Well, Christmas has come and gone for yet another year. Once again this year, Live in the Philippines Web Magazine readers contributed to make Christmas a little happier for some poor people in the Philippines. Let me say, I am very grateful to those who contributed, and thank them very sincerely.
Unfortunately, this year was not a very big year for contributions. In fact, the amount of money contributed was less than 10% of any other year that we have done the drive. So, the Christmas Giveaway was scaled back a fairly significant amount. Of course, the amount that others donate is not the entire giveaway, as we also give from our own pockets as well, but still, there is no way that we could make up personally for the 90% shortfall in donations from readers. I understand, for many times are still tough, and it is not easy for a number of people to donate to a cause like this. Also, I know that a lot of LiP readers who live in the Philippines are doing something similar to our LiP Drive now on their own, and thus their resources are focused on their own giveaway. I have no quarrels about that.
Still, the giveaway went forward. We took a little different focus this year, in fact it was kind of a blast from the past.
Before I tell you about that blast from the past, let me first tell you that this year, Minda Claus (me) was missing from the giveaway! Unfortunately, I woke up on the morning of December 24 and I could barely even walk! I had really severe back pain, and that kept me down for the day. But, no worries, Mrs. Claus and the team of elves (Feyma and a crew of our kids and nieces) took up the slack! I really missed the personal satisfaction of giving to those in need, but it was comforting to know that the others in the house were able to take the ropes and guide my Reindeer along the path that took them to helping the needy. I am feeling a bit better now, but still having some back spasms. I am sure that a few more days rest will put me back in comfort!
Blast from the past?
The first year that we did our own family Giveaway for Christmas, we went to McDonalds and purchased a load of burgers and went around Davao giving them away to homeless children, and a few poor adults too. In subsequent years, though, we have gone to different locations outside of Davao, mostly (but not exclusively) in Bukidnon. This year, we decided to again purchase a pile of hamburgers and take them around Davao City and give them to those in need. Again, we mostly focused on children, but some adults were given burgers as well.
We bought 400 burgers from a place called “Minute Burger.” Minute Burger was also having a special where you got an extra burger for free with every burger that you purchased, so you can imagine, we had a lot of burgers to give away to those in need.
In recent years here in Davao, Mayor Duterte has had a program where he invites Lumads (native people) who live up in the mountains to come and celebrate the Christmas season in Davao City. Unfortunately, that mostly means that these people are begging around the city for a couple of months before Christmas. It can get quite tiresome to be approached for money so often. There are literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of these beggars. But, it cannot be denied that these people are badly in need of food and money, so no reason to not help them as best we can.
Feyma, our kids and nieces went out with huge boxes of burgers and distributed them mostly to these lumad people who are visiting Davao City, and badly in need of food. Based on reports shared with me by Feyma and the kids, I can assure you that these burgers were greatly appreciated, and brightened up the holiday for those who received the gifts.
I hope that next year we can do more to assist. It all depends on the generosity of readers, though. Maybe I should start a little earlier in asking for participation in the drive, I am not sure. I don’t like to stretch it out too long, but we will see. Hopefully the worldwide economy will be better by next year and will allow more readers to kick in even just a small amount!
Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas to everybody! To those who contributed to this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I know that those with a little more food in their bellies is also very grateful to you!