Seeing people spend their birthday with less fortunate really keeps me amazed. It always turns out to be a picture of love, hope, and aspiration. I do admire those people spending their birthday or success to less fortunate individual because they keep on reminding me that I am not alone, that there are still people wanting to help others, that change is still present in everyone's hearts, and that love for fellowmen still exists.
Lhai De Leon, a friend and a fellow member of U! Happy Events Core Team, celebrated her birthday last Saturday (October 6, 2012). I wasn't able to attend nor witness her birthday celebration as part of her volunteer rally because I needed to attend our second to the last day of class in Plan 201 and I needed to perform our final exam with my group mates. I just heard Lhai's story regarding her birthday on the following day (October 7, 2012) right after the dance workshop of kids from different institutions, who'll be competing for U! Happy Events' Kids Got Talent.
Hearing Lhai's testimony touched me and made me decide to share a piece of my space here in this blog in order for her to reach and inspire more people. I hope that this simple act would serve as an extension of Lhai's message of inspiration to everyone.
Below is Lhai's unedited message and testimony.
"Papel and Panulat (Paper and Pen)” was a success. My heartfelt gratitude to all (you all know who you are) who supported and donated school items/goodies for the kids of Smokey Mountain. These are perfect gifts as they continue to learn writing, reading and value education.
Thank you to all the guests who attended and spent their morning as Ate and Kuya of these kids. You were all game in the activities we prepared and it was really heartwarming to see all of you having fun and reaching out to these kids. It was fun to see you dance and play games with the kids too. Some kids who attended were their first time to see a magic show and I’m glad you were sitting beside them on that very moment. Thank you U! Happy Events, my fellow leaders for helping me make this event possible. Thank you Metro Ministries for bringing these lovely kids to us. My birthday has been extra special this year, I thank you all.
Below is my short sharing during the event:
About a month ago I was asked why I volunteer? I’d always tell Harv that I don’t have an answer yet. I don’t have an answer to the question “Why.” “Why I volunteer?” 1 year and 5 days ago, (October 1, 2011) I was asked by one of the sponsors of U! Happy Events why I joined the Relief Action for Ulingan Community. Ulingan is the Smokey Mountain. I answered him with “my purpose of being there with them” and I know that my purpose then was to have an outlet. Outlet for the loss of my brother. My Kuya Ian. I needed an outlet to keep myself busy and to forget the pain. It has always been the answer I would tell my friends.
And then I realized that it was a selfish answer. That my purpose revolves around myself alone. I told myself that I’ll continue joining their events and let the experience educate me; help me understand why I am there helping and reaching out.
I have volunteered with U! for a year now. I have volunteered with Red Cross during typhoons. I have joined Shell’s activities with Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity. I even jumped from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat of an FX just push the breaks and avoid colliding to another car. And so on and so forth. A modern day hero? No. All these experiences had finally made realized the “Why.” “Why I volunteer?” I volunteer because we are one big human family and we need each other. I play a small part in the community, but I feel blessed to be able to play that part and help kids realize as early as now the value of generosity. To help those in need especially the less fortunate kids and to see that “hope” in their eyes is a gift beyond words."
I really hope that this event made you see that “HOPE” in their eyes. And I hope that you’ll try in your simple acts of kindness to keep that hope sparkle. You are all an angel and God’s blessings to these kids.”