of the City of Mandaluyong, Mayor Benhur Abalos, Club Mwah, Pavzel Homemade Cakes and Pastries, Timmy’s Oven, and Touch of Ellahcar, iAcademy.
To everyone who took part in this very successful event, thank you so much. Because of you, we were also able to extend our hands and hearts to the natives of Sierra Madre and the PWD Ministry of our parish, St. Dominic Savio.
It was my mom’s birthday yesterday. Happy birthday, Ma! All these wouldn’t be possible without you. I love you so much!
A day before the event, we visited Baby Yvan Calimlim at Pasay City General Hospital (PCGH) and gave him bags full of toiletries, his necessities, and toys. Baby Yvan is a month old who was born prematurely and is suffering from neo-natal pneumonia r/o Sepsis and Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He is the third child of George and Heart Calimlim and they really need your help. Please contact 09151960985 / 09333296118, or visit facebook.com/helpforbabyyvancalimlim
During the event, while in the Pedia ICU (PICU), one of the volunteers, Jho, was approached by the grandmother of Baby Emmanuel Zagala, a four-month old child who was diagnosed to have Anterior Mediastinal Mass, Teratoma Immature. He needs to undergo chemotherapy ASAP. If you wish to extend your help to Baby Emmanuel, you may get in touch with his grandmother, Mrs. Angelina Marciano at 0932-4706825. He is currently admitted at PGH, PICU – bed # 6.
I would like to congratulate our newlywed friends, Mr. & Mrs. John Marconi, and Fauziah Marie Margarico-Sanchez. Wishing you the all best of life today and in the days to come!