For all the time I have known Tom, he has always wanted to help people and families in a charitable way. He gives of his heart, soul and pocket and most of the time, what he gets back is hurt. He has been insulted when he gives and gives and then when he offers advice and assistance he ignored. He has also helped a family open a business and then they run it into the ground and he then is asked for more money.
Well, after I arrived in Las Vegas, Tom asked me if he could help my kids at Agdao market. He knew of the story from last Christmas when Elena and I gave a small Christmas party for about 25 kids. If you missed the story or the video and photo sideshow, click here to see the story.
He knew the new school year was about to start and the kids need school supplies. Even though these kids come from poor families they work at the market to earn a few pesos, to help cover their daily meals. Their family and their earnings can never cover school supply costs. A few of the kids have asked Elena if she could buy them their needed supplies.
After Tom contacted me, I had Elena call Tom and ask what he had in mind. He asked Elena to find out what the children needed for their basic supplies, the cost and how many kids can he help. The following Sunday morning Elena asked the girls that assist her what items and quantities are needed and how many children at the market can we help. Elena was told the items and that there are 25 kids in need. The next day Elena went to the mall and the wholesale Chinatown stores to get a quote of pricing. Elena then meet with Tom to tell him all the information. She also asked if they could also give each kid a backpack. As no surprise Tom agreed and as you read Tom’s story, he increased the supplies too.
During the week, Elena met with Tom and his caregiver/friend Cardawe and went to purchase the supplies. With Elena’s bargaining, they were able to get all the supplies for less cost then was estimated. Over the next few days, Elena divided the supplies and placed them in each backpack. Our nephew, Amar donated four cases of Magnolia fruit juice beverage for the kids too.
Sunday morning, Elena went for her shopping at the market and told the kids to meet her and Tom by the eatery at 10am. Amar meet Elena at the house to load all the filled backpacks into his truck and drove everyone to the market. Once there, when Tom saw all the kids, he told Elena that he wanted to buy them food to eat too, so Elena made arraignments with one of the cafes to prepare food for all 25 kids. Then after eating, they gave each child a backpack filled with all the supplies needed for their new school year.
I am sure Elena, Tom and the kids will remember that day for a long time.
Here is Tom’s story:
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce H. Linder had been helping the children working around Agdao Market for some time. Prior to Bruce returning to the States we had discussed my getting involved. We decided a good project would be helping the children with their school supplies. It is difficult for poor families to provide the supplies needed when school opens in June. They cannot expect much help from a government that cannot even provide desk/chairs for over 20,000 students in the Davao area alone. The supplies needed to start school were 8 spiral note books, 6 writing pads, pencil, blue pen, ruler and 16 count color set. We decided to give in addition an extra pencil and pen, pencil/pen holder and backpack. Elena, Cardawe Acmad and I went to China Town to purchase the supplies. Thanks to Elena’s bargaining skills we were able to save money and get first quality supplies. The supplies were put into the 25 backpacks and on Sunday May 30th we took the supplies to the children and treated them to lunch at the market. The children were delighted and anxiously waiting for us to arrive. Elena had gone the previous Sunday and made the arrangements for the children to meet us at around 10 in the morning.
I am just using some of the photos Tom took, but to see them all, please click here to see all the photos.