Way back when I was in college, I had joined a school organization called MITSCA. I was a bit of a loner even then. The girl who prefered to sit alone in class, in the library and even during break time. I did find some acquaintances who also happened to be loners but since social media was unheard of them, we only got together during classes.
When I have joined MITSCA or Mapua Institute of Technology Student Catholic Action I began to meet other people and learned from their colorful stories. However the organization was not just a simple hang out where you get to share stories and tips how to survive in the institute. It was a place where your skills were harnessed such as your organization and leadership skills including how you balance your responsibilities as a MITSCAN and as a Mapuan at the same time.
From handling weekly activities such as scheduling Masses, looking for priests who will celebrate it for free, organizing a choir and practicing songs that are easy to follow to organizing meetings for the monthly activities and choosing the best people to lead them including inviting applicants to join our community were tasks better said than done. It was a time where I found a safe place in the institute, where I shared my time and talents and where I experienced the spirit of camaraderie and volunteerism. At that time, I still did not understood the meaning behind the need to volunteer because I was more worried on the money that I need to spend by joining and since money had been scarce then, I only joined a couple of volunteer activities. One was in Manila City Jail for Juvenile and Street Children and the other one in Sapang Palay where we shared our day with the kids, joining them in their lunch, parlor games and ending our day with gift giving.
Nowadays, with the power of social media, I thought volunteerism was already dead. If it is still alive, the only ones who got involved with it were people who have a lot of time and money to share and sadly those who want to take advantage of a coming election.
I was wrong.
In fact, my eldest daughter Samantha, who has six siblings to lead, not to mention three have special needs, volunteered for a ten day Summer Camp in Isabela years ago, catering for abandoned and special children where Red was lucky enough to join due to the kindness of sponsors. At first I was hesitant especially when the meetings became demanding until I realized I was just like my daughter at one point in my life.
Volunteerism is still very much alive.
What more, there is now a venue where you can choose from different organizations depending on what causes you are most interested to join. In fact, it just had a two day expo called GO! VOLUNTEER at the Glorietta Activity Center where my kids and I happened to drop by.
While we were touring the expo, my kids and I passed by the big Word Search and it both caught our fancy. My Education Major daughter Selena was able to find the remaining 9 words on the Word Search in no time. It was only then that I have learned that she made her own Word Search in three hours when she was required to handle public school children in one of her subjects. She even pointed out the hidden words which were not really hidden if you're a Word Search addict like me and my kids.
|Word Search Wizard from Hogwarts|
Even if we did not stay long at the expo, we had a great time. In fact, I have a strong feeling that another daughter might volunteer again by sharing her gift for story telling?
|She was able to find the hidden words as well|
For those who always had the heart for sharing their time and their talents especially to our less fortunate brothers, you can visit iVolunteer Philippines facebook page or you can drop by online at their website at ivolunteer.com.ph for updates as well as the different opportunities where you can volunteer.
You may never know that one random act of kindness may inspire others and ultimately change lives, one day at a time.