October 11, 2013

Love to Buy Love to Give at Caritas Manila

My husband and children are avid Lego Collectors. Name it and they have it, from those very small characters to the biggest airplanes and spaceship. 

Lego is a popular line of construction toys with colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, mini figures and various other parts.  It is manufactured by The Lego Group, based in Billund, Denmark. 

Playing Lego hones creativity, it allows the children to create endless designs and characters, develops fine motor development and is a great bonding activity between my husband and kids. 

I can't relate with their love for Lego. I'm not into this bricks assembling play, I'd rather do the laundry, wash the dishes, iron the clothes and clean the house ( hehehe, nanay e). But I do have one and only favorite Lego at home...

My favorite Duplo Motorcycle and Car Set

This Duplo Motorcycle and Car Set opened my chinky eyes into the advocacy of Caritas Manila some four years ago...

As I parked the car to pay my son's tuition fee, I saw that little red and white tent at the corner of the parking lot.  I went in, and saw that Duplo Motorcycle and Car Set priced at only P150! I know for a fact how expensive these toys are, so I grabbed and paid.  

As I was curious, I asked the sales staff about this ukay thing they're doing. They told me that this is Caritas Manila's project. I know Caritas as the radio Veritas, I heard my late Lola Ebeng listen to it everyday. I also know Caritas Health Shield because it was an HMO competitor company of Medicard Philippines where I used to work. But I wasn't aware about Caritas Manila and the work they do so I asked some more.  The sales staff told me that the stuff they're selling are donations from companies as well as individuals and that all proceeds goes to charity. They added, Caritas Manila's programs and services are directed towards the total human development of marginalized people and the promotion of social justice in the light of the Church’s Catholic Social Teachings. 

Ever since then, every time that little red and white tent is up at the corner of Aquinas parking lot, I go in because I know that every time I buy there I get to give and be a part of that charity they're doing. 

With Tam De Ocampo 

Last March at Bloggers' Oz Movie night, I met Tam De Ocampo.  She works at Caritas Manila and the better half of co-Blogger Rain. We hit it right and told her about my Lego and Caritas' story.  I told Tam that if Caritas needs help in promoting anything, I'd be happy to be of service.  

And just last week I, along with fellow Bloggers got to visit Caritas Manila's Head office for their preview on Caritas Expo happening at Trinoma Mall, from November 29 to December 1. 

Bloggers at Caritas

Caritas' Faithful and Selfless Employees
 We also toured their warehouse and store:
Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Photo Courtesy: MAC V.

Mac and I bought the jackets we're wearing at P100 only
 If you love to buy  and love to give just like me, head on at Trinoma for Caritas Expo
on November 29 til December 1.

About Caritas Manila

Caritas Manila's history began with a Cardinal that walked his talk. Rufino Cardinal Santos, first Filipino Cardinal, became the 29th Archbishop of Manila in a post-war scenario that saw a Philippines plagued with the following: a high dependence on the upper class in the social, economic and political growth of the nation; a growing inequality in the distribution of wealth; critical problems of labor, land and tenancy that caused the communist movement to gain ground. It was to this social order that Rufino Cardinal Santos spoke upon his installation:

"I have thought of organizing a social welfare for uplifting the spirit and soul of these unfortunate members of our community. The Archdiocese will lead in this undertaking with an initial amount of fifty to one hundred thousand pesos. Then I expect the more fortunate of the faithful in the Archdiocese to contribute their help in the amount of 1 peso a month for the same purpose, in order that we may budget some two hundred to two hundred fifty thousand pesos a year for buying food, clothing and medicines for distribution among our poor brethren, and the education of their children."

This plan took shape a little later, when the Cardinal appointed an eleven-man Administrative Board on October 1, 1953. And so a new era had dawned, when the establishment of Caritas Manila (first known as Catholic Charities) brought structure and organization to the way the Church's charitable works in the Archdiocese of Manila were being carried out.
Largely, the first decade was a decade of talking to the poor, of giving aid when needed. Sure, programs that harnessed talents and opened up opportunities were started such as the educational assistance program and job placement program. But it was medical assistance, crisis assistance and emergency relief that reached the most number of clients and became the most sought-after programs of Caritas Manila's first decade.

Social Development Programs:

Caritas Manila's core programs are geared toward integral human development, and spiritual and socio-economic development of the poor. Caritas Manila has always believed that meaningful assistance must be an empowering process. Most of our programs are designed to transform people from poverty and dependence to productive self-reliance with dignity.

•Caritas YSLEP (Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program)
Family Empowerment programs:
•Caritas ALL is WELL!
•Caritas ET Labora
•CARITAS Livelihood & Skills

Special Concerns programs:
•Caritas Damayan (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Program)
•Caritas Restorative Justice
•Caritas Housing Advocacy

Social Entrepreneurship programs:
•Caritas Margins
•Segunda Mana

Photo Source: Mac V.

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