Nothing Stronger Than The Heart of a Volunteer

HSBC Philippines
Heart of a volunteer
Nowhere To Go But UP’s Renan Dalisay brought the UP community’s help to evacuees displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption on January 12, 2020. Photo from Renan Dalisay Facebook post.

“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”

Relief drives are not a lasting solution for evacuees during disasters. Only institutionalized government response in partnership with the private sector can address the long-term effects of being displaced.

However, relief drives can help alleviate the pain of a family, especially of a child. It brings joy and a smile on the faces of the victims not just because they are getting something but also because it comforts them that their kababayan are ready to help them in times like this.

For some reason, a bigger part of me for the past months has been telling me to just mind my own business as I feel politics had been so divisive. Sports is more unifying kaya dito ako madalas nag-uubos ng energy. Besides, I often convince myself I’ve done my part in nation-building already. Kulang na kulang pa pala.

UP volunteer gives out relief goods to evacuees. Photo from Renan Dalisay FB post.

But these past days, my faith in the Filipino People has been renewed. UP Varsity Athletes including our Men’s Basketball Team asked me a day after Taal erupted how they can help. Sila madalas ang mga nagbuhat ng mga kahon-kahon ng goods.

A member of the UP women’s baseball team helped out for 3 days and joined us in bringing the goods yesterday. She said that’s the least she could do to give back as her own family was also affected and is now in an evacuation site in Batangas.

Yvette Garcia, a Senate staff member, helped us run the operation center for 3 days and even had time to cook 500 nilagang saging and bolied eggs that we handed out yesterday.

UP volunteers giving provisions to evacuees. Photo from Renan Dalisay FB post.

My high school batch from UP Cebu High School and a businesswoman friend from General Santos sent money to buy more grocery items.

A day after Taal erupted, nagkaubusan ng N95 masks. Some unscrupulous traders were overpricing it. A couple named Marvel and Jasmine were giving it for free. When they saw the call, they volunteered for 3 days and were on hand yesterday to deliver the goods in the evacuation sites.

The mayor of the town offered lunch. Sabi ko wag na at wag na rin kami asikasuhin pa. An old acquaintance saw us there and insisted to host us for lunch kasi malapit lang bahay nya dun.

For those asking kung tuloy-tuloy pa ang drive, I got a message from the President of the university saying they want to meet with us from the Nowhere To Go But UP group to organize and sustain a bigger and more institutionalized Taal Relief Drive together with Dr. Mahar. Kaya wait na lang muna for further announcements.

 

There are more inspiring stories of people just wanting to help. Again, this past week, it has been reinforced in my heart and in my mind that there’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer. This week also reminded me of that lyrics in a song that goes like this:

“Maybe you and I can’t do great things
We may not change the world in one day
But we still can change some things today
In our small way.”

#SamaSamaTulongTulong #UPFight #NowheretogobutUP

Reposted from Facebook with permission of the author. GoodNewsPilipinas.com salutes the many volunteers who have exerted time, effort, resources, and more to help alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption of January 12, 2020. Celebrities and their fans, rival schools and church groups, overseas Filipinos and Pinoy-at-heart foreigners in the Philippines – are only some of the many people who have come together at this time of crisis. Taal Volcano remains at heightened Alert 4 and may erupt again at any moment.

PLEASE SEND help to Taal Volcano victims through your organizations, communities, government centers, and church charities.

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Renan Dalisay
Renan Dalisay is the chief strategist of the UP Fighting Maroons' rise from cellar dweller to championship contender at the UAAP. Renan continues to work for farmers' welfare even after he ended his short stint with government.