A little girl slowly removes the white ribbon, peaking through a small opening
of her box. Upon slightly seeing a stuff toy and a book inside, she immediately
closes it. She lovingly re-ties the ribbon, making sure she ties it right.
A 5-year old boy removes the blue ribbon wrapped around a Zip Locked pack.
He’s disappointed that the pack did not open when he removed the ribbon;
turns it over and around and yet nothing. We realize he didn’t know how to
open the zip lock. And as we look around, the others were also dumbfounded.
We started helping them and showing them how to open and close the zip locked
plastic. And they oooh-ed and aaaaah-ed and laughed. The 5-year old boy gingerly
pulled out one item after another, and his eyes shone in excitement and disbelief.
He says, “Wow! At may bag pa!” when he saw the folded knapsack, in utter disbelief
that this was all for him.
Another child refuses to open their box. Waiting instead to open it at home and share
it with his brothers and sisters.
These are just some scenes from the first distribution of the Angelito’s Project of Angel Brigade (AB) in Manila.
Tisha C. Bautista, managing director of Isdanco Foundation and founder of Angel Brigade, together with Marga Uy Baula, an AB volunteer shared 350 shoeboxes to school children in Tondo, Manila.
The school is located in the rehabilitated area of Smokey Mountain, with a small placard sign that says Field of Dreams.
The school is made up of container vans stacked on top of each other, designed appropriately to be a real school.
Surrounded by the port area on one side and the Field of Dreams on the other, the PCF in its
newness and excited and passionate administrators, teachers, social workers, volunteers, and sponsors (Coca-Cola, Sa Aklat Sisikat, & Angel Brigade to name a few) seems to be a beacon of hope amidst the obvious needs of the children.
The kids’ excitement upon seeing the LBC boxes in time for their Christmas Party was enough for us to get excited as well.
As we moved from one room to another, trying to get them excited by asking, “Alam niyo ba kung saan galing ang mga regalo na ito?”; we ourselves laughed when they answered, “Sa LBC!” “Kay Santa Claus”. We happily explained that a child in their same age and gender lovingly prepared their box all the way from the United States of America. Whether or not they understood the distance we meant or who the twin heart was who prepared their box, it mattered more to them that the boxes were bursting in the seams which meant that they themselves can give something to their brothers and sisters when they get home.
A gift of one child a thousand miles away has made at least 3 hearts a-flutter this Christmas.
This project would not have been possible without the sincere initiative of Ms. Susan Afan, who as early as September 2010 has been soliciting shoeboxes from SoCal. Your initiative and your friends’ generosity have made so many children happy. May you continue to be blessed with all that is good and holy. Other recipients of the Angelitos shoeboxes were: Kid Cancer Warriors from CareWell, Sacro Costato Mission in Montalban , QC Streetchildren, children of St. Michael Parish Taguig, Fr. Arnold Eramis.