We Do Care: On Running and Volunteering

While other runners were in any of these races—Ironman 70.3 in Camarines Sur, the Botak Paatibayan Miler Race at UP in Quezon City, and the Levi’s Fun Run at the Fort. Me, on the other hand, was with Lost Command runners for the usual Sunday long run that started at 4:30AM for them and 15 minutes later for me.

There were only five of us but it was all right. Two fast runners, Mel and his friend, ran ahead while we were slowly following their lead. One can really learn a lot from them—from race strategy to endurance running. How lucky one can be, right?

Anyway, after running part of Ayala Avenue and the whole stretch along McKinley Road, the five of us did our individual warm up exercises before running the long stretch of Lawton Avenue.

It was along Heritage Park that an approaching runner suddenly shouted my name. I didn’t recognize him until he mentioned his handle name at takbo.ph site shout box. It was nice to see him personally. I met him virtually at SB where he sold his NB 1063 to a fellow runner. SB then was named SB 168 at that time for it was like a bazaar where online runners were competing to avail of the super sale offer of EO, his handle name. Crashburn was the lucky runner who bought the pair at a very good selling price.

Even from the start it didn’t feel right. Just one of those days when one is feeling so heavy. I didn’t know why. It was not a good performance but nevertheless my feet brought me as far as past St. Luke’s and at the back of S & R. I eventually stopped running as I got near Department of Energy area. I bid my four running buddies goodbye then. They went on with their long run. Wheeew! Admirable! I wish I had that stamina already.

While waiting for a cab near Market! Market!, I decided to have my breakfast at Jollibee in Evangelista Makati so that I could, at least, see the Feed and Give program given by takbo.ph runners. Some of them didn’t join any of the races. They volunteered instead to spend time with street children. It was their way of showing they, too, like the volunteers from CHILDHOPE Asia Philippines (CHAP), cared.

Queenie of takbo.ph and a Happy Feet runner coordinated with CHAP for this outreach activity with the children

I was just an observer. I watched each group performed different activities like the blow-the-tissue game, tower building using old newspaper, Pinoy Henyo guessing game, and the hula-hoop. The children showcased their talents in singing, dancing, rapping, and acting. It was a fun-filled day for the children and the volunteers!

L-R: Doc Marvin a.k.a. Nuttybunny, Master Mon, Glen, Running Diva, and Chris a.k.a. Infinity

While the activities were going on, I just couldn’t help but recall why the volunteers from CHAP and the children looked familiar. Voila! I did remember we had an outreach activity with out of street youth before. And they were the same persons whom we worked with seven months ago.

Happy Feet like Mon, Ipe, Doc Oknoy, Cecil, and yours truly volunteered to spend time with 30 street children, students of the CHAP Street Education Programme, by facilitating the group activity and giving them free meals. There were also other volunteers whom we met who brought with them goodies and conducted tai chi sessions for the children at the CCP grounds with Cecil of UNICEF as our coordinator with CHAP. Small world, wasn’t it?

Fast Facts

There are 1.02 billion undernourished people in the world today. That means one in nearly six people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life (World Hunger: 1 in 6).

Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Natural disasters, conflict, poverty, poor agricultural infrastructure and over-exploitation of the environment are among the key causes of hunger. Recently, financial and economic crises have pushed more people into hunger. (source: http://www.wfp.org/hunger)

In the Philippines, hunger has consistently been in double-digits for five years, since June 2004. The June 2009 survey also found that 39% of Filipino families (est. 7.2 million) consider themselves as Food-Poor, 33% put themselves on the Food-Borderline, and 28% consider themselves as Not Food-Poor. (source: 2Q Social Weather Stations Survey)

I knew what we did for the children was just a small one but it was indeed a good start. Hunger can lead impoverished children on the streets. This is where CHAP comes in. It acts as a facilitator among different organizations like that of takbo.ph and Happy Feet and work with them in defending the rights of the street children. One of these rights is the right to life, survival, and development.

CHAP is an international, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization whose principal purpose is to advocate for the cause of street children throughout the world. It works toward the liberation of the child from the suffering caused by working and living on the street. (source: WikiPilipinas)

It believes the world community-local, state, and national-if challenged, can and will answer out a sense of justice and compassion with a resounding “We do care.” takbo.ph volunteers made a difference in the lives of these children even for just a single day

(Photos Courtesy of Japorms25, Pinaydiver75, BryanR, Nuttybunny, and Argonaut)

11 thoughts on “We Do Care: On Running and Volunteering

  1. Ms. Nora I am sure that was a good learning experience for the children. There are various NGOs whose advocacy is feeding the hungry, especially, the children. However, in every outreach activity, I suggest, do process their experience after they did it. Being helpful, kind, and giving are not the only necessary ingredients for an outreach activity to be successful. Let them understand that it should be a sustaining experience for the beneficiaries. Thank you Ms. Nora for visiting my site.

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  2. Dear Roselle – To these children nothing is too small anything given and help extended goes a long way. It is so nice to know that more and more people are getting involve on charities. Nice post Roselle! Social awareness would definetly wake up a lot of those with much blessings, they are just waiting to be tapped.

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  3. Sir Amado, thank you for your kind words. You're right. The mark they've put in the lives of those children may not be that visible but at least the volunteers brought back the smile on their faces for that single day. It simply means we need to share and continue the flow of blessings by paying it forward. All the best to the volunteers out there!

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  4. hi te may! surprise!! nice post! ive been following your blog ever since i got here and everyday im looking forward to read your next post. i even bookmarked your site so its easy for me to access it. 🙂 kiara says hi.. we miss you..god bless.. and keep running.. 🙂 yayong and i are planning to do the same thing here in saudi because winter is coming.. too bad i have to run with my abaya. :-)take care always.. by the way te, i found a Garmin specialty store here. we'll be going there tommorow to check that watch you told me.. ;-)shacie

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  5. Nice post Roselle 🙂 It helps that even as we are preoccupied with so many things, time is taken to give back to the community. It's our take at CSR. While regrettably I missed the feed and give because I was out of town, I''m pretty sure you guys had a blast! Awesome! Cheers, Luis

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  6. Shacie I was really, really surprised! hahaha Thank you so much for visiting my site and for bookmarking it. I also miss you, of course my brother, too, and most of all, Kiara. How are you Kiara? Please email me sometime, OK? Do update me with your run. Take it easy the first time, both of you. Do a run/walk strategy so as not to shock your body. A thirty or forty-minute combination of running and walking will do you gooo. Looking forward to the Garmin! Yay! 😀

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  7. Hi there Luis. Thank you for visiting this post. You're right. Blessing comes so naturally because some people give it back. It's the law of the universe and the secret to happiness. Naks! Well, even if you missed it, you also did a worthy job while you were out of town. Hey! Heard your blog was nominated. Congrats!

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  8. Kiara also says hi.. she will email you using her own e-add.. she got one already.. 🙂 Yes, we will do that run/walk strategy. actually, i read your post about the kinds of runner.. somehow i got an idea how to do our running here.. 🙂 God bless and more success to your running carreer.. 🙂 shacie

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