Happiness comes in many forms. For some of us, happiness comes in a new book read over a comforting cup of tea. For some, happiness is a table brimming with food—a debauchery shared with the people we love. For us who work tirelessly for days on end, happiness means a long, restful sleep over the weekend. Although sometimes, even two full days spent in hibernation isn’t enough to fully recharge us and make our hearts happy. This leads us to ask the question, what have we done to recharge our spirit lately?
If you’ve tried every possible way to catch the ever elusive happiness, why not try volunteering? Volunteering means giving up a portion of your time and some of your energy, but in turn, you gain new friends and new learning experiences. For a bit of your time, effort, and love, you get to touch the hearts of people who will start out as strangers, but end up as family—and you get to leave your fingerprints in the lives of those you have touched.
Wherever your passion lies, there is always an organization that will allow you to channel that interest and allow you to use it in a way that will also help others. Volunteering for causes beyond your interests, on the other hand, helps you step out of your com fort zone and discover new things about yourself.
This Lenten season, you might want to skip the beach and try volunteering instead. PawnHero lists 7 organizations you can spread some sunshine in.
Address: 2nd Floor, Cheng Building, 212 Haig Street, Brgy. Daang-Bakal, Mandaluyong City
Contact: (02) 533-2217
Gawad Kalinga started in 1994, by a juvenile gang in Bagong Silang, Caloocan. These kids, who used to be members of some of the most notorious gangs in the area, attended a youth camp conducted by Couples for Christ, a Catholic lay community. Softened by the love and sincerity shown to them by the service team that assisted them during the three-day camp, the group came together after the camp to form a team that will eventually spearhead programs for scholarship, theater, sports, and livelihood training. Fast forward to present, Gawad Kalinga does more than simply rehabilitate the youth. The group aims to transform the slum environment by building homes and promoting a ‘culture of caring and sharing’.
Ways you can help: You can join a GK build happening near you or you can choose to form new friendships and experiences outside your comfort zone by joining the Bayani Challenge. If you are blessed with superb cooking abilities, you may want to volunteer at Kusina ng Kalinga Kitchens and whip up hearty, nutritious meals for children in the streets, in public schools, and in conflict areas.
Address: #24 Peach St., SSS Village, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City
Contact Number: (02) 997 1479
Meritxell Children’s World Foundation in Marikina City was founded in 2008 to provide a warm, loving environment for girls who have been deprived of any form of family support. The girls, aged 0-16, have been abandoned, neglected, abused, rescued, orphaned and trafficked. MCW serves as a temporary home for the children while they wait for new families that will lead them to their new home.
Ways you can help: Donate to the foundation and help a child start with life anew. All funds received by MCW help support the children in every way possible—their day-to-day, education, the services required to support adoption processes, as well as counselling and pastoral care. You can also help the girls feel loved by volunteering to tutor them out of school hours. If you are looking for a company outreach program, you may get in touch with the foundation to ask about taking the children on excursions. These trips will help them experience the world beyond the home and to develop their self-confidence.
Address: 37 EDSA corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City
Contact: (02) 527-0862
Dubbed the country’s “premier humanitarian organization,” The Philippine Red Cross is usually among the first groups to respond to calls for aid in disaster-stricken areas. PRC has been in existence since 1947, and at present, they provide six types of aid, including blood services, social services, disaster management services, community health and nursing services, safety services, and volunteer services.
Ways to help: You can either become an Emergency Response Unit trainee, but first you must complete the Philippine Red Cross Standard First Aid and Basic Life Support training. If you are a licensed nurse, licensed physician, or medical technologist, you can become a National Blood Center volunteer.
Address: 2610 Raffles Corporate Center, F. Ortigas Road,
Ortigas Center Pasig City
Landline: (02) 9755276/ (02) 5763170
Mobile : +63917 8874278/ +63918 8884278
True to their name, U! Happy Events brings smiles to the lips of underprivileged children by organizing creative activities and meaningful events for them. The organization seeks to provide sustainable support and to teach these children important values. U! Happy Events is also a platform that makes it easier for people to extend help to children in need.
Ways you can help: You can either organize a workshop for the children or take part in ongoing activities. There are activities even during weekdays, and all of them are fun and light, such as kite-flying, face painting, accessory making workshops, magic workshops, and storytelling workshops. A minimal sponsor fee of P250 for adults and P150 for students is required. This is inclusive of your food, ID, baller ID, and a pen as well as your partnered child’s food, materials, and gifts.
Address: 389 Quezon Avenue corner West 6th St. West Triangle, Quezon City
Contact: (02) 374-7618 to 28
World Vision, the world’s largest international children’s charity, has been in present in the country for almost six decades now. World Vision Philippines facilitates development in poor communities by teaching them how to maximize their own resources, capacities and potentials. They also conduct disaster and emergency response programs as well as public engagement programs that aim to raise awareness about promoting the well-being of children.
Ways you can help: You can pledge to give monthly or a one-time donation. You can also bring hope to the hardest places of rural and urban poor areas by sponsoring a child. If you are looking to grow in ministry, you may also try volunteering in a variety of activities.
Address: 18 A Marunong St., Bgy. Central, Quezon City
Contact: (02) 376-4342
If you are an advocate of human rights, Amnesty International Philippines offers volunteer work opportunities. Amnesty International is a not-for-profit organization that aims to “prevent and end grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination.” The organization has a volunteer program that serves as an avenue for professionals, students (local and foreign), NGO workers, and individuals to receive hands-on training in human rights work.
Ways you can help: You may apply for volunteer posts under their regular programs and special projects. The range and nature of the activities that will be assigned to you will depend on your interests and the agreements you have set with AIPh.
Heroes and volunteers share one thing in common. And no, it’s not a superpower of some sort–they share the same heart. A heart that is willing to learn, to help, to care, and to share. A heart that desires to bring happiness and to tug at other people’s heartstrings. A heart that desires to help the needy, without waiting for anything in return.
If you are looking to give back this holy week, let PawnHero help you. Add a few more pesos to your donation by pawning your old stuff with us. We accept almost everything, from loose gems to designer eye wear, motorcycles, and more. We are open 24/7, allowing you to pawn anytime, anywhere. Download the app on Google Play today and get a free valuation for your item or visit www.pawnhero.ph to learn more.
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