Monday, November 18, 2013

A Night Out With Purpose



Seeing Typhoon Yolanda's aftermath in the news has been heartbreaking that it made everyone concerned and alarmed. I myself went through a restless period. I can't even watch TV anymore because seeing the kind of mess the tragedy left behind both to property and how it claimed the lives of people is devastating. It did not make me think twice about trying to do something meaningful because despite of not being affected physically, what I had seen affected me emotionally.

When both DSWD and President Aquino himself sent out an announcement calling for volunteers, I seriously wanted to go, if not for the hassle of having to get a schedule. However, when the said government agency opened satellite offices that accept walk-in volunteers, I was able to sigh relief. It was a good thing too that my best friend Apple planned of joining the endeavor. After some liaising (side by side my hectic schedule at work) with POC's we decided to come in as walk-in volunteers at the satellite office in Ateneo de Manila University.

I can't say I am a newbie nor a veteran with volunteering. I've joined outreach activities in the office including the relief operations for Typhoon Maring victims months ago. In a way there are some "firsts" to the two of us. This is Apple's first time to be a volunteer, and this is the first time I would be joining a "national" relief mission. For my part. besides wanting to help, I decided doing this to respond to an important call. I've tried to volunteer for a couple of times and I don't mind doing it again. While I looked forward to it, I had some apprehensions too. I have not placed myself to a graveyard shift since I left my job at the advertising firm three years ago. But then this was for a good cause so I decided to go for it.

This endeavor proved to be worth it,because even if I went on volunteering the graveyard shift, I never felt tired nor sleepy the whole time I was packing the relief goods. Maybe because the Ateneo crowd are one cheery community. I also had a chance to mingle with different individuals. What made it a happy one was at the end of the shift, while DSWD was just expecting 80,000 bags from the Ateneo warehouse, we were able to pack 82,000 relief bags that could sustain a family for a week. 

Yesterday afternoon, my college classmate Joy (whose husband is an Atenean) asked me "how was your lakad last night?" My response was just this short:

It was the best night out ever.

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