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Christmas is Approaching

Last Christmas, Elena and I held our first Christmas party for the kids at Agdao Public Market. We are looking to do it again this year but bigger and better. These kids, from 8 to 12 years old, work at the market every weekend trying to earn some money to buy their lunches during the week when at school.

Last year we did this from our own pocket. We bought a shirt, candy and a little toy for 25 kids. First, we bought them a lunch of Pancit, bread and cokes at the Eatery area next to the market. The kids prayed before the meal and after eating, they sang Christmas carols for us. Then we gave out a gift bag to each child. You can read more about the party and see a slide show and a video of last year’s party here. (click here to go to the article)

This year we will keep the amount of kids to 25 but want to do more. First, we will hold it at Jollibee’s across from the market. At Jollibee’s we can have the upstairs area for the party. In addition, this will be a treat for the kids since they probably have never eaten at Jollibee’s due to the poverty level their families live.  For those who do not know what Jollibee is, it is like a McDonalds but is cheaper.

Christmas for these kids is a day for family but not much else. Their families are so poor they never have money for gifts or a better Christmas meal. It is a joyous day in a religious aspect but a sad day since they see others having a Christmas dinner and gifts shared.

What we would like to do this year, with the help of our readers and friends, is to give each child, besides the shirt, candy and toy, is to give them some money. With this money, we will tell the kids to buy some lechon (traditional roast pig) and other treats to bring Christmas home to their families.

I will try to get donations from the taxi drivers I have gotten to know here. Many are Filipino and know about the poverty in their country. Elena is talking to her friends in Davao and I am asking my readers to help.

The conversion from US dollar to peso is in the area of 43 peso to the dollar. We would like to give each child 500 to 1,000 pesos to have a wonderful and joyous Christmas for their families. 500 pesos is only $12 US.  $12 is such a small amount to most of us, but 1,000 Pesos would give each child the ability to bring home some Lechon, fruits and some small gifts for their families.

Let us show these children We Care. They go to school all week and then are at the market all day on weekends just to earn some money just to eat lunch at school. They are not beggars or thieves. They are wonderful and loving kids that never experience the type of childhood we experienced.

Elena could also use some assistance with the party. I know there are many of our friends in Davao who read this site. It is a lot of work shopping and setting up the gift bags. Elena will need help at the party to keep things under control. Unfortunately, I will not be there to help and enjoy the love from these kids.

Again, I ask, please open your hearts and wallets and help us give these kids a wonderful Christmas. For our friends in Davao, we would like someone that can keep the tradition going after Elena moves here to the US. I hope we can get a few who will continue this loving and caring gesture.

Use the PayPal donate button. All proceeds go to the kids.

12 Responses to “Christmas is Approaching”

  1. Marcel says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I applaud your dedication to this cause. Every time I am in Philippines, I feel so overwhelmed by number of people that need help.
    If you want each child to bring home some lechon, instead of giving them cash, why don’t buy lechon from one supplier in bulk so you get a better deal and each child will have assured X-mass meal to remember.
    I am very weary giving out cash as there is no guaranty that it will be used for intended purpose.

    • Bruce says:

      Marcel,

      I understand your feelings, but to do that, it would need more logistics and Elena or someone out on that day giving out the parcels. I think these kids are good and will use it for what it is intended.

  2. Joe says:

    Bruce, I hope you and Elena are doing good. Myself and Lily are good. She went for her visa interview. She has to get her cfo certificate and she will be good to exit the philippines and come here. I will be traveling back to Davao in January, hopefully. I sent you 25.00 to help the kids. I hope they will all have a Merry Christmas.

    God Bless
    Joe

    • Bruce says:

      Joe,

      Thank you for the donation. I am sure the kids and their families will enjoy Christmas. I hope someday the 4 of us can get together.

  3. Hazel says:

    Hi, first time reader of your blog and I had to comment on this article and tell you how wonderful I think your Christmas party is. I do something similar for my birthdays, infants until 12 is my limit, but there’s no limit to the guests so it can get out of hand. Haha! I think Marcel proves a good point though, converting cash to lechon is a great idea.

    • Bruce says:

      Hazel,
      Thank you for visiting my site. I hope you will go back and enjoy some of the other articles in the archives. I spoke to Elena and she agrees with Marcel’s idea. She will visit the market and set up the cost and distribution. The more we receive the more food they will get. We are thinking of fruit and maybe a BBQ chicken.

  4. Hazel says:

    Hey Bruce,

    Yeah, I’ve been going through some of your other articles and am really enjoying your blog, a lot of it hits home quite a bit. Best of luck to you in your endeavors and getting Elena there with you. I’ll be praying for both of you.

  5. Evelyn says:

    hi,bruce, i did not forget my promise to give a little help for the xmas party for the kids..
    please inbox(in my fb) your address so i could send some money..
    i was thinking of giving elena for the dessert but since you’re thinking of giving them this lechon thing ,i’d be willing to send the money instead of the cake…what do u think?

  6. Fia says:

    I’m glad I came across this site. 🙂 I’m a Law student in Davao and if there’s anything I can help you with, let me know. =) I myself have grown an attachment to the children in Jacinto gates where they’d immediately help me park upon seeing my car. 🙂

  7. Brad says:

    Is that it then? All that time building faithful readers then quit writing? Sad really. well, good luck Bruce. I always enjoyed reading your articles and I hope Vegas is treating you well.

    • Bruce says:

      Brad,

      I am sorry. I have not given up, but working 60 to 84 hours a week does not leave much time for writing. Not like when I was in Davao and I had all the time in the world.

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