During Pope Francis’ visit in the country, he said, "You know how to give but you have not yet learned how to receive. Become a beggar. To learn how to receive with humility, to learn how to be evangelized by the poor. Do you know that you too are poor?"
My mom and I were blessed to be one of the PWD delegates who were there, just below the stage, a few feet away from him.
My mom relayed to me what Pope Francis said about giving and receiving and I silently said, “Thank you Lord” because I believe that I know how to do both.
(click to enlarge)
Once again I’m going to be celebrating my birthday next month and since 2007, I vowed that as long as I’m having a birthday, there’ll be MAY Birthday Project and it’s going to be our 9th this year.
I had radiotherapy that treated the tumors on both side of my optical wall and if left untreated, it can cause me blindness someday. My mom was hospitalized due to Pneumonia and her Lupus, she became so weak that time. Everyone in our home (my mom, dad, brother, sister and me) were all barking with cough and flu at one point, I even had a fever. I need to have a brain tumor treated with radiation soon coz it’s compressing a brainstem and it’s affecting my balance; I want to practice walking again but with that untreated big bad brain tumor, I can’t. But still, I feel so blessed!
I’m rich not with material things but with people in my life. This is the main purpose of this project: I want to share my blessings who I call family and friends. For 8 years, we have successfully reached out using our hands and hearts while giving joy and hope to the patients of a couple of charity wards at Philippine General Hospital (PGH). But since my mom and I can’t be exposed to hospital environment right now, we won’t be doing it at PGH this time. Intead were doing it at Laura Vicuña Foundation with a couple of street kids. This foundation is run by Daughters of Mary Help of Christian (FMA). Yes, the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco who taught me about God and life with Him during my eleven years at Don Bosco School – Manila.
From their website:
The Laura Vicuña Foundation, Inc. which was organized in 1990 is a noble partnership between the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (more popularly known as the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco) and some distinguished lay professionals/collaborators to address the needs and problems of streetchildren. The Foundation aims to ensure continuity and convergence of educational and development interventions to empower children to become honest, productive and self-reliant Christian citizens. It has evolved an integrated development program called the JOURNEY OF HOPE.
Actually, I saw an image of Blessed Laura Vicuña in 2006. Maybe it’s true, maybe I was just imagining it, but whatever that is, it reminded me of her words, “Suffer silently, smile always” coz that was the time I when I kept on complaining, before my anxiety attack and I needed those words that time.
Anyway, what’s a birthday without a birthday wishlist, so here it goes:
• Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, powder, etc.)
• Canned goods or something like that like noodles, etc.
• Candies & Treats (candies, chocolates, cupcakes, cookies, etc.)
• School supplies (the kids are all in elementary)
• Toys & Stuffed Toys
• Cash (for the foods, to make the event more fun & extra special)
We’re planning to hold a party and activities for the kids to put an endless smile on their face & hearts. Let’s make a fun & successful event not only for the kids, but also for us!
So please give me a gift on my birthday. Please contact me at 0915-1325228 (mobile & viber) / 0923-5219600 or my mom, Madge Yarza at 0927-2459400.
We can only do meet-ups in Kalentong or Hypermarket in Shaw Blvd. I can also ask my sister to meet you at MRT Shaw station at around 4pm, after her work. You can also bring it here in our home or have it shipped (We don’t really have a partner courier though). For cash donations, you can send it at BPI, Paypal or through any money transfers.
Savings Account # 1899 394 7 51
Name: Maria Kathrina L. Yarza
Deadline of sending your gifts / donation is on my birthday, May 13 since we’ll have to repack the collected items.
I’m not sure yet how many kids there’ll be, all I know is they won’t reach 150. But every year whenever we have excess loots, we donate it somewhere else coz there’s always someone who needs our help.
Wanna join us on the event? Sure you can! It’s going to be on May 16 – Saturday, 2pm at Don Bosco School in Sta. Mesa, Manila. More details soon. :) For now, please help us in making my birthday wish come true.
|"We're not rich naman, so we won't be able to fund the whole thing without everyone's help.. salamat! Super happy talaga ako when I saw them na tuwang-tuwa pati na yung mga bantay nila.. Hehe. Para akong candidate sa election while i was roaming around.. wala nga lng shake hands, we're reaching out.. Kahit na I'm not a politician, celebrity or someone famous/influential to do that kind of stuff.. Go pa rin! Baket ba? gusto ko lng.." — Kcat, MBP 2007|
|"Ang saya kasi eh! I always say, I may not be able to smile, but I'm happy.. Super happy! Even though my vision is kinda blurry and it's difficult to see from afar, I can still recognize the smile on their faces and it really really brings so much joy whenever I see it. Every ward was filled with smiling faces, both the giver and the receiver.. Ang saya! Promise." — Kcat, MBP 2008|
|"I kept fighting and living, and I'm a lot better now.. Yes I'm still sick, but I'm feeling great! Being sick doesn't mean you have to become, look, and feel sick. Ayun, I hope I gave them HOPE (ang redundant) to keep fighting & living.. Kasi nga LIFE is BEAUTIFUL...no matter what!" — Kcat, MBP 2009|
|"All in all, it is a tiring yet a fun-filled day. I may not be able to hear the people who wished me a “happy birthday” and said their “thank you” while going around, but I was able to see and feel how happy they were." — Kcat, MBP 2011|
|"The event was so tiring especially because of the very hot weather. It was really exhausting, but with all the smiles and happiness that had been passed around, I must say that it was all worth it!" — Kcat, MBP 2013|
|Family, friends, friends of friend, friends of friends of friends and so on — all of these people are called blessings; blessings that we share on MAY Birthday Project." — Kcat, MBP 2014|
Kcat Yarza's May Birthday Project 2014 from Jbphoto on Vimeo.
You can also read my previous articles about MAY Birthday Project
No reason not to be joyful (2011-04-25)
Blessings shared (2011-06-06)
Still glad to be 'Sick' (2012-03-19)
The merry month of May (2012-05-28)
Have the heart to care and share (2013-03-18)
A birthday like no other (2013-05-27)
Choose Happiness (2014-03-17)
The best birthday treat (2014-05-26)