Christmas Thanksgiving

Christmas is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate it than with a Christmas Gift Giving Program! 

Christmas is not just celebrating the birth of Christ, but also living the life like He did; giving and sharing blessings to our fellow men and women. And on our third year of giving back, we head off to Barangay Salaysay, Marilog, Davao City.

When Wheeling Love first started this project, our initial target group was one class of graduating elementary school students. Over time the number has grown in leaps and bounds, and we’re thankful that our donors have grown in number as well.

As with any project, this took a lot of preparation in terms of logistics and donations. We had to specify which groups we wanted to reach out to, and how many they are so we can prepare and allocate the donations.

After all the details have been collated, we could now move on to collecting and sourcing donations from family and friends. We had some problems as we still have not reached our target going on to the final two weeks of the activity; but God really showers His blessings when we need it, donors came in at the last minute and saved the day.

When we had dealt with the major problems, the project went into full swing. Goods were purchased and packed for individual distribution, teaching materials for the teachers and students were segregated and sacks of toys and tsinelas were sorted according to size.

We had scheduled the activity for December 7 and with a few days left to go, some minor hiccups surfaced that we had to deal with efficiently. Our initial plan was to take off from Davao City at around [0500 hours], but we had to delay our departure to help finish packing and loading the lunch packs onto the truck.

Once that was done, our group of 17 people including 4 teens pushed on for the 55km trip to Barangay Salaysay, Marilog District, Davao City. Halfway there we had to stop by Calinan to buy trapal as it started to rain, we did not want our stuff getting we before we could give them. Thankfully, the rain stopped a few minutes later and finally at around [1000 hours] we arrived at our destination. No sooner than having unloaded all that we bought that the rain started to pour, we counted ourselves lucky that we made it just in time.

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We got to the gym a little late and the community was already waiting for us to arrive so we started to prepare for an orderly distribution of the slippers, toys and food. While this was going on we were regaled by song numbers from some kids, and the adults from the community were positioning the kids in lines so the activity would be orderly. It’s a good thing that these 450+ kids have the patience to wait in line, imagine the chaos if these kids were not well behaved.

So we started with a prayer of thanksgiving, and then the line started to move. Each kid received a brand new pair of slippers, a stuffed toy, a pack of candies, and a lunch pack; a few of the bigger kids received some books as well.

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Going there we were sure that we could accommodate all the kids with the amount we prepared plus the buffer for extras, however we did not expect the turnout to be THAT large. We ran short on some stuff, but we made some quick adjustments just so we could accommodate them all.

We could all see the kids happily eating, sharing food with their parents, and playing with their toys. It was all worth it in the end, seeing their happy faces, giving their shy thanks, even as they had some trouble holding all the stuff in their hands.

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And finally at around [1300 hours], when we gave out all that we had to give, we boarded the truck once again to go back to the city and had lunch along the way.

This by far was the largest and hardest outreach we had ever done, and in some way has taught us more lessons for the future.

We would like to thank all our donors and sponsors who graciously donated to what they felt was a worthy endeavor, we hope that this generosity does not end here but extend to others in the future as well. THANK YOU!

 

Click here to see the rest of the pictures.

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About franciscolme

I've had fantasies of touring all the 7,107 islands (well, I guess not ALL of them) of the Philippines on a bike ever since I was introduced to riding folding bikes over a year ago; it sure has opened up a whole new world, or rather, a new perspective in seeing the places I used to frequent. Touring on a bicycle has shown me sights I rarely see when riding in any other means of transportation. It allows me to take time and absorb the sights and sounds each place has to offer.

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